POETRY & MEMOIRS

The below collection is only available to those living in Burlington, Oakville, Milton, and Attiwandaronia (Hamilton). We are currently collecting more volunteers & donations to expand our library into the city known as Guelph & The Haldimand Tract (Tri-Cities). Please email our founder, at jdacost5@yorku.ca, to loan a book.

 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

By Phoebe Wang

A debut collection from a startling new voice in Canadian poetry. The poems in Admission Requirements attempt to discover what is required of us when we cut across our material and psychic geographies. Simultaneously full and empty of its origins, the self is continually taxed of any certainties and ways of being.

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DRIVE HERE AND DEVASTATE ME

By Megan Falley


It is clear that the author is madly in love, not only with her partner for whom she writes both idiosyncratic and sultry poems for, but in love with language, in love with queerness, in love with the therapeutic process of bankrupting the politics of shame. These poems tackle gun violence, toxic masculinity, LGBTQ* struggles, suicidality, and the oppression of women’s bodies, while maintaining a vivid wildness that the tongue aches to speak aloud. Known best for breathtaking last lines and truths that will bowl you over, Drive Here and Devastate Me will “relinquish you from the possibility of meeting who you could have been, and regretting who you became.”

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EDUCATED

By Tara Westover

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.

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EVEN THIS PAGE IS WHITE

By Vivek Shraya

Vivek's debut collection of poetry is a bold and timely interrogation of skin: its origins, functions, and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable.

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FULL-METAL INDIGIQUEER

By Joshua Whitehead

This poetry collections focuses on a hybridized Indigiqueer Trickster character named Zoa who brings together the organic (the protozoan) and the technologic (the binaric) in order to re-beautify and re-member queer Indigeneity. This Trickster is a Two-Spirit / Indigiqueer invention that resurges in the apocalypse to haunt, atrophy, and to reclaim. Following oral tradition (à la Iktomi, Nanaboozho, Wovoka), Zoa infects, invades, and becomes a virus to canonical and popular works in order to re-centre Two-Spirit livelihoods. They dazzlingly and fiercely take on the likes of Edmund Spenser, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and John Milton while also not forgetting contemporary pop culture figures such as Lana Del Rey, Grindr, and Peter Pan. Zoa world-builds a fourth-dimension, lives in the cyber space, and survives in NDN-time – they have learned to sing the skin back onto their bodies and remain #woke at the end of the world. “Do not read me as a vanished ndn,” they ask, “read me as a ghastly one.”

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HEART BERRIES: A MEMOIR

By Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

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HUNGER: A MEMOIR OF (MY) BODY

By Roxane Gay

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.'

“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”

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I HAVE TO LIVE: POEMS

By Aisha Sasha John

A new collection ablaze with urgency and radiant inquiry from a 2015 finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. A demand and promise; an obligation and challenge; a protest and call: I have to live. Juiced on the ecstasy of self-belief: I have to live. A burgeoning erotics of psychic boldness: I have to live. In which sensitivity is recognized as wealth: I have to live. Trumpeting the forensic authority of the heart: I have to live. This is original ancient poetry. It fashions a universe from its mouth.

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I'M AFRAID OF MEN

By Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya has reason to be afraid. Throughout her life she's endured acts of cruelty and aggression for being too feminine as a boy and not feminine enough as a girl. In order to survive childhood, she had to learn to convincingly perform masculinity. As an adult, she makes daily compromises to steel herself against everything from verbal attacks to heartbreak.

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ISLANDS OF DECOLONIAL LOVE

By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

 In her debut collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love, renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson vividly explores the lives of contemporary Indigenous Peoples and communities, especially those of her own Nishnaabeg nation.

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KNOW MY NAME

By Chanel Miller

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

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LORD OF THE BUTTERFLIES

By Andrea Gibson

In Andrea Gibson's latest collection, they continue their artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

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LYRIC SEXOLOGY VOL. 1

By Trish Salah

Largely written before the current cultural visibility of trans lit, Lyric Sexology Vol. 1 was Salah’s prescient contribution to a canon of self-determined literature that explores transness. In this case, the author sidesteps the “I” in the text and instead draws on archives—sexological, anthropological, psychological, among others—to demonstrate the shifting and shifty nature of our identities, affiliations, and narratives.

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ANGRY QUEER SOMALI BOY: A COMPLICATED MEMOIR

By Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali

Kidnapped by his father on the eve of Somalia's societal implosion, Mohamed Ali was taken first to the Netherlands by his stepmother, and then later on to Canada. Unmoored from his birth family and caught between twin alienating forces of Somali tradition and Western culture, Mohamed must forge his own queer coming of age. What follows in this fierce and unrelenting account is a story of one young man's nascent sexuality fused with the violence wrought by displacement.

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SHE OF THE MOUNTAINS

By Vivek Shraya

In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.


Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own.


This is why we are so lonely.

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COLLECTED POEMS OF AUDRE LORDE

By Audre Lorde

"These are poems which blaze and pulse on the page."—Adrienne Rich "The first declaration of a black, lesbian feminist identity took place in these poems, and set the terms—beautifully, forcefully—for contemporary multicultural and pluralist debate."—Publishers Weekly "This is an amazing collection of poetry by . . . one of our best contemporary poets. . . . Her poems are powerful, often political, always lyrical and profoundly moving."—Chuckanut Reader Magazine "What a deep pleasure to encounter Audre Lorde's most potent genius . . . you will welcome the sheer accessibility and the force and beauty of this volume."
—Out Magazine

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THIS WOUND IS A WORLD

By Billy-Ray Belcourt

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to "cut a hole in the sky to world inside." Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where "everyone is at least a little gay."

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YOU BETTER BE LIGHTNING

By Andrea Gibson

You Better Be Lightning by Andrea Gibson is a queer, political, and feminist collection guided by self-reflection.

The poems range from close examination of the deeply personal to the vastness of the world, exploring the expansiveness of the human experience from love to illness, from space to climate change, and so much more in between.


One of the most celebrated poets and performers of the last two decades, Andrea Gibson’s trademark honesty and vulnerability are on full display in You Better Be Lightning, welcoming and inviting readers to be just as they are.

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