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Poetry Lgbt

More Sure

Poems and Interruptions

by (author) A. Light Zachary

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
LGBT, Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book; Trillium Book Award for Poetry finalist; Gerald Lampert Memorial Award finalist (League of Canadian Poets)

A book of poems and interruptions, recording instances of love, self-realization, and recovery in non-binary, queer, and autistic lives.


In their stunning debut collection, A. Light Zachary draws power from a vision of life - especially queer and neurodivergent life - as a journey of continuous self-realization. These poems record the experience of locating oneself over and over again, within gender, language, family, labour, sexuality, fear, and love.

Reaching back to claim queer space in the oldest Western canon, Zachary interrupts famous quotations from ancient Greek and Roman thinkers, asking: what advice might Juvenal or Seneca have handed down to non-binary citizens? Elsewhere, in concise and fluid verses that draw from punk rock and quantum physics, they ground the work firmly in the present. Come: invade with the alien. Evade with the coyote. These poems propose a certain supremacy: in these unending journeys of discovery and alienation, "we become more sure of who we are than you."

About the author

A. Light Zachary is a writer, editor, and artist who was recently awarded fellowships for their poetry by the Lambda Literary Foundation and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Their previous publications include the novella The End, by Anna (Metatron, 2016). More Sure is their first book of poems. Light lives in Toronto.

A. Light Zachary's profile page


  • Winner, ALA Stonewall Honor Book
  • Short-listed, Trillium Book Award for Poetry
  • Short-listed, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award (League of Canadian Poets)

Editorial Reviews

Even among the major queer poets of our age like Ocean Vuong and Saeed Jones, Zachary holds their own, dialling into places where common language fails us and only poetry can correct the injustices of language that we suffer without a vocabulary for our experiences. -S. Bear Bergman, Xtra

Easily one of my favourite poetry collections of the year. Zachary reimagines quotes from ancient philosophers as queer life advice; they write from the perspective of a coyote; they play with form in delightful, surprising ways. This collection is exuberant, defiant, and tender. -Book Riot

In this introspective debut collection, the poet reflects on being transgender and their struggle for self-acceptance and a sense of belonging. -Toronto Star

Zachary's debut collection is a vivid, playful celebration of trans complexity, queer fluidity, and gleeful uncertainty. In poems that are by turns lyrical, incendiary, and formally inventive, they explore gender, wildness, becoming and unbecoming, family, the power of language, the sacredness of trans bodies, and most poignantly, change. -BuzzFeed

Reading this collection is like discovering classified research on how to forge a new life for yourself. -Harvard Review

Amazing - vivid, disturbing. Zachary does this so well: moves language into a space that's both political and intimate. Powerful and tightly crafted, work. -Eduardo C. Corral, author of Guillotine and Slow Lightning

In this introspective debut collection, the Toronto poet, who grew up in New Brunswick, reflects on being transgender and their struggle for self-acceptance and a sense of belonging. ... The "interruptions" in the title refer to a sequence of poems in which Zachary disrupts quotations from ancient Greek and Roman thinkers, to establish a queer presence in history, as in this wryly altered line from Juvenal's "Satires," "Pray for a sound mind in (another) body." -Toronto Star

In this beautiful debut collection, A. Light Zachary alchemizes a philosopher's intellect with the soul of a poet. Weaving deftly through classic texts and pop culture references, from sharply political to deeply personal, More Sure is a haunting love song to those who live in the shadows. Zachary is a master of their craft and a virtuoso talent, and they balance acute emotion with subtle wit. These are poems that will make you think and feel for a long time. -Kai Cheng Thom, author of a place called No Homeland

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