The second poetry collection from the award-winning author of Hacker Packer
Invoking human-animal hybrids in various stages of metamorphosis, Drolleries veers between the beasts of the forest and the opulence of the art gallery. Personal and historical struggles are held against the backdrop of the grotesque and fantastic: A marriage unravels in Goya's Black Room. The diagnosis of a blood-clotting mutation is read through the tarot. The violence of the patriarchy is filtered through the subconscious. In sonically rich lyric poems that traverse the vulnerability of confession and the dramatic possibilities of persona, Drolleries invokes its monsters as a means of working through internal turmoil, existential doubt, and heartbreak. This collection investigates how the lure of romantic relationships, the enchantments of art, and the seductions of power can be both destructive and transformative - and ultimately become a pathway to self-realization.
CASSIDY McFADZEAN was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2015, she published Hacker Packer, which won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her poems have appeared in magazines across Canada and the U.S., including BOAAT, Prelude, The Fiddlehead, PRISM international, and Arc, and have been finalists for the CBC Literary Awards, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and the Canadian Authors Association's Emerging Writer Award. Her work has been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry 2016, The New Wascana Anthology, and In Fine Form 2. She lives in Toronto.
Praise for Cassidy McFadzean and Hacker Packer:
"McFadzean's debut collection is a finely layered exploration of language and archetype rooted in mythology, history, intimate reflections, and more external ghosts. It is all unearthed in deliciously adroit wordplay and exploration of form, capped off in two perfect, mirrored closing notes--one long, one short--that leave the tongue still thirsty, tasting peaty, tilled earth. A most satisfying and accomplished collection." —Publishers Weekly
"The poems in Hacker Packer cross imaginative boundaries between human and animal, intimate strangers and mythical beasts, and traverse a self-scrutinizing frontier between pathos and mordant irony. McFadzean is as anxiously comfortable with the idiom of Justin Bieber as she is with that of bardic Old English, and maps her way across a densely laid path of sound and forms. Her work is a dazzling and sometimes threatening guidebook to an interior landscape of 'no sure footing we found we stood on.'" —Mark Levine, author of The Wilds