From hybrid bodies to shifting landscapes, Re-Origin of Species blurs the lines of the real. These poems journey through illness and altered states to position disability and madness as evolutionary traits; skilled adaptations aligned with ecological change.
A lyric contemplation of our relationship to the environment, this book looks at the interdependence of species. Weaving personal narratives with a study of the insect kingdom, it draws parallels between human illness, climate change, and the state of peril in the natural world.
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Praise for Re-Origin of Species:
“In this debut collection of startling beauty, Alessandra Naccarato weaves together the mythological and mundane, the ephemeral and the eternal, into a luminous tapestry of lyric and narrative. Naccarato’s shimmering threads illuminate the connections that bind together every living thing on every level of being—from the interpersonal, to the political, to the spiritual. This is exquisite, playful, intentional poetry—and it just might be medicine for us all.”—Kai Cheng Thom, author of I HOPE WE CHOOSE LOVE: A Trans Girl’s Notes From the End of the World
“What a hive of a book—these poems are so urgent, gorgeous, and necessary. Re-Origin of Species is a siren’s call and warning siren all at once.”
—Leah Horlick, author of For Your Own Good
“Ranging from the sting of personal loss to navigating landscapes full of promise, Naccarato’s poetry interrogates the place where the personal meets the wild.” —2015 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award Jury
Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Jury Citation:
“Alessandra Naccarato’s Re-Origin of Species is masterfully crafted. The maturity of these poems is matched by the high-level operation of the themes they enact. Naccarato creates an ecosystem in which self, psyche, and external environment are understood as intrinsically inseparable. Each poem achieves that much sought-after combination of unexpected and inevitable, an indication of high-level functioning both in craft and creative thought. As comfortable in the darkness as in the light, this collection creates an honest beauty and imaginativeness that can’t help but strike a chord, or several.”
23 Collections of Canadian Poetry to Watch for this Fall —CBC Books
Most Anticipated: 2019 Fall Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
Fall Books Preview: 52 Reads to Watch For This Season —Becky Toyne, The Globe and Mail
“I See Contemplation, Vision, and Communication as Crucial Forms of Labour” Talking Poetry & Work with Alessandra Naccarato” —Open Book
The Best Canadian Poetry of 2019 —CBC Books
“Re-Origin of Species is a riveting, ambitious book that delivers on its ambition. A litany of sorrows for the world as it is, and a prayer for the future.” —John Swanson, The Ormsby Review
“Despite lamenting how humans have imperiled the natural world through our actions, Re-Origin of Species does not romanticize nature as an idyllic thing. It is powerful and just as capable of causing pain and death, but it still feels like there is a qualitative difference.” —Sunny Chan, Canadian Literature
Alessandra Naccarato is the recipient of the 2015 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the winner of the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize. A two-time finalist for Arc Magazine’s Poem of Year and the Edna Steabler Personal Essay Prize, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and has toured nationally and internationally as a spoken word artist. She is based between Toronto, Ontario and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Re-Origin of Species is her debut poetry collection.