In this confessional debut collection, Matthew Walsh meanders through their childhood in rural Nova Scotia, later roaming across the prairies and through the railway cafés of Alberta to the love letters and graffiti of Vancouver. In this nomadic journey, Walsh explores queer identity set against an ever-changing landscape of what we want, and who we are, were, and came to be.
Walsh is a storyteller in verse, his poems laced with catholic "sensibilities" and punctuated with Maritime vernacular. In These are not the potatoes of my youth, Walsh illuminates the complex choreography of family, the anxiety of individuality, and the ambiguous histories of stories erased, forgotten, or suppressed. Readers will find moments of humour, surprise, and a queer realization that all is not what it seems.
"Walsh crafts poems that take this prickly and hard world and makes them fluffy and soft. Funny, touching, and at times surreal in the most delightful ways, it's impossible not to fall in love with these poems."
"It seems improbable that a book of poetry can consistently surprise, but such is the case with These are not the potatoes of my youth. These vital, necessary poems place an invigorating pressure on normative assumptions and perceptions about love, family, friendship, and the world. This is a book that will delight and move readers."