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Monday, 17 July 2017

This shelf belongs to...Jessica Bebenek!

Each month, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly invites a local author or artist to curate a shelf in the store. Starting mid-July and continuing through August, we bring you recommendations from Jessica Bebenek!


Jessica Bebenek is a poet, essayist, and trans-disciplinary artist who divides her time between Montreal & Toronto. You can find her recent writing in PRISM, CV2, Vallum, and 30 Under 30: An Anthology of Canadian Millennial Poets, among other places. In her most recent poetry chapbook, Fourth Walk (Desert Pets Press, June ’17), she explores grief, mourning, and whatever we’re left with when things end. You can read more about Jessica on her blog and follow her on twitter and instagram at @notyrmuse.

All of Jessica’s picks will be 15% off for the month of August. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find on her shelf:


Tell everybody I say hi - Tess Liem
Slow, tender, purposeful, and deeply felt. In this new collection of poetry, Liem writes with the intimacy of bare belly to cool hardwood. For me, “it is enough on a regular basis.”

New Construction - Two More Stories
, Sam Alden
These two brilliant long comics, the story of a collective house caring for their severely mentally ill roommate, and of traumatized siblings reconnecting, are both creepy as hell. The dialogue is pitch-perfect and Alden alternates scenes with the grace of a master filmmaker.

Garments Against Women - Anne Boyer
This book has been so essential in my thinking around women’s crafts, capitalism, how our culture values certain labours and people, and what poetry can accomplish. Alternating between the mundanity of poverty and a cyclical intellectualism, Boyer has created a powerful, uncondescending axis of poetry, theory, and life.



This Accident of Being Lost - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
In this brilliant trans-genre collection, Betasamosake Simpson speaks directly, painfully honestly from the mundane struggles of Indigenous resistance against colonialism. Through her songs and stories, she muddles humour, anger, joy, frustration—her complicated existence, the molten centre of this book.

Pond - Claire-Louise Bennett
Easily my favourite book of 2016, Pond is a collection of short fiction with an entrancing, devastatingly wry narrator. From her sequestered life in a cottage in northern UK, Bennett’s narrator muses on beauty, sexuality, intellectualism, and our romanticization of nature with deft wit.



Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero - Michael DeForge
In this new collection from my favourite comic artist, DeForge builds a fantastical mirror of Ontario parkland inhabited by cross-dressing moose and blackmailing mosquitoes. With trademark eeriness, DeForge asks us to question what kind of ‘heroes’ humans can be while we impose ourselves on ‘nature’.

Portrait of the Alcoholic - Kaveh Akbar
An absolutely gorgeous collection of poems. Akbar writes about alcoholism as a lover he slowly, painfully leaves, meditating all the while on love, family, and God.

what purpose did I serve in your life - Marie Calloway
In turns shocking and profound, this work of auto-fiction exploring female subjectivity, sexuality, and online/irl human connection has become an instant cult classic. If you are a human who interacts with women, you should read it.

Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals - Patricia Lockwood
Lockwood writes sensational, absurd, beautiful, stupid poems. She brings Nature to life, gets it drunk at a basement wedding, makes it fuck everything, and then leaves it out to dry.

1996 - Sara Peters
A shockingly underrated collection by one of the most talented poets writing today. Peters writes about childhood and desire with delicious menace. I come back to this book when I want to remember how to write.

I Await the Devil’s Coming - Mary MacLane
Published to great acclaim in 1902 when MacLane was just 19, this sorrowful and ecstatic memoir has been all but forgotten since her death. Alternately viewed as a virtuoso philosopher and condemned as a lunatic in her own time, MacLane’s work undoubtedly heralded the rise of unapologetic women and queers in confessional writing.

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