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72 pages
Published:   September 15, 2015
Poetry  /  Queer Lit  /  icehouse poetry
Paperback:   9780864928733    $19.95

Shortlisted, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Part roving eye, part devotion, you wander hotel corridors, entering rooms not quite yours, trying on clothes, blankets, skins. Arguing with the body's limits and its trickery, you are always in disguise. Sometimes you're Leda; sometimes the swan. The rooms are haunted with gendered injuries of the past... but messengers arrive to guide you.

In this stunning debut collection by Ali Blythe, every poem is unerringly built with hatches and escapes. Every line shimmers with life and shivers with fleeting materials. Someone or something is always leaving. The early poems, almost claustrophobic in their double vision, gradually give way to poems of aching beauty, erotically charged by the myth of completeness. Ultimately, whether you emerge or disappear, you are transformed.
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Ali Blythe is the author of two critically acclaimed poetry collections exploring trans-poetics. About Blythe, Stewart Cole writes, “It’s exciting to see a writer so conscious of building a body of work within and across collections, pursuing not just a set of ideas and concerns but an artistic vision.”

Blythe has held roles as a guest editor of special editions of literary magazines including for The League of Canadian Poets, Arc Magazine, and Malahat Review, and as editor-in-chief for the Claremont Review, an international literary magazine for youth. His poems and essays have been published in national and international literary journals and anthologies, including The Broadview Introduction to Literature, Best Canadian Essays, and Best Canadian Poetry.


Shortlisted: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize


"Blythe"s stark, deft poems build a spectacular debut." — Winnipeg Free Press

“Ali Blythe’s Two­ism will lull and sur­prise with musi­cal­ity and insight, and is a delight to read that will fill those seem­ingly empty moments after read­ing with echo­ing thoughts of what was, what is and what might have been.” — Arc Poetry Magazine

"Ali Blythe has created Twoism out of muscle and mirrors, shadow and light, throwing words as though they are knives in a circus act; risky, but with steady aim, each word lands sharp and close to the skin. Blythe drops us into new sites at midnight, into new paradigms, into spare, perfect poems of love and plain want, of watching skies and old clocks, unbalancing the reader while righting the meaning of two." — Arleen Paré

"Right from the first poem, Blythe pulls you down the rabbit hole of desire. Exquisitely crafted, hauntingly wry, Twoism is a heart-wrenching koan. It's a find!" — Betsy Warland

"Sometimes there is no better way to say you are sad than to say you are sad. The emotional weather in Ali Blythe's Twoism is unmistakably contemporary — the medicated ache, the raining cheer, the cool humour where once there was hope. Yet Blythe is as disarming as dangerous. A poet who makes us feel as if we have known them a long time, as if we have been waiting to hear from them, waiting for this book, while telling us the things we have suspected and feared about our condition. In every poem, there is the chance you will be caught unprepared." — Ian Williams

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