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Poetry Canadian

The Inquisition Yours

by (author) Jen Currin

Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2010
Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2010
    List Price

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Winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry
A finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the Lambda Literary Award

In her ambitious follow-up to Hagiography, acclaimed poet Jen Currin continues her unique exploration of the surrealist lyric, constructing a strong case that, in these frightening times, it may be the best poetic mode for capturing the complexities of lived experience. In tongues alternately vulnerable, defiant, resigned, and hopeful, The Inquisition Yours speaks to the atrocities of our time – war, environmental destruction, terrorism, cancer, and the erosion of personal rights – fashioning a tenuous bridge between the political and the personal. Trying to make sense of a world where even language is 'a danger,' Currin’s poems reject the old storylines in favour of a vigilant awareness, and wonder whatmight happen if we 'change the feared penmanship' and embrace a narrative that empowers everyone.

'Jen Currin writes eloquently; she writes fervently – she writes irony and truth with alarming ease … Currin's writing is always surprising and often revelatory, punctuated by epiphanies and linguistic acrobatics … Anyone who wants to write will find this book an absolute joy to read.'


'Currin's poetry … leaves us dazed and amazed at the jumble of words upon the page that fall together like so much confetti in a celebratory parade of language. We are to emerge … with the sense that we have taken a journey to an exotic land.’

Prairie Fire Reivew of Books

'Currin updates longstanding surrealist tropes – dreamscapes, disjointed images – with lines that would have been unthinkable to André Breton … This is a new poetry for a new century.'


'The pieces are minimalist and sharp, with a dark sense of humour … Though Currin’s surreal style invites multiple interpretations, her vivid imagery and intense storytelling make it easy for the reader to connect with these poems.'

Shameless Magazine

About the author

Poems by Jen Currin have appeared in numerous North American journals, including: The Fiddlehead, Mudfish, The Massachusetts Review, Diner, subTerrain, The Mississippi Review, and Washington Square. In 2002, Mark Levine awarded her second place in River City's annual poetry contest. Her chapbook Ten Poems/Eleven Years was published by Breeds Like A Rumrunner (Vancouver, 2004). Her most recent collection, Hagiography, won Winnow Press's 2005 Open Book Award. A graduate of Bard College and Arizona State University's MFA program, Jen currently teaches creative writing at the Vancouver Film School and for Langara College's Continuing Education program. While at ASU, she served as both assistant editor and poetry editor of Hayden's Ferry Review from 1999-2002. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Jen currently lives in Vancouver, BC, where she is a member of the poetry collective vertigo west.

Jen Currin's profile page

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