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Two new poetry collections!

Two new poetry collections!

By Coach House Date: May 21, 2024

Happy pub day to I Will Get Up Off Of by Simina Banu and Good Want by Domenica Martinello!


I Will Get Up Off Of by Simina Banu

Overthinking simple actions leads to overwhelming poems about what one can lean on if promised help doesn’t help.

I Will Get Up Off Of is a book about trying to leave a chair. How does anyone ever leave a chair? There are so many muscles involved – so many tarot cards, coats, meds, McNuggets, and memes. In this book, poems are attempts and failures at movement as the speaker navigates her anxiety and depression in whatever way she can, looking for hope from social workers on Zoom, wellness influencers, and psychics alike. Eventually, the poems explode in frustration, splintering into various art forms as attempts at expression become more and more desperate. What is there to lean on when avenues promising help don’t help? Bell may want to #talk but does it want to listen? I Will Get Up Off Of explores the role art plays in survival and the hope that underlies every creative impulse.

"The voice of these poems moves like a magical fish trapped in a small square bowl, dazzlingly alive inside an almost annihilating constriction. These poems play a serious game in a tight space, caught in the looping limbo between intention — “I will…”, “I will…”, “I will…”— and action. Simina Banu’s skill and humour animate every line and gesture within this inventive drama that begins “(I will get up off of) this monobloc but I’ve been sentenced….” Sentenced to form and to language, Banu gives us a mind thinking its way toward freedom." – Damian Rogers, author of Dear Leader

"I Will Get Up Off Of is an immersive poetic exploration like no other; this book folds into itself like a nesting doll of metaphor, commentary and overall beef with late-stage capitalism. The ways in which Banu tackles the subject of depression made me feel seen and want to scream, and the tumbling prose-like structure amplifies this and other symptoms of capitalist society with eerie veracity. Every ‘poem’ in I Will Get Up Off Of launches from the starting point of the title, interspersed with interactive moments like QR codes, wikipedia scavenger hunts, and instagram feeds. I have never quite inhaled a poetry collection as fast as I did this one." – Wroxanna Work, Literati Bookstore

Q&A with Simina Banu

Q: Where did the title come from?

A: The title went through many iterations! It was originally going to be IWGUOOTM, an acronym of “I will get up off of this monobloc”—the recurring starting line of each poem—but my brilliant editor, Susan
Holbrook, had the thought to leave the title unfinished, with each poem acting to conclude the title. I love the effect this has, as it forces the reader to circle back to the beginning of the book with each poem, mirroring the frustration contained within the poems.

Q: How is writing your second collection different from your first?

A: It took much longer to settle on a structure for this collection. POP happened pretty organically; I already had a lot of poems written, and when it occurred to me that “pop” could be a central image to connect them, it all fell into place. With this second collection, I’d had the central conflict in mind for years (i.e., trying to escape a chair), but it took months of bad poems before I found the shape that the book wanted to exist in.

Q: Can you share a favourite line from your book and talk about why you like it?

A: “It goes like this: the pipes will gargle, because they are tortured, and the spout will exorcise nuggets, one by one, and they will flop into the sink: bone-like, ball-like, boot-like, bell-like.” I like this because it is the closest I’ve gotten to horror movie territory in a poem. There is something so deeply unsettling about a McNugget, the thought of being thirsty and ending up with a glass of chicken. I’m glad I could incorporate their horror in this collection.


Good Want by Domenica Martinello

What if poetry and prayer are the same: intimate and inconclusive, hopeful and useless, a private communion that hooks you to the thrashing, imperfect world?

Good Want entertains the notion that perhaps virtue is a myth that’s outgrown its uses. 

Exploring the value and shame ascribed to our desires both silly and serious – artistic, superficial, spiritual, relational – these poems grapple with deeply rooted questions: How can there be a relationship between goodness and godliness, if god is a character with shifting allegiances and priorities? Is clarity worth the pain of redefining your experience of the world? Is privacy the same as secrecy the same as deceit? Each caveat becomes a prayer, ritual, invocation, dream, or confession, requiring a blind faith that feels increasingly more impossible to sustain. 

Good Want looks inward, at once both sincere and tongue-in-cheek, to confront the hum of class and intergenerational trauma. Playing with and deconstructing received notions of ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ and ‘god,’ these poems open up a series of further possibilities: empathy for difficult people, acceptance of our difficult selves, and joy in every difficult thing.

"These are lush, provocative poems that luxuriate in unexpected detail while examining how economic precarity shapes both shame and desire. Firmly rooted in the working class, Martinello explores the hunger we inherit from our ancestors, what it means to indulge from a position of bottomless want, and to 'Waste not your wanting.' With impressive range, a sense of humor, and entrancing musicality, Good Want is a celebration of the gluttony of girlhood, the paradoxes of faith, and everyday pleasures of a “small, specific life.”
– Cassidy McFadzean, author of Crying Dress

"Good Want is a baroque painting of Dutch aristocracy, but all the subjects’ garments are secretly from Walmart. I mean this in the best way. Each poem cracks me open and out shines a never-before-seen shade of light." – Shy Watson, author of Cheap Yellow

"Sometimes the confessor reckons with the confessional. In Good Want, it's a wracking and lucky sometimes, full of piss and vinegar, and one that finds Domenica Martinello performing the wonderment, the depth and push and pull, between what there is to reveal and what each revelation ruptures or binds. Happily, sadly, the poet scours a life lived and unearths inheritances, burdens, and selves destined for and not for the telling. And tells them brilliantly as she pleases."  – D.M. Bradford, author of Bottom Rail on Top

Q&A with Domenica Martinello

Q: Where did the title come from?
A: I wrote the first poems in the book in the summer of 2018 when I moved back to Montreal after grad school. I did not yet have a permanent address or stable job. I was teaching English online to small children in China at 4 am, then writing a single sestet per day in a running Word doc. My "work" for the day was over by 9 am.
One morning I looked at the small white board I used to teach spelling, and noticed the words "GOOD" and "WANT" stacked on top of each other in red dry erase marker and immediately knew this would be
the title of whatever thing I wrote next or was currently writing. Similar to my first book, the title came very early in the process and I had a strong feeling.
Q: How is writing your second collection different from your first?
A: It felt more difficult. Recently, a few smart writers identified the fact that you basically have your entire life to write your first book. Aware of it or not, some morsel of it has been simmering in the crockpot of your brain for decades. I was also able to finish most of my first book in that strange but magical MFA bubble where poetry was the most important thing on everyone's mind.
Needless to say, this next book was not written during a period where I could structure my entire day around its creation, nor did I have a built-in feedback loop. This time around, I formed writing groups,
paid manuscript editors and consultants for feedback, signed up for online workshops at night after my 9-5, and basically constructed a little side world to get the book somewhere meaningful. For me, writing starts in solitude but is activated by community.
Q: Can you share a favourite line from your book and talk about why you like it?
A: Not to be dramatic but this question feels impossible! I'll say that one of the poems I'm especially fond of is the last poem in the book, "Casino World." In my mind, it's the first successful love poem I've ever written—a joyful ode to the self, to poetry, and to the beloved simultaneously. And it was hard-won. It was actually far more cynical when I first wrote it, and then over the span of years love changed me and the poem in tandem.


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Montreal Poetry Launch
Wednesday, May 29 @ 7:00 PM
Bar Le Ritz 179 Rue Jean-Talon O, Montreal, QC
Readings by Simina Banu, Domenica Martinello, T. Liem and Gwen Aube. Hosted by Tara McGowan-Ross

More info/RSVP here