"A town is a tin of children in an ocean," writes Anna van Valkenburg in her debut poetry collection, Queen and Carcass, a rich, unpredictable, and deeply surreal exploration of identity and the multiple contradictions we each embody. These poems, set in locations real and imaginary, magical and banal, inhabited by figures out of Slavic folklore and a Boschian landscape, strive to unearth truths, especially those that are difficult or uncomfortable, using Bertolt Brecht's maxim "Do not fear death so much as an inadequate life" as a touchstone. At once ecstatic, meditative, and grotesque, the poems in Queen and Carcass confront some of the most fundamental existential questions.
Anna van Valkenburg was born in Konin, Poland, and currently lives in Mississauga. Her poetry and reviews have been featured in The Puritan, Prism International, december magazine, The Rusty Toque, and elsewhere. Her work has been shortlisted for the Pangolin Poetry Prize and nominated for the AWP Intro Journals Project. Anna is the associate publisher at Guernica Editions. Queen and Carcass is her first poetry collection.