Shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch award for innovative poetry, The things I heard about you is an exploration of precision and the unspoken, executing a process whereby vignettes and scenes break apart into fragments, rumours or suggestions of the original story. When stories decompose or self-destruct, the results vary, producing an effect of texture and syntactic transformation. This is a book of tidal memories and elegies, love songs to the coast and all its inhabitants. The things I heard about you is Alex Leslie's debut poetry collection.
About the author
Alex Leslie was born and lives in Vancouver. She is the author of two short story collections, We All Need To Eat, a finalist for the 2019 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the 2020 Nancy Richler Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the 2020 Kobzar Award, and People Who Disappear, a finalist for the 2013 Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction and the 2013 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. She is also the author of two prose poetry collections, Vancouver for Beginners, winner of the 2020 Lohn Foundation Prize for Poetry, The things I heard about you, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Alex’s writing has been included in the Journey Prize Anthology, The Best of Canadian Poetry in English, and in a special issue of Granta spotlighting Canadian writing, co-edited by Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux. She has received a CBC Literary Award, a Gold National Magazine Award, and the 2015 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers from the Writers' Trust of Canada.
"To hear everything available for the hearing is still to misperceive, but to enter the condensation is to enter an entirely different world. In Alex Leslie's brilliant new collection, The things I heard about you, melodies seem to repeat everywhere, with the slightest of variations. What is easily fixed becomes easily refused. The most succinct articulation may be the most beautiful, but what it captures of the original utterance is the palest, most ghostly glimpse of the original, and often its opposite."
"Prose poems, soundtracks, minifictions--the lyrical, multi-faceted pieces in The things I heard about you record the ways in which language makes and unmakes us. 'Between a tooth and safety,' bodies, weathers, genders inhabit and are inhabited by histories of loss, institutions of violence. These stories don't shrink even as they grow smaller; each is distilled to a potent drop that sinks into the mind like ink into skin: 'I, not here, write.'"