Croak is a frog-and-girl opera in three parts, played out like a YouTube mashup of mid-century cartoons, all set to a contemporary pop song. It parades, mutilates and reacquaints Kermit the Frog with Girl 00010111, Michigan J. with Aristophanes, and biblical plagues with caged canaries in a vaudevillian play of time, culture, gender and narrative. Combining vivisection and classical literature, empirical observation and philosophical speculations, Sampirisi's grotesque characters splash and sparkle before moving toward their inevitable narrative end.
In conversation with Samuel Beckett's Words & Music , Croak presents a negotiation between the doom and gloom of a species in crisis and the many empirical markers we attach to such creatures. Sampirisi reminds us that we are all porous in the mud of language.
Jenny Sampirisi is the author of the novel Is/Was from Insomniac Press. She is the managing editor of BookThug, where she also edits the Department of Narrative Studies imprint, which focuses on innovative prose. She is the co-director of the Toronto New School of Writing, a series of reading and writing workshops designed and facilitated by working writers. She teaches English Literature and Composition at Ryerson University. Croak is her first poetry collection.