Failure to Thrive

Suzannah Showler. ECW Press (Legato Publishers Group, U.S. dist; Jaguar Book Group, Canadian dist.), $18.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-77041-202-6
"Please write to me of your success," Showler urges her readers in the poem "A Short and Useful Guide to Living in the World." It's an honest request—success, or the lack thereof, is one of the central fixations of the poems in this collection, which unremittingly pursue "the next big pay-off." In this sense, Showler's verse mirrors the disaffection of her generation. Consider "Sucks to Be You and Other True Taunts," in which the speaker broadcasts her frustrations in a series of insults that range from churlish ("I know you are, but what am I?") to clever ("Regret has a nasty habit of going/ straight to the face.") The poems are distinguished by their cultural awareness, and Showler exploits sources such as television in her poem "Jeopardy," job postings in "Position: Monster" and search engines in "Confessions from the Driver of the Google Street View Car" without losing sight of the human ethos that defines modern living. It's a promising debut that ends on a hopeful note when she writes: "You're/ important. Please stay. Someone will be with you." (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-77090-531-3
Paperback - 34 pages - 978-1-4596-9321-0
Ebook - 69 pages - 978-1-77090-530-6
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