Yi-Mei Tsiang's debut collection of poetry, Sweet Devilry, explores the tenderness of loss that informs motherhood as well as the power and the conflict that come with being a woman. Both celebration and elegy, these poems find their centre in familial love. Lyric and traditional, though attuned to the visual and the experimental, Sweet Devilry also has a whimsical, and sometimes biting, sense of humour. Tsiang's smart, imaginative, and emotionally resonant work offers a keen and woman-centred perspective on the stories we tell ourselves about love, personal and societal struggle, and the inevitability of death.
About the author
Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of Flock of Shoes (Annick Press, 2010) and The Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales (Leaf Press, 2010). She has two forthcoming books for children and her work has been sold and translated internationally. She has published poetry extensively in Canadian journals, and has appeared in several anthologies. She is currently completing UBC's MFA program, and works as a mentor to aspiring writers through UBC's Booming Ground and Queen's University's Enrichment Studies Department. Yi-Mei lives in Kingston with her husband and young daughter. She drew from her own experiences as a mother in the creation of the poems in Sweet Devilry.
Gerald Lampert Jury CommentsThis book of fine and graceful poems sweeps the reader toward birth and death with equal grace. “My daughter, on a bed/ of leaves, as if she had fallen/from the sky.” In Visit, she writes of her dead father:
He smelled of apples, an autumn of leaves
for skin. I remember you like this, I said,
a harvest—an orchard of a man.
He opened his shirt, plucked a plum
From his lungs and held it out to me.
Everything, he said, is a way of remembering.
And so Yi‐Mei Tsiang helps us remember: her joy, her daughter, her grief, her father.