Sina Queyras

if you open your mouth, ache.


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Death & Co.

The latest from My Ariel is up. Thanks to Mark Bibbins at The Awl.

The dead bell, the dead bell
Every Christ a clap of bad behaviour,
Ballsy as Blake, a birthmark
Of meat, a red frill of privilege.
Baby eaters all, a sweet girl
In a white cage. Such a useful future
Looming, the men at the door of thirteen
Waiting for the right moment.

Here’s the entire poem.


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The Jailor

The latest poem from my new Plath manuscript is up at The Walrus. Thanks to Damian Rogers for choosing it. If they look familiar, they should be: they are re-visions, ghostings, confrontations, and responses to Sylvia Plath’s Ariel.

“The Jailor,” The Walrus

“I am no Lady, Lazarus,” Rusty Toque

“Little Fugue,” The Awl

“Thalidomide,” “The Rabbit Catcher,” The Malahat Review 

“Couriers,” “Cut,” Poetry


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New Poems Up

Several poems from My Ariel, my new manuscript, are up across the Internet. If they look familiar, they should be: they are re-visions, ghostings, confrontations, and responses to Sylvia Plath’s Ariel.  I’ll be writing more about the project (like why on earth, and are you insane?), but not until next summer, when I have some time to do so. Meanwhile I’ll polish, take notes, and gather the links here. The first few earlier versions appeared in The Fiddlehead, which I can’t link to. I didn’t quite know what I was up to with those, but they were the gateway. More anon, and with thanks to all the editors!

“I am no Lady, Lazarus,” Rusty Toque

“Little Fugue,” The Awl

“Thalidomide,” “The Rabbit Catcher,” The Malahat Review 

“Couriers,” “Cut,” Poetry


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MxT reviewed over at Poetry

MxT generates its force through the perpetual denial of this promise. Over and over, the poems present a detached and clinical façade, only to have it break down or prove useless. For example, “A Manual for Remembering” instructs the reader on ways to encounter memory while remaining safe and insulated: “When remembering it is best to wear pants without cuffs, boots, gloves, safety glasses and a feeling helmet (shade 10 or higher).” As the poem progresses, however, these instructions become increasingly elaborate, fantastic, or impossible:

Never touch a banana slug, or cedar melting like lava. Beware of a failed city tumbling into the bowl of an upturned tree. If ferns adorning each dull ache are wet, apply a Cowichan sweater 
zipped up to the first branch.

The constant reminders to guard against memory reinforce its dangers, and our inability to follow the directions suggests that no amount of precaution can truly protect us.

Read it here, along with reviews of Fanny Howe, Dororthea Lasky and Joanne Diaz. Thanks to Poetry and Rebecca Hazelton.


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Sunday Poem: For Coach House

I feel the need to go back to the moment before I created Lemon Hound, the blog, which means, going back to the time of writing Lemon Hound, the book, a process that made me aware of my more vocal alter ego. Here she is, lounging confidently in an open window, on a bridge, in a great pool of personal silence, with time to watch the river peak.

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Montreal: Writers’ Paradise

“The scene is increasingly diverse,” observed Queyras, director of Writers Read, a Concordia University series that invites established and emerging writers from Canada and abroad to give public readings as well as master’s classes.

“There are more readings at bookstores like Drawn & Quarterly and Argo, and at galleries like VAV and Phi Centre. There are new literary undertakings such as Metatron Press and, of course, more reading series here at Concordia. When I first arrived in Montreal around 2008, it seemed the only literary scene was around a table full of beer.”

To Queyras’s mind, “a healthy writing community has a lot of different scenes, not exclusive or divisive scenes, but distinct ones, with a lot of crossover.”

Writer and teacher Sina Queyras talks with students during a creative writing class at Concordia University, in Montreal, Monday, April 13, 2015.
Writer and teacher Sina Queyras talks with students during a creative writing class at Concordia University.

read the piece here.