Grappling with queerness and trauma from Alberta to Brooklyn, powering through body, sex, and gender to hit free open roads In Vulgar Mechanics, K. B. Thors seeks to invent new strategies for survival through the two most basic tools available to the speaker: language and the body. The work begins in collapse, the poems acting as witness to the death of a mother. The speaker documents how, as her mother's physical body disintegrates, hidden knowledge rises to the surface in the form of "seismic legacy data." As dark secrets are released, the desire for justice demands improvisation. Moving from the fracked landscapes of the prairies to the steep verticality of New York, this is a collection concerned with hunger, anger, and the shifting fault-lines between play and pain. The poems celebrate the body as a vehicle of excavation and self-determination in a world in which there may be no such a thing as a safe word. Thors pushes against the boundaries of language - the material of sense, meaning - in order to claim a quantum vision of the self, one who transforms trauma into energy through its own multiplicity. The body becomes both ghost and machine, burning the past in its engine to make something beautiful and new, "a thunder egg / bucking the fire pit."
K.B. Thors is a poet, translator, and educator from rural Alberta, Canada. Her debut collection Vulgar Mechanics is expected from Partus Press (UK/Iceland) in 2019. Her translation of Stormwarning (Phoneme, 2018) by Icelandic poet Kristin Svava Tomasdottir won the American Scandinavian Foundation's Leif and Inger Sjoberg Prize and is currently nominated for the PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation. She is also the Spanish-English translator of Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else by Soledad Marambio (Ugly Ducking Presse, 2018). Her poems, essays and literary criticism have appeared around the U.S., U.K., and Canada. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Teaching Fellow in Poetry. She currently lives in Montreal.