The much-anticipated second collection from Gerald Lampert Memorial Award–winning poet Kayla Czaga, Dunk Tank is a rich, imaginative, and sometimes absurdist exploration of the landscape of the body and of adult life.
In the title poem of Kayla Czaga’s sophomore collection, a teenage speaker is suspended between knowledge and experience, confidently hovering before the world plunges her into adult life. Dunk Tank reimagines the body as a strange and unknowable landscape: full of cancers that “burst like blackberries,” a butt that could run for prime minister of Canada, and the underworld lurking in Winona Ryder’s pores. Clouds become testicles and uteri turn into goldfish, flickering and fragile, but still ultimately glowing. These poems explore the varied and strange relationships that underpin a young woman’s coming of age, from inconsequential boyfriends to the friendships that rescue us from “grey daily moments.” Unsure of how the world works and her part in it, Czaga forges a landscape of metaphor and gleaming, dense imagery. Dunk Tank is playful and dark, comic and disturbing.