All I Have Learned Is Where I Have Been, Joe Fiorito’s second collection, establishes him as the preeminent chronicler of people in extremis. Drawing on the precison and unsentimentality that have become hallmarks of his poetry, Fiorito creates uncompromising mini-narratives about addiction, failed rehabs, incarceration, demeaning jobs, and homelessness; much of it derived from nearly two decades spent as a newspaper columnist covering daily life on Toronto’s streets. In poem after poem, Fiorito’s exact word choices, cold-eyed details, and crisp internal rhymes mete out moments both beautiful and harrowing: “her little finger curls a bit/she cut a tendon when she slit/ her wrist; she’d clenched/ her fist.” All I Have Learned Is Where I Have Been is a moving exploration of brokeness by one of Canada’s most indispensable writers.
"Fiorito's poems are...wonderfully inventive and skillful in poetic form, while remaining casual, colloquial: the art of the street's voice."--A.F Moritz
"How does Joe Fiorito do it? The mixture of toughness, elegance and lethal wit. The street-smart, bruising tenderness packed into language sharper than flint." -Mark Abley