In light of movements toward reconciliation, these poems revisit and revise concepts of self and land.
The poems in Gatecrasher reimagine social and familial relationships, personal and collective failures, and false nostalgias. Part surreal autobiography, and part observation of how physical and conceptual human-made structures are collapsing, this wildfire debut dreamwalks through the liminal space between expectation and disappointment, and the poet’s relationship to the BC landscape.
Susan Buis lives on an acreage near Kamloops and teaches at Thompson Rivers University. Her writing has appeared in CV2, Vallum, Grain, Event, Prairie Fire, The Malahat Review, and The Fiddlehead, and has won awards from some of these journals. Her writing has been longlisted for CBC Canada Writes several times. A chapbook, Sugar for Shock, winner of the John Lent Prize, is available from Kalamalka Press.
“We do not have to wait long with Susan Buis’s first volume, Gatecrasher, to realize that we are in the presence of a formidably original poetic talent… This is an impressively mature first book.”—The Ormsby Review
“[Buis’] observations about the landscape and its seasonal changes are bracingly vivid.”—Toronto Star
“Susan Buis’ book, Gatecrasher, are poems that are ‘blunt for progress and polished’ creating a fresh look at the world we live in. She embodies her poetry boldly and confidently. Gatecrasher is a wonderful read!”—Garry Gottfriedson
“Susan Buis creates a world where language is as charged as the built and natural environments the poems tramp through, scavenging for beauty in all its forms. These poems are gatecrashers, tussling with the mundane and the sublime, and ‘things of the world soaked in wild dark.’ Each poem invites ‘stray words into its slipstream / as mouth to ear—no, to a silver cell, /my voice in your canal.’ This is a collection to re-read and savour.”—Laisha Rosneau
“Susan Buis’ poems are both tuned to the splendour of the natural world and haunted by this deep poetic attention to ‘the flaws that thrive in the universe.’ Gatecrasher builds an observatory from which the eye bears witness to weather, cicadas, blackbirds, wildfires, cattle, dogs, weeds, and all ‘the bitter fruit of a dry year.’ These are poems whose music arrives in apocalyptic key, anxious, hungry for beauty, and wide awake to the earth’s lament.”—Carla Funk