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Poetry Women Authors

Villa Negativa

by (author) Sharon McCartney

Initial publish date
Mar 2021
Women Authors, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price

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With less content in my life
I am infinitely more content

Against the backdrop of a sibling’s death, an eating disorder, and a few very dismal dating relationships, Villa Negativa looks for laughter behind darkness: the intruder who politely removes her shoes, the fabricator whose closest relationship is with fibreglass, the anorexic who sends the Diet Coke back because it tastes too good. Meditative and mischievous, confessional and philosophical, sincere and sly by turns, Sharon McCartney’s seventh collection articulates an essential truth of self-knowledge—that “to perceive something, we have to be able / to stand away from it.”


About the author

Sharon McCartney is the author of two previous poetry
collections, Under the Abdominal Wall (Anvil) and Karenin Sings the Blues (Goose Lane), and the chapbook Switchgrass Stills (littlefishcartpress). Her work has been published in numerous magazines and journals including PRISM international, Event, Grain, sub-TERRAIN, Prairie Fire, Iowa City and the Malahat Review. McCartney has an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and a law degree from the University of Victoria. She works as a legal editor in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and is poetry editor for The Fiddlehead.

Sharon McCartney's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Sharon McCartney

“Part satire, part self-examination, and far more layered than it first appears. Working largely in free verse… moving between levity and sincerity in a short span… The collection is brilliant: short, sharp, and eminently readable. Although it is a quick read, it is a deeply satisfying one.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“So much is revealed in so few words … It’s a book that feels light, but its delivery is heavy, and worthy of contemplation … McCartney is merciless in exposing vulnerability, but also builds an intimacy integral to Metanoia‘s achievement.”—Quill & Quire (starred review)

“McCartney has written exceedingly rhythmical poems … and this is one of the reasons she holds a place of high esteem in the Canadian poetry scene for me … There’s a ton to empathize over, rage against, or even pshaw in disdain towards, usually in the face of some sad sack male character … “Agonal and Preterminal,” the third piece, perfectly sketches a painful portrait of an era of institutionalization, medicalese and the hush of shame.”—Marrow Reviews

“You don’t read these poems, you feel them: Hammer in the head, shod foot on the throat, stiletto in the heart. It’s those combos of wild, piercing insights (or unusual but poignant images); yep, that’s what makes it good for you–or kills you, laughing.”—George Elliott Clarke

Other titles by Sharon McCartney