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Stray
Stray

Stray

Allison LaSorda's Stray shows the formation of a considerable poetic talent. These poems are sun-bleached, at once gritty, raw, and playful. LaSorda can conjure childhood memories of beaches and ice cream, ponder the elemental force of the ocean, and plumb the depth of loss in a coal mine disaster. Bringing to mind the poetry of Robert Hass and Louise Glück, LaSorda presents the messiness of daily life with emotional honesty and humour.

Stray examines intimacy, memory, and decay, often betraying existential bewilderment. Deft word play and musical sense underscore the absurdity these poems explore, while surprising rhymes and unexpected images resound in deeply personal narratives. In this dazzling debut, LaSorda both disarms her readers and breathes fresh life into Canadian poetry.


Allison LaSorda grew up in Campbellville, Ontario, and, after some years in the Maritimes, now lives in Toronto. A recipient of scholarships from the Banff Centre Writing Studio and the Vermont Studio Center, she holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her work has appeared in PANK Magazine , PRISM international, Brick, Riddle Fence, the Malahat Review, the Fiddlehead, and others.

"Keats spoke of a heightened aesthetic state which, as I understand it, sees apparently contradictory hopes and fears as inseparable. Allison LaSorda’s shining debut never strays far from that vital, difficult, human work. There’s tough talk here, but also compassion, clarity, love, and humour. Listen and learn." — Kevin Connolly

"‘There may not be enough light for all of us,’ warns Allison LaSorda in this moody, shadowy collection, but what light she finds — in language and landscape — she holds warily aloft for all to see. In poems that reflect upon layers of memories among people and places, LaSorda often conveys a sense of weariness or resignation, but the liveliness of her thinking casts just enough light to make the shadows dance. Her readers will be moved — and enchanted." — Heather Christle

64 pages
Pub date: April 4, 2017