Dumpster fires outside discount stores and rotting whale carcasses; optical illusions and memento mori—all “coming to you direct, / by way of this Rube Goldberg machine.” Failure to Thrive zigzags through excess, taking in the big picture through the lens of a pinhole camera. These poems ask us to lean into our senses, to “spend time loitering, slipping coins into attention’s slots, / anticipating the next big pay-off.”
Hip and cerebral, this witty collection is as quick to make fun of itself as it is to turn its humour outward, where false historians have free rein, answers come in the form of questions, and the apocalypse seems like a good time to knit a sweater. Suzannah Showler’s debut shows us how a failing world can be the site of aesthetic renewal rather than decline.
Suzannah Showler holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her writing has appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt, and The Puritan.
Published: April 2014
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
"Cerebral but musical, the thinking lateral but still propulsive, Showler’s debut finds her skepticism field tested without turning into cynicism" — National Post
"Failure to Thrive is very much a product of its time: the poems are filled with references to chain letters, Craigslist ads, Jeopardy questions, the Google Street View Car, Scratch and Sniff stickers, Magic Eye, Etch A Sketches, and other pop culture ephemera. For those of us who grew up in the nineties, this mélange will strike a particular chord." — GUTS Magazine
"Tight, poignant and accessible." — Maisonneuve
"Susannah Showler’s Failure to Thrive is a flippant rejoinder to the myriad pressures on quote-unquote millennials — Showler’s brainy debut calls out the precariousness of this time above others." — National Post