Spaces are not exterior to bodies. They influence and affect the way bodies exist in the world. A quarry is an unnatural place within a natural territory. At any moment, it can be abandoned. A body is not separate from the spaces it inhabits. They exist together, in a mutual state of interrelation and instability.
Quarry relays a year in the life of a body in transition as it changes with other bodies; human, animal, and mineral. It examines queer social spaces and contested natural spaces, asking how they affect each other. Using evocative metaphor and refreshing language, these poems make bodily experience new.
Tanis Franco eschews traditional narratives of the queer and transgender body, bringing nuanced ideas to an ongoing literary and philosophical conversation. Their strong sense of location and landscape is interwoven with sensual language and impeccable craft, creating a unique and distinctive voice.
This book transitions, is in transition, comes through transition. It describes a state of tension, of anxiety, of becoming. Lines blur between person and place: this pond was a quarry, was excavated from a prior landscape. The discussion of body, of bodily changes is amorphous, we begin with bois and bodies colliding, moments of aloneness and of intimacy…. Quarry is full of hard minerals, of stones, of pebbles. It chips away. A pebble is a stone you can take with you, a souvenir. Bodies and ecosystems cannot fail to leave traces of themselves; they alter things. These minerals hint at the skeleton beneath flesh, “the body is only a vase for holding." The book a body, the book bringing us alongside the body, witnessing body in relation, in environment, in flux.
-Claire Lacey, Debutantes
Tanis Franco's debut collection of poetry is as dense as it is moving, with new dimensions presenting themselves on each re-read.
- Marcela Huerta, Montreal Review of Books
Franco here writes beautifully, with imagery of the can?t-go-back sort, line breaks that magnify scenes, and a tone that feels plain-true (yet far from plain). However, the poems are worth reading not for what they do on the page-vacuum, but for where they guide the reader, by way of things concrete (stones, rocks, a quarry), to a place of only being, to the seen/un/seen's edge.
- Hayden Bergman, The Literary Review