About this book
Carol Harvey Steski’s tenacious and unapologetic debut, rump + flank, explores the body in nature’s many incarnations: human, animal, plant, microbe, even chemical. The result is a fantastical poetic work that sheds light on what bodies—especially female ones—endure, probing the full range of experiences from pleasure and hope to deep loss and trauma.
These poems are piercingly humorous, sexy, and peppered with startling absurdities, but are grounded by an undercurrent of nostalgia (and a soupçon of feminist rage): mercury reproduces like funhouse mirrors, oysters are whole notes dropped into eternal song, cancer is a surly character taking and discarding lovers, a domestic chore turns dark as a mother channels her inner Lady Macbeth. Lush imagery melds with organic rhythms to spawn a visceral experience, a tendon-and-muscle-driven engine that readers can feel racing within their own bodies.
“Years of personal and poetic experience have been consolidated in Carol Harvey Stelski’s marvellous collection rump + flank. Agile, with a flowing immediacy to the language, these poems are richly inventive and resonant. This is a visceral, sometimes raw, book with hidden time bombs just beneath the surface. Harvey Stelski’s voice is unique and superbly confident, speaking with a fluent urgency. It’s a book I’ve been anticipating for years.”