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Joy Is So Exhausting, Susan Holbrook (Coach House)

An exercise in the fun of poetry


This collection's title, a nod to Marian Engel's Bear, is both a playful observation and hilarious declaration. Holbrook provides a great reminder that poetry is supposed to be fun and fun to read---a professor of literature and creative writing at University of Windsor, she sends up her occupation in "Textbook Case: Questions to Consider Regarding Our Last Phone Call." A simple series of questions posed with a mix of professorial authority and regret over a conversation with a partner gone wrong, it's like an assignment to herself. It's one of the best poems in this volume of varied form and subject.

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