Finalist, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes)
Wood is a pop-culture meditation on parenthood and all its complexities and complications. In her third collection, Harper deftly inhabits the lives of sons and daughters, fathers and mothers - the real, the mythical, the dreamed-up, and the surrogate. Pinocchio tries to make his father proud in a tempting world of sex and vice. A young caregiver to a special needs child ponders her romantic future alongside the true meaning of Crimson & Clover. Bess Houdini, married to the world's greatest magician, conjures the children she'll never have. Mad Men's Sally Draper, daughter of a philandering genius, grows up desperately trying to both defy her father and become him.
The poems in Wood are playful, surprising, tender, and brave... and universal in their emotional resonance.
Praise for Wood:
Poetry in Transit selection (poem from the book displayed on Vancouver city buses)
Favourite Poetry of 2013, 49th Shelf (Kerry Clare)
The Canadian Mad Men Reading List pick, 49th Shelf
"... drills to the core of the familiar and the fictional in a nuanced exploration of the makings of a person ... Harper fills WOOD with questions of fertility and family, growth and failure, turning over in tensile language what it means to be real. Rooted, economical, and sharp, Harper's poems blur the line between dramatic monologue and memoir, WOOD hammering out what it is we reach for, what it is we lack." (Poetry is Dead)
"Wood is meticulously packaged, the trunk-ring design from the cover repeated on the endpapers.The package is important, first because it's beautiful, but also because Wood is a project of parts rather than strictly a whole and how these parts fit together is a huge part of the book's appeal. ... Wood appears to have emerged from several different projects whose connections were secondary, and yet how these connections function?how these poems speak to one another, echo one another, underline and overwrite?is the book's most compelling quality. It's a kind of puzzle to discern how these pieces fit together, and each reread will unearth a new layer of understanding (or perhaps another ring in the grain?). Which is good reason then to stay up reading late into the night." (Pickle Me This, blog)
"While the longings and fears of parents are captured in Wood, it is in the pain and perils of children - wanted or rejected, living up to expectations or running away from their parents - that Harper finds her most powerful voice. In allowing these characters to be glibly, gloriously fictionalized, their narratives become even more authentic." (Quill & Quire)
"On Our Radar," 49th Shelf
Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2013: Poetry, 49th Shelf
A selection from Wood, "The Sally Draper Poems," has been featured in Slate to great acclaim