The Next Chapter

Treasa Levasseur on why you should read Rotten Perfect Mouth

In the latest installment of our literary road trip series, Treasa Levasseur explores Toronto through the eyes of Eva H.D.'s prizewinning poetry collection, Rotten Perfect Mouth.
Our Road Trip segment sends Treasa Levasseur to explore towns and cities across the country... through the pages of some great Canadian books.

In the latest instalment of our Road Trip column, intrepid traveller and blues musician Treasa Levasseur visits a different side of Toronto in the pages of Eva H.D.'s Montreal International Poetry Prize-winning collection, Rotten Perfect Mouth. This interview originally aired on December 28, 2015.

Eva H.D. and I go way back, but in a way that's not very close. She's been a longtime fan of a band that I'm in called Corin Raymond & The Sundowners, and for 10 years she's come to our shows and she's put her five dollars in the hat when I've passed the jug around at the end of the first set. So when I discovered that she was putting out this book of poetry, I bought it to say thank you and to support the art of someone who has supported my art. What I discovered was this amazing book of poetry, this jewel. It was published by Mansfield Press, and it's already sold out of its first run. She put it in their mailbox in the middle of the night on a dare. And she was the first unsolicited poet that they've ever published, and she just won the Montreal International Poetry Prize — $50,000! So actually, this lady who I know just sitting at the bar drinking her pint of stout and clapping politely between songs is an extremely gifted poet who Canada will hopefully be hearing a lot of in the future.

Rotten Perfect Mouth sketches a Toronto that I feel very intimately connected to. I feel like she just crystallized certain places or certain views in a way that only a person who's lived here for a long time could do. There's something very colourful about the way she describes Toronto and its many landscapes and the many corners from which you can experience this city and have a very different feeling. It's a voice that I haven't encountered often before. It's at once extremely lyrical and very down-to-earth. 

Treasa Levasseur's comments have been edited and condensed.