Launching off from subjects as varied as Tinder and animal testing, Emma Healey’s provocative collection of prose poems explores the urgent themes of feminism, mental illness, sexuality, artistic practice, alienation, connection, technology, and time.
In Stereoblind, no single thing is ever perceived in just one way. Shot through with asymmetry and misconception, the prose poems in Emma Healey’s second collection describe a world that’s anxious and skewed, but still somehow familiar — where the past, present, and future overlap, facts are not always true, borders are not always solid, and events seem to write themselves into being. An on-again, off-again real estate sale nudges a quartet of millennial renters into an alternate universe of multiplying signs and wonders; an art show at Ontario Place may or may not be as strange and complex (or even as “real”) as described; the collusion of a hangover and a blizzard carry our narrator on a trancelike odyssey through Bed Bath &Beyond. Using a diverse range of subjects — from pharmaceutical research testing to Tinder — to form an inventory of ontological disturbance, Healey delves into moments when the differences between things disappear, and life exceeds its limits.
EMMA HEALEY’s first book of poems, Begin with the End in Mind, was published by ARP Books in 2012. Her poems and essays have been featured in places like the Los Angeles Review of Books, the FADER, the Hairpin, Real Life, the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Walrus, Toronto Life, and Canadian Art. She was poetry critic at the Globe and Mail (2014–2016) and is a regular contributor to the music blog Said the Gramophone. She was the recipient of the Irving Layton Award for Creative Writing in both 2010 and 2013, a National Magazine Award nominee in 2015, and a finalist for the K.M. Hunter award in 2016.
PRAISE FOR BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND:
“Who needs a tightrope to stroll across Niagara Falls when you have the prose poem — pliable, surreal, infinitely hackable. These poems from Emma Healey signal the arrival of an exciting, nimble, new voice.” — Sina Queyras
“Healey’s work operates close to the edges of contemporary poetic discourse — and sometimes beyond them … but [it] is also concerned with the experience of life lived in the personal present. A poet well-versed in critical and theoretical discourse but who also has a keen eye for the everyday and the real.” — Philip Coleman, Penny Dreadful (Ireland)
“A bit confessional, a bit surrealist, a bit Miranda July, and very New Sincerity … These poems dance and ramble, propelled by an earnestness that can’t help but charm.” — Nico Mara McKay, Broken Pencil