Renaissance Normcore belts like a classically trained riot grrrl, composing catchy tunes in the key of fear and desire. Building on the dreamy emotional landscapes she plumbed in If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You, Barclay navigates even sharper peaks and valleys in her second collection to examine the links between intimacy and power. Tracking the paradoxical impulses of anguish and joy that underpin daily life in our hostile neoliberal climate, these poems are both abject and sweet as they repurpose loss into life and test the bounds of how much a poem can hold.
“Barclay’s poems are full of queer joy, queer anxiety, queer yearning and queer solidarity. She has a knack for juxtaposing words and images in playful, unexpected ways.”