A new collection ablaze with urgency and radiant inquiry from a 2015 finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry
A demand and promise; an obligation and challenge; a protest and call: I have to live.
Juiced on the ecstasy of self-belief: I have to live.
A burgeoning erotics of psychic boldness: I have to live.
In which sensitivity is recognized as wealth: I have to live.
Trumpeting the forensic authority of the heart: I have to live.
This is original ancient poetry.
It fashions a universe from its mouth.
AISHA SASHA JOHN is the author of THOU (2014), a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the ReLit Poetry Award, and The Shining Material (2011). She choreographs and performs in the feminist collective WIVES as well as authors solo performances (The Aisha of Oz, VOLUNTEER). Aisha’s video work and text art have been exhibited in galleries (Doris McCarthy, Oakville Galleries) and installed at Union Station in Toronto (Art Metropole). She was born in Montreal.
Praise for THOU by Aisha Sasha John:
• "An act of deep attention to the physical self, to the positioning of bodies in the world, Aisha Sasha John's THOU takes us on a journey through power and society, hatred and love, anger and healing, offering an intimate, clear-eyed look at our shared humanity. Original, funny, sensuous; at once profound and unpretentious, John's lines are a pleasure and a revelation." -- Jury comment, Trillium Book Award for Poetry
• "To read this book is to experience the poem happening to you--and to want in." -- 49th Shelf
• "A book of meditative chant, sing-song patter and performance lyric, THOU is a collection of poetry shaped around a pronoun, inquiring, shaking and prodding and shattering." -- rob mclennan
• "Aisha Sasha John's THOU re-plays that archaic pronoun as a constantly present movement and rhythm of attention: the suddenness of the interpolative 'moment.' These lines of poetry 'shake . . . a little' as the 'I' narrates and choreographs a monologue of the self in motion; each page is the dance floor and John's words break through the 'I-as-you' with both the foreignicity of anticipation and the reflection of grace." -- Fred Wah
• “[John’s poetry] bristles with an intelligence sharpened on the realization that feeling is a way of thinking. . . . The effect, of looseness carrying and building tropes in a way that explicates and satisfies, while maintaining an air of mystery, makes THOU a model of poetic construction.” — Michael Newton, Urchin Movement