In this post-lyrical era, poems can be stories, or they can just as easily be exuberant laughter set to words, an experiment in language, or an incidental collation of plays on a Scrabble board.
the pet radish, shrunken, the third full collection of poetry from the inimitable Pearl Pirie, deals in the poetics of sound, language, and play. In true Pirie style, this fresh, quirky, and clear-seeing collection speaks in a range of styles and voices: From a military convoy of turtles, to a Kafkaesque conversation with a houseful, to the dissection of a fruit machine, Pirie offers oulipo found speech as it integrates and disintegrates, plays with and tumbles through language.
Earning comparisons to Jenny Sampirisi's Croak and Leigh Kostilidis's Hypotheticals for their shared sense of linguistic playfulness and curiosity, the pet radish, shrunken will appeal to exploring minds who are ready to question language, society, and self while not minding a taint of grief and comedy that necessarily creeps in around the edges.
Praise for the pet radish, shrunken
Quirky and fresh, playful yet serious, Pirie’s collection, the pet radish, shrunken, demands and activates new pathways of reason. These line-by-line lyrical segments both tantalize and take the reader down the rabbit hole (pulling rabbits out of hats along the way) with their semantic surprises and jumpy music. Pirie sees the world askew and brings the reader along for the ride. An invigorating collection. – CATHERINE GRAHAM
The poems collected in the pet radish, shrunken invite us equally into routine and catastrophic events. Pirie submits "we are always settling into a new now" and leads us through a life revised by the external and internal encounters of a day. With humour, play, and brass, Pirie revels in the daily ruckus of domesticity, verbatim conversations, and the language that must somehow hold a whole existence. – JENNY SAMPIRISI
In Pearl Pirie's poems, language ferments, foments a "vinegar vigour." Flipping the labels off contemporary mores, cooking with sound, she offers quick food for thought. Keep up with her if you can. – DAPHNE MARLATT
Precise riots of vowels and consonants rattle these poems. Pearl Pirie's lines burn with sonic-rich images: "kalimba of algae" and "tight loops of oops." Her verbal verve is rooted in an ecstatic attentiveness to language, both found and formal. Charged with innovative and lyrical energies, the pet radish, shrunken is a gorgeous rebellion. – EDUARDO CORRAL