outskirts by Sue Goyette
Reviewed by Shannon Webb-Campbell (The Coast, September 1, 2011)
Whether she’s exploring the coastal shorelines, sleeplessness or the harbours of humanity, Goyette is a deep sea diver of a poet. She doesn’t swim near the surface, her underbelly touches the ocean floor. outskirts is a collection exploring people, place and poetics. Goyette dives deep into what it means to be human from various vantage points—mother, writer, Canadian, Haligonian. Goyette is a master of metaphor. She isn’t afraid to grab the seaweed, feel its slime. (She may even gnaw off a bite.) It doesn’t matter how dark or gritty the subject is, Goyette makes oxygen out of poetry. These are poems of observation and experience. From “Heavy Metal Night at Gus’ Pub,” to “The Fear of Being Forgotten,” Goyette writes for the outsider—those of us on the outskirts of experience—from the depths of her inward sense. Laura Dawe’s cover painting handsomely embodies this visually.