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Poetry Canadian

Bec and Call

by (author) Jenna Lyn Albert

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Canadian, Women Authors, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

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Rife with colloquialisms, irony and a healthy dose of sass, the poems collected in Bec and Call refuse to be silent or subtle; instead they delve into the explicit, the audacious, the boldly personal. Bec and Call subverts the notion of female sexuality as male appeasement, the French wordplay in the title using the meaning of “bec”—a kiss, mouthpiece or beak—to complicate notions of compliance and submission. The roles of Acadienne and feminist come with the responsibility of speaking up, and Bec and Call is a means of vocalizing the societal dérangement of Acadian culture amidst the difficulties women encounter as a result of rape culture and anti-feminism.

These poems are fearless and precise in their aim, but are not without a sense of play:

Menstrual synchrony’s a bitch in a household of women:

some sheets never see the line, endometrial tissue Javexed and tumble-dried.

To captains off-duty, solariums are wheelhouses.

Antique binoculars magnify songbirds, deer and that one black squirrel.

Close the blinds to neighbours. Girl, you’re bodied, full-bodied, embodied.


About the author

Jenna Lyn Albert is a poet of Acadian decent and a recent graduate in creative writing from the University of New Brunswick. Her writing has appeared in The Malahat ReviewRiddle Fence and The Puritan. Albert lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where she is an editorial assistant at The Fiddlehead and poetry editor of Qwerty.

Jenna Lyn Albert's profile page


  • Short-listed, The Fiddlehead Poetry Prize (New Brunswick Book Awards)

Editorial Reviews

Bec & Call reels with a kind of Acadian steampunk rhythm—unable to use its inside voice, it’s a “rite of passage that’s right risky.” Jenna Lyn Albert’s verse roils right “over basic, back-home vocabulary,” goes “full-Joplin” into heartbreak, broken condoms, drinks spiked with rape drugs, and fairground rides gone horribly wrong, then brings us back to the messy, grounded love of family—Mémère caught drunk on VHS, Pépère shucking oysters, sisters watching a pregnancy pee stick test change colours. The raw, untidy and vulnerable moments of life are “bodied, full bodied, embodied” in these poems—“slurp ’em back and swill ’em straight down the gullet.” This debut collection is intoxicating.

Laisha Rosnau

“I love these poems.”

Zoe Whittall

"Albert is direct and trenchant in these poems..."


"a brash and headstrong debut shot through with an undercurrent of vulnerability"

Quill and Quire

Bec & Call’s elliptical contemplations are both almanac and road map for contemporary New Brunswick. Albert is eyes open in her search for raw experience, buried light.

Tammy Armstrong

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