Adrienne Gruber’s third full poetry collection, Q & A, is a poetic memoir detailing a first pregnancy, birth and early postpartum period. The poet is both traumatized and transformed by the birth of her daughter. She is compelled by the dark places birth takes her and as she examines and revisits those places, a grotesque history of the treatment of pregnant and birthing women reveals itself.
“To give birth, to bear life—to release and capture that experience in words: this is the crystalline achievement of Q & A. Gruber’s poetry resonates in the hollows of my body, in the fear and hope that accompanies motherhood.”
—Marianne Apostolides, author of Deep Salt Water
“In Q&A Adrienne Gruber annotates the condition of the pre- and post-partum body, training her ruthless poetic eye on division: cell by cell, mother from daughter, fact from misguided historical tendency. Is this a love poem / or a poem of grief? / When we make something / we lose, she writes. Throughout these poems and their namesake childhood interrogatives, fluids course, sutures tear, ducts leak. Gruber’s ability to command the language of sublime physicality draws motherhood’s grotesque fears close, turning them over like an infant on a lap, examining perfections and dangers with intimate scrutiny.” —Elee Kraljii Gardiner, author of Trauma Head and serpentine loop
Press Coverage for Q & A:
20 works of Canadian poetry to check out in spring 2019 —CBC Books
Most Anticipated: Our 2019 Spring Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
26 Books to Celebrate for Poetry Month —49th Shelf
“Q & A traverses fraught terrain only to end up, on its final page, with a resolution that feels potent and – not unimportantly – earned. These are poems that confront their subject matter directly and with scant regard for a reader’s refined sensibilities… What [Gruber] offers us is nothing less than the stuff of life itself.” —Steven Beattie, Quill and Quire
Poetry Grrrowl: Adrienne Gruber + Q & A —All Lit Up
Adrienne Gruber on how Elizabeth Ross’s collection After Birth offers ‘everything I ever want in poetry’ —CBC Books
“The poems in Q & A exist precisely within that intimate space, intricately observed, questioned and explored; hers is an intimate and domestic territory Margaret Christakos might have pulled apart with language, but Gruber pulls apart through a different lens, articulating short narratives that focus on moments both large and small through an urgency, anxiety and the discovery that letting go is as important as holding close.” —rob mclennan’s blog
“By the time you flip the last page, I guarantee you are not going to stop thinking the endless possibilities of emotions that come along with being a mother and the before and after birth of a beautiful child.” —Hasan Namir, The Poetry Question
Adrienne Gruber is the author of two books of poetry, Buoyancy Control (BookThug) and This is the Nightmare (Thistledown Press), and five chapbooks. She won The Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron poetry contest in 2015, SubTerrain’s Lush Triumphant poetry contest in 2017 and has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, ARC’s Poem of the Year contest, Descant’s Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem contest and Matrix Magazine’s Lit POP poetry contest. In 2012, her chapbook, Mimic was awarded the bpNichol Chapbook Award. Originally from Saskatoon, Adrienne lives in Vancouver with her partner and two daughters. Q & A is her third book.
Book*hug Press wishes to acknowledge the land on which it operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.