Nominated for the Raymond Souster Award
Pluck takes on issues of sexuality, female vulnerability and parenthood with delicacy and intent. Rosnau’s poems give way to feelings of both solid surety and waning doubts.
From the harsh realities of sexual assault to the routine heaviness of child-rearing, Pluck’s sharp portrayals evoke how “beyond the slick viscera, the sharp cries, the women brimming/ around the bed, is the memory of weight,” or how a narrator “tasted the wreck of [her]self in a thick drink.”
The complex emotions of strength, happiness, doubt and loss of self are all experienced through the lens of parenthood, with an underlying, constant reminder that “other people do this better, I’m sure.”
Pluck addresses struggles of the creative process and of finding meaning in a life dominated by domesticity: “I love a canned peach but, good Lord, if anyone mentions / mine when I am dead, my time was not well-spent.”
Reviews + Praise
Her poems are heartbreaking and dark, subtle and complex, but never overwritten or patronizing. Her sensibility deepens and holds fast. She is a poet to treasure and reread. – Prairie Fire
This is a fully developed canvas where every nuance is essential, every detail revelatory…Where does this uncanny ability come from, why does Rosnau get a sense the rest of us seemingly are deprived of. How does she render the clear moment of understanding and comprehension simultaneously with the slack-jawed seconds of awe?
Pluck simply glows. From one smart poem to the next, Laisha Rosnau carves through your imagination like she were a hot knife, you were butter. – Michael Dennis
Rosnau wrestles with her abject horror of the traditional feminine and domestic in the pages of Pluck. Her language is direct and straightforward, forcefully specific, as she squeezes, muscles, and manipulates the various and ever-changing constellation of gendered expectations she encounters.
Pluck is not a rejection of the feminine, however: Rosnau has a complex, sometimes embattled relationship with sex and gender, but she also fiercely defends and deeply explores it…The female experiences she writes about are visceral and complicated, sublime, or disgusting…in these poems, Rosnau nevertheless sees no simple binary, either conceptually or narratively, only messy plurality. – Quill & Quire
Pluck is gritty, about nature and domesticity, about the spaces where they overlap, sometimes comfortably, and sometimes otherwise. It’s about the spaces where our selves overlap too, the people we are and who we used to be, and who we hopes to be, and what we might become.
Pluck is a curious, surprising and absorbing collection, rife with familiar points and then shifts to keep one from getting too comfortable within. It’s a book that interrogates language just as it asks questions of the world, nudges into dark and dusty corners, and illuminates the complicated many-sideness of love and life. – Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This
A humane mind meeting what life places in her way and elucidating it precisely for the reader…Pluck is magic well observed, well put into words, for the lives we lead. – League of Canadian Poets, Raymond Souster Award Jury