Spring 2022 Poetry Preview: Plenitude by Daniel Sarah Karasik | Book*hug Press

Spring 2022 Poetry Preview: Plenitude by Daniel Sarah Karasik

Today, we are featuring Daniel Sarah Karasik’s bold, witty, and desire-filled, sophomore poetry collection Plenitude by as part of our Spring 2022 Preview Series.

Shaped by Karasik’s experience of grassroots social and political advocacy, the poems in Plenitude 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.

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,” writes Bahar Orang, author of Where Things Touch, “I want to be in that possible place that Karasik so generously conjures in these poems.”

We’re delighted to share an introductory video and reading from Daniel Sarah Karasik. Enjoy!

In addition, we’ve selected an excerpt from the book, which you can read and enjoy below. Plenitude will be released on April 7, 2022, and is available now for pre-order now from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore.

a simile is more honest than a metaphor
thank you no questions at this time

I have an (actually) autistic relationship to metaphor, which is to say
I have trouble with the slippages involved in claiming two things
are the same when clearly they’re not, and you might ask
(I wouldn’t, but you might) what kind of poetry can do
without metaphor, can resist saying a rent strike is a rising tide
or a riot is a harvest moon, is this not an impoverishment etc.,
is this not a falling away from the heights to which language
aspires? maybe, but my brain never tires of going like:
suffering isn’t bravery those are different things let someone say it.
to absorb an injustice when you have no choice isn’t courage
don’t let them say that. a habit isn’t a need unless
it is. a friend isn’t a comrade unless they are.
a comrade isn’t salvation, but enough of us
struggling together may be. this scream
is a song. no it isn’t. it is.

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.

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