The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out: Poems (Paperback)
Winner of the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize
"Introducing Karen Solie, I would adapt what Joseph Brodsky said some thirty years ago of the great Les Murray: ' . . . He is, quite simply, the one by whom the language lives'. . . And, yes, as we embark on the third millennium of our so-called Common Era, she is indeed the one by whom the language lives." --Michael Hofmann, London Review of Books
A sublime singer of existential bewilderment, Karen Solie is one of contemporary poetry's most direct and haunting voices. A poet of the in-between places--the purgatory of wayside motels and junkyards, the abandoned Calgary ski jump and the eternal noon of Walmart--her poems stake out startlingly new territory and are songs for our emerging world, an age of uncertainty and melting icebergs.
In Solie's new collection, The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out, she restlessly excavates our civilization, the moments of tough luck, casual violence, naked desire, and inchoate menace, pursuing "Beauty and terror / in equal measure" and fixing on the "Intrigue of a boarded-up building. / We want to get in there and find out what's the matter with it." Amplifying the elegant recklessness of her Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection Pigeon, these poems bear an uncanny poetic intelligence and unflinching vision.
About the Author
Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Her collections include Short Haul Engine, Modern and Normal, Pigeon, and The Living Option. She has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. The Living Option was named one of the best poetry books of 2013 by the National Post (Toronto) and The Independent (London). Solie lives in Toronto, Canada.
“It's one thing to be a brilliant writer. It's a whole other thing to make your readers feel like collaborators in your brilliance and not just witnesses to it. Griffin Prize-winning poet Karen Solie's superpower has always been in her ability to make complex feats of association seem easy; where other poets might lean an image against an idea and hope the connection between them comes through, the feeling of reading Solie at her best is like moving through a maze on a retractable leash. You weave your way through image and theory, vernacular and high diction, concrete particulars and sprawling philosophy, at what feels like your own pace-and then when the turn comes you're reeled back, swiftly, toward the idea that's been controlling things all along.” —Emma Healey, The Globe and Mail
"It is more than possible to love Karen Solie's coolly impressive poems." —Aingeal Clare, Times Literary Supplement
“[Solie is] a Canadian poet with an international reputation . . . Solie is the clearest reference point in the work of this past year's most exciting poetry debuts . . . This is Canadian poetry's Karen Solie era.” —Jacob McArthur Mooney, The National Post
“There is something both Ashberian and non-Ashberian about Solie. Like him, she writes sentences in motley registers that accrete into poems with unpredictable logopoieic shapes. Their sentences are similarly centrifugal, though hers are never taken to the dissociative extremes his are . . . The pathos of her work for me lies in this: her flatness, her engagement, her frankness, yes, her sincerity are underwritten by a singular intelligence that sets her apart and alone.” —Ange Mlinko, Partisan
“Solie's work should be read wherever English is read.” —Michael Hofmann
“The savagery of [Solie's] ironies does not detract from the beauty of her forms. Unlike so many contemporary poets, who find postmodern life and culture an easy, inviting target, Solie is at her most respectful when most disdainful . . . Though she is author of four previous collections and a recipient of the Griffin Poetry Prize, among others, this is her first collection to be published in the U. S. At last this outstanding Canadian poet can receive the attention, acclaim, and larger readership she richly deserves.” —Michael Autrey, Booklist
“Daring, thought-provoking poetry . . . For anyone who doesn't 'get poetry,' this one's for you. Solie's words, which tap into territories of existentialism in modern-day settings, are delivered in bite-sized portions that leave you both satisfied yet hungry for more.” —Refinery29
“The Canadian Karen Solie's The Living Option: Selected Poems has enormous wit and invention, making waste and horror seem almost reedemable: 'I'm in the middle of my life. I see it / as through a crowd, from a bad angle, and the show continues.' Solie is a farmer's daughter: her poem 'Tractor,' about the Faustian bargain between farmers and frackers, should be painted on grain silos everywhere.” —Sean O'Brien, The Independent (London)
“One of the most fluent and probing Canadian poets of the last twenty years, a poet who like the eponymous bird in her poem 'Thrasher,' can find music anywhere, from farm tools to textbooks.” —Michael Lista, The National Post (Toronto)