Books·Poetry Month

Souvankham Thammavongsa on the 'great great courage' of Kayla Czaga's debut collection

Souvankham Thammavongsa, author of Cluster, shares why she loved reading For Your Safety Please Hold On by Kayla Czaga.
Souvankham Thammavongsa recommends reading For Your Safety Please Hold On by Kayla Czaga. (Nightwood Editions, Jennifer Rowsom)

April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, we're canvassing Canadian poets and asking them which Canadian poetry book has been meaningful to them. 

Souvankham Thammavongsa is an award-winning poet whose collections include the Trillium Book Award winner Light and the ReLit Award winner Small Arguments. Her most recent book is called Clustera wide-ranging collection of ruminations on nature, family and politics written in Thammavongsa's celebrated minimalist style.

A Canadian poetry book that is meaningful to Thammavongsa is Kayla Czaga's debut For Your Safety Please Hold Onpublished in 2014.

"I really love Kayla Czaga's For Your Safety Please Hold On. So tender and real and so much life and pain and love and just great great courage. I admire how she can use a single word and give it a force and change its matter every time the word is repeated and turned out in a poem (see Poem for Jeff). What I love most is how there's room not to know and love the idea of poetry — to let poetry fail you and to live in its failure anyway. Her lines 'I don't get poetry either. I mostly get cavities...' are so fun to read and to say out loud — and to open with that line is so wonderfully bold."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.