Plenitude by Daniel Sarah Karasik

Plenitude by Daniel Sarah Karasik

2024 Elgin Award Nominee

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Poetry / LGBTQ+
Publication Date: April 7, 2022
96 pages
5.75 x 8.75 inches
ISBN 9781771667357

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A non-binary faun wishes their body had a variety of sex organs, interchangeable daily. A prison abolitionist scrutinizes Rothko paintings on the carceral state’s boardroom walls. The insurrectionary tactics of mass social movements spread, like a secret handshake, from Chile to Hong Kong to Toronto.

Shaped by Daniel Sarah Karasik’s experience of grassroots social and political advocacy, these poems are an offering to those engaged in struggles for a better world—and an acknowledgement of the sometimes contradictory meanings of those struggles. How do individual erotic desires relate to collective desires for deliverance from alienation and exploitation? How might we dream of a more humane future, and work towards building it, without minimizing the challenges that stand in our way?

Plenitude cartwheels towards a world that might be: a world without cops or bosses, without prisons, without oppressive regulation of gender and desire. It is a song for the excluded and forgotten and those who struggle alongside them.

Praise for Plenitude:

“Weaving the political, the frisky, the personal, and the furious, there are few poets who write with as much ecstatic ferocity as Karasik does here in Plenitude. May the world this book dreams be one day manifested.” —John Elizabeth Stintzi, author of My Volcano

“Karasik’s Plenitude is indeed a plenitude—of beauty, pleasure, joy, rebellion. Plenitude really and truly is an abundant work, abundant with all sorts of urgent and radical political demands, stories, questions, and visions. Karasik’s poems grapple, with immense care and attentiveness, with our difficult present, addressing labour politics, the police, the law, imperialism, fascism, gender—all the while imagining (and nourishing!) other possible futures, other possible arrangements for living and loving. I want to be in that possible place that Karasik so generously conjures in these poems.” —Bahar Orang, author of Where Things Touch

“Daniel Sarah Karasik’s Plenitude is ‘trans-socialist’ as in (among other things) having ‘communism that would abolish debates over when and how to say ‘communism’’ as its horizon. At turns motivating, thought-provoking, touching and hilarious, this collection compresses volumes of theory and collective experience into shockingly short poems grounded in a world where ‘freedom / [is] a spilling over / from one bright, / unbearable / impossibility / into the next’ and there’s a ‘we’ struggling toward it. Daniel Sarah is the kind of writer that wants everything; this is the kind of book you read and give to comrades.” —Wendy Trevino, author of Cruel Fiction

Press Coverage:

46 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in spring 2022 —CBC Books

Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2022 Poetry Preview —49th Shelf

“In Plenitude, Karasik writes a lyric around gender, writing into a sense and a self, including the political mechanisms of required resistance to exist as a transgender person in the world, as well as the energies required, and the exhaustions that would surely follow.” —rob mclennan

New Poetry —49th Shelf

“Karasik’s commitment to both whimsy and philosophical searching holds the collection together, as it detours through closets and riots, strikes and silences, settler-colonialism and indigenous rights, communism, socialism, autism, love, queer comradeship, the “polite knife” of liberalism, tight pants (in addition to tight panties, there is indeed a poem called “Tight Pants”), the creative process, protests in Hong Kong, Chile and Ecuador, and prison abolition.” —Cy Pacht, Defunkt Magazine

Daniel Sarah Karasik talks to Sharon Berg about their latest book —The Artisanal Writer

Daniel Sarah Karasik on why writing that counters oppression is more important than ever this Pride —CBC Books

Writers to Watch list: 30 Canadian writers on the rise in 2022 CBC Books

“What’s offered here is—true to its name—a plenitude that manages to translate overwhelming political and social theory and critique into an impressively slim collection that could be finished in a single sitting . . . I recommend not missing out on the singular vision borne out of the convictions of its poet, who has a lot to say that we should listen to.” J.D. Harlock, Minola Review

22 books by past CBC Literary Prizes winners and finalists that came out in 2022 —CBC Books

A ‘best of’ list of 2022 Canadian poetry books —rob mclennan, Dusie

“In Plenitude, Karasik, though they are unsparing in their examination of the dominant understanding of gender, politics, labour, capital and state power, ultimately their book is an intelligent, inspiring and moving celebration of the plentitude of desire and of possibility for both person and future.” —Gary Barwin, The Fiddlehead

Daniel Sarah Karasik (they/them) is the author of five previous books, including the poetry collection Hungry and the short story collection Faithful and Other Stories. Their work has been recognized with the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award, the CBC Short Story Prize, and the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Award. They organize with the network Artists for Climate & Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty (ACMJIS), among other groups, and are the founding managing editor of Midnight Sun, a magazine of socialist strategy, analysis, and culture. They live in Toronto.