Souvankham Thammavongsa on the 'great great courage' of Kayla Czaga's debut collection
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 Cluster, a 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 On, published 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."