The poems read like tiny myths in this sparkling, surreal debut.
The poems in The Last White House at the End of the Row of White Houses teem with delightful and confusing life, from workhorses and dinosaurs to wolves and kings. Alternately spare and lush, surreal and precise, these poems work their way under the skin to sing gorgeous songs to the heart.
Michael e. Casteels is the author of over a dozen chapbooks of poetry. In 2012, he was nominated for The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, an emerging artist award. He lives in Kingston, where he runs Puddles of Sky Press.
“I absolutely loved Michael E. Casteels’ The Last White House At the End of the Row of White Houses, his first full-length book of poems. The collection is a wonderful blending of the strange and the ordinary, the mundane and the magical, and it was a pleasure to lose myself in Casteels’ surreal and dreamlike poetry… Funny and compelling, and imbued with empathy, Casteels’ collection definitely stood out for me this year.” — Megan Callahan, Vallum 2016 Year in Poetry
“Casteels mixes clinical detail of the day to day with an imagined reality that lives just beneath our skin and just beyond our grasp. The result is a strangely familiar poetic that can be both consternating and comforting depending on whether Casteels is slamming on the brakes or hammering down on the gas.” — Today’s Book of Poetry
“[An] enchanting little collection.” — Bookgaga
“Surreal, off-the-wall, funny — Stuart Ross’s influence is apparent in many of the poems — they are also deep, thoughtful and edgy. We feel better about the apocalypse after reading them.” — Kingston Whig-Standard
“Worlds of invention, humour, insight and the energy that is language. Michael e. Casteels’s first full-length collection is rich with empathy for robots and the sea, and the brilliant, delicate, outrageous leaps the mind makes when given words and our lives.” — Gary Barwin, Moon Baboon Canoe
“Have you seen Michael e. Casteel’s first full-length book of poems? It’s here, in front of your face. It begins with a wolf at the door and ends by waving farewell to our hands. Inside you’ll find everything you need: robots, a possum’s sneeze, and coffins filled with jelly donuts. The Last White House at the End of the Row of White Houses is one of the most exciting debuts to appear in Canadian poetry. Brilliant, strange, beautiful and encouraging, Casteel’s poetry is a repair kit for the human spirit.” — Jason Heroux, Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines
“These are beautiful, strange and uplifting poems, set on the border between what is known, and what might be impossible.” — rob mclennan