Red Doc>

Anne Carson's book of poetry won the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Anne Carson

A modern retelling of Greek mythology, Red Doc> is Anne Carson's follow-up to her 1998 verse-novel Autobiography of Red — with the hero Herakles cast as a charismatic bad boy and his adversary, the red-winged monster Geryon, as a gay teenager who falls for him. Red Doc> is another metamorphosis of their story: G is now the keeper of a herd of musk ox and Herakles is an army veteran named Sad (short for Sad But Great). Their adventures include a road trip across an icy northern plain and a stay at a psychiatric facility. Told in fragments of prose, poetry and dialogue, Red Doc> is by turns funny, profound and touching.

Red Doc> won the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

ICE BATS GO nimbly
and can stop on a dime.
Here's how you stop. Flap
both wings downward
creating a vortex above
the leading edge of each
wing this allows you to
hover. Then flap once
upward to release suction
as you glide from the
flight path in an attitude of
careless royalty and
subside onto some ledge
or throne with neatly
folded fingerbones. G's
descent is less fine. He
slams into the
​blueblackness ahead of
him not expecting it to
stop. Or instantly
disperse. Each bat goes
whizzing its way into an
aperture in the back wall.
​BATCATRAZ says a sign
nailed up there. G drops
to the ice floor stunned.
Clever of you to come in
the back way says a voice.
G looks up.

From Red Doc> by Anne Carson ©2013. Published by Knopf Canada.

Author interviews

Eleanor speaks with Canadian poet, essayist, Greek and Latin scholar, and librettist, Anne Carson - on stage at Montreal's Blue Metropolis Festival. 52:37
The renowned Canadian poet talks to Michael about her love of Greek, her fascination with grammar and syntax, and why she calls writing, "an act of catastrophe." 28:58

More about this book