Centred on the everyday, and crafted without preamble or pretension, the poems in Without Ceremony are a literary pastiche— a thematic mosaic not unlike tracks on an album. Amidst a timeless cast of characters from Lucretius and Eva Hesse to Joan Mitchell and St. Augustine, Carr illuminates what it means to truly know something and questions how certain knowledge becomes valued over others. Without Ceremony spotlights the gendered division of ideas and the inherent strength of language to harm and oppress, as well as elevate. Within these pages, passing encounters become rare spectacles, and the ordinary, without ambitions of grandeur or ceremony, is celebrated, making Carr’s new collection a clarifying elixir for our time.
“Angela Carr’s words in Without Ceremony point their arrows toward a ledge where communication knows “both failure and perfection at once.” Her poetry isn’t invested in naming things (perhaps this is what is unceremonious) because things, even thingness, and their energies change so rapidly. Carr creates a field of verb-rich arriving where confessional exasperations are tried and transformed in pleasurable abstraction. She summons other women poets and artists (Hesse, Dickinson, Mitchell) not to revere them but to create a queer chorus of those who can bring us to see that what seems holy is simply ordinary.” —Stacy Szymaszek, author of A Year From Today
“Angela Carr’s poems spark a startling immediacy directly to the heart of everyday encounters and how poems form “under the moment of language.” Her work gives us the rare and complex gift of how to move out of the house of regret amidst the instability of the contemporary. Here in Without Ceremony are interior conversations with the likes of Lucretius, Dickinson, Moorman, that show how readers become writers and how words feel when put on us by others, which ones we choose to wear, which to strip off. Let Without Ceremony become one of those books “that are familiar as friends,” always present to puncture through the space of the day to the intimacy we need to construct joy, a holding area for the moving moment.” —Lee Ann Brown
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Angela Carr is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Here in There (shortlisted for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry), The Rose Concordance, and Ropewalk (shortlisted for the McAuslan First Book Prize). Angela has also translated poetry books by Nicole Brossard (Ardour) and Chantal Neveu (Coït). She studied Creative Writing and Literature at Concordia University in Montreal, and later earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Montreal. She currently resides in New York City, where she teaches Literary Studies at the New School University.