Noelle Schmidt plows through the distorted shrapnel of trauma dormant and still tingling.
Claimings and Other Wild Things is a brave debut poetry collection which delves into a catalog of personal struggle and identity, all the while inviting readers to imagine the "prophet in the dirty motel" or "the illusion of soft flesh giving way" or the pent up rage of a "boxed-up grenade sent round trip".
This is poetry of exactitude -- honest, at times tender, a collection which reminds us how life's obstacles inform the accruing intensity of being human in the twenty-first century.
About the author
Noelle Schmidt is a queer, non-binary poet. A graduate of Western University and a recipient of Alfred R. Poynt Award in Poetry, the Margeurite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award and the Western Gold Medal. Their poetry can be found in Symposium, Frankenzine, Common Mag and Déraciné Magazine. Claimings and Other Wild Things is their debut collection. They live in Sudbury, Ontario with their partner and two cats.
Claimings And Other Wild Things is a beautiful and terrifying exploration of physicality and domesticity with diction so delicious and delightful, one almost forgets the haunting images it allows us to witness. Schmidt's poetry invites us to see body as nature; body as memory; body as machine; body as perpetrator; body as hiding place, a cage made of bones and ligaments. A chilling and impactful debut that demands remembrance.
Sydney Warner Brooman, author of The Pump
Schmidt's poetry is skilled, interrogating it's themes in terms of form and voice that hits to the bone and vibrates with life.
Matthew Walsh, author of These are not the potatoes of my youth, finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
Claimings and Other Wild Things gets at the beautiful duality of language: the ways that words grasp for the octopus but come away with the ink. Schmidt's poems are incantations and conjurings that call up and inhabit bodies, histories, and landscapes. There is a great haunting happening here, but just when you feel yourself about to slip into the void, the poems touch back down to earth in the tender everyday of lives just trying to figure who and how to be in this world. In this wonderful and far-ranging debut, it is these intimate and honest moments that haunt me the most. More than anything, this collection just makes me grateful for poetry.
Tom Cull, author of Bad Animals
Claimings and Other Wild Things by Noelle Schmidt contains gorgeous lyrical pieces where a "stretch of ribs" are "unfurling petals to the sun" and where a "piano crawls impossibility out of a cereal box." Sometimes surreal, often bold with creative leaps, this is a vivid debut collection by an accomplished new poet.
Greg Santos, author of Ghost Face