Brat by Sophie Crocker

I was drawn to this collection entirely because of its fabulous title: Brat. Such a glorious word – one often used in anger, but reclaimed here, using it to toss back at all those who would lob it. I have a friend who lovingly calls me “brat,” in the same spirit as Crocker uses for this collection: a bold, brave way to describe the acts of reclaiming space for yourself.

“Crocker’s poems in this collection are playful and brash, as well as sensitive and yearning.”

Crocker’s poems in this collection are playful and brash, as well as sensitive and yearning. Brat is unapologetic, the kind of poetry collection that deals with the fantastical: strange woodland creatures, lost spirits, lustful figures, and the joy of not knowing exactly who you are, but loving yourself anyway.

Crocker’s poems are subversive in our world, which still doesn’t want you to accept yourself, even if there are parts you don’t like. Brat is experimental, as well, playing with form and layout. Of especial note is “States of Matter,” dealing with gender, is written in a three part Venn diagram, with the overlapping pieces containing fragments central to the poem. You can start at any piece, changing the way and order the parts are read in, giving yourself a new experience every time. The joy in this kind of poem is unparalleled, allowing for even more interpretations of the text, depending on your needs.

This is a collection for those who have been made to feel small and uncertain. Brat is a bold call to embrace that place and take ownership, to celebrate uncertainty and the insecurities you have, and the joy of doing things because you want to, feeding your desire instead of hiding from it because of the way you will be judged. A brilliant and vivid collection of poems.

Sophie Crocker (they/she) is a queer writer, performer and editor based on unceded Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ land and raised on the traditional territories of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk Peoples. They hold a BFA in creative writing from the University of Victoria. Their poetry and fiction have been published internationally.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Gordon Hill Press (Sept. 1 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 76 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1774220644
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1774220641

 -- Website

Alison Manley has ricocheted between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for most of her life. Now in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she is the Cataloguing and Metadata Librarian at Saint Mary's University. Her past life includes a long stint as a hospital librarian on the banks of the mighty Miramichi River. She has an honours BA in political science and English from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University. While she's adamant that her love of reading has nothing to do with her work, her ability to consume large amounts of information very quickly sure is helpful. She is often identified by her very red lipstick, and lives with her partner Brett and cat, Toasted Marshmallow.