Shortlisted for the 2023 Raymond Souster Award
From the jurors: With the utmost elegance and clarity, Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang’s Grappling Hook pursues the complex web of affects that arise from the day-to-day realities of parenthood. Exploring the delicate balance between conscientiousness and overprotection, teaching and buffering, non-violence and safeguarding, the text gifts us with a poetics of caregiving, one that finds the perfect balance between irreverent joy and the ineffable tinge of melancholic worry that acts as a kind of baseline for parenting.
Read poems from the book here:
Taking its title from Tomas Tranströmer, Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang’s Grappling Hook sifts the debris of the twenty-first century for insights into identity, desire, and the everyday struggles inherent to motherhood. In doing so, she presents vivid portraits of the joys and perils of marriage, the evolving fight for social justice in a world divided by inequity, and the uncertain future that’s left for children of the digital age. Grappling Hook is an impressive display of Sarah Yi –Mei Tsiang’s considerable poetic gifts, and a love letter to those who are making meaningful change in unprecedented times.
Praise for Grappling Hook:
“Sarah Tsiang dissects our domestic intimacies with such a gorgeous blade. Funny, mature, unnerving, and tender, the poems in this book accomplish a brilliant balance between edges of love and violence.”— Sadiqa de Meijer, author of The Outer Wards
God writes in the sand: I have read Sarah Tsiang’s poetry and have seen that it is good. To have God blurb your book? What a coup! If you want to know tenderness, wisdom, pain, glee, a son, a daughter, a marriage, love — Grappling Hook is a holy place to start. — Susan Musgrave, author of Origami Dove
Sarah Tsiang can take a shard of ordinary life into her poetry lab and transform it into a vase. Book after book, she returns more insight and clarity than I expected. She knows what’s going on in our houses and in our world, and she knows what calls for tenderness and what demands ferocity. — Ian Williams, author of word problems