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Subversive storyteller: Pamela Mordecai and the narrative sonnet

Anyone who’s read Pink Icing can tell you that Pamela Mordecai is a consummate storyteller. But readers of Subversive Sonnets can attest Mordecai brings the same narrative skill and flair to her poetry.

Writing in the Summer 2013 issue of Canadian Literature, poet Emily Wall raves about Subversive Sonnets:

…like all good stories, [Mordecai's poems] make us feel like part of the fabric of humanity. These poems are a brilliant blend of lyric and narrative. Most of them are narrative poems, but they also play with the sonnet form and end rhyme to excellent effect. Mordecai has built very seductive, musical stories. She translates the sonnet form into something new and it works beautifully….These poems are fierce. Unafraid. Mordecai shows us shocking images and tells us terrible stories. However, it’s the presence of the speaker that makes them so powerful. She’s not afraid to become the characters in her stories and to probe the darkest places of humanity.

Subversive Sonnets, published by TSAR in 2012, is available online from Amazon.ca and Chapters Indigo, as well as from independent bookstores and directly from the publisher.

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