A review of Francine Cunningham’s on/me

March 4, 2021 § Leave a comment


Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 6.00.15 PMMy review of Francine Cunningham’s on/me (Caitlin Press, 2020) is out now at Prism Online: “There is something charming and frank about this accessible approach, a little reminiscent of Sei Shonagon’s Notes from the Pillow, an eclectic collection of lists and anecdotes like a fragmented diary. And on/me does read very much like a young writer’s diary, preoccupied, as many first poetry collections are, with an exploration of identity (“Cree,” “Metis,” “white passing,” “PTSD,” “bipolar ii disorder”) entwined with memories of childhood and family anecdote. As you come to read through the collection, the title does indeed come into focus, the book a first edition of a manual or guidebook to Francine Cunningham. … a substantial number of poems, both light and heavy, show Cunningham at her best work, writing towards an understanding of who she is, within a complex history of mental illness, rape and PTSD, and the legacy of colonialism….”

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