At the heart of Karyotype is the Beauty of Loulan, a woman who lived four thousand years ago, her body preserved in the cool, dry sands of the Taklamakan Desert. Karyotype’s poems range from the title sequence, which explores the DNA and woven textiles of this woman and her vanished people (a karyotype is the characteristic chromosome complement of a species), to the firebombing of the National Library of Sarajevo, from an abecedarian hymn on the International Red Cross “Book of Belongings” to the experience of watching the televised invasion of Iraq in the dark of a Montreal night. The Beauty of Loulan becomes a symbol of the ephemerality of human genetic and cultural texts, and of our chances for survival.
Praise for Karyotype:
“Karyotype is for me a crucial text in the work of reimagining what it is to be human… I am grateful, as well as inspired, to find an artwork performing this essential task.” — Don McKay
Supreme Fictions and Strange Relations — Canadian Literature
Tenderly Urgent: Kim Trainor’s Karyotype — Arc Poetry Magazine