Carol Harvey Steski’s tenacious and unapologetic debut, rump + flank, explores the body in nature’s many incarnations: human, animal, plant, microbe, even chemical. The result is a fantastical poetic work that sheds light on what bodies—especially female ones—endure, probing the full range of experiences from pleasure and hope to deep loss and trauma.
These poems are piercingly humorous, sexy, and peppered with startling absurdities, but are grounded by an undercurrent of nostalgia (and a soupçon of feminist rage): mercury reproduces like funhouse mirrors, oysters are whole notes dropped into eternal song, cancer is a surly character taking and discarding lovers, a domestic chore turns dark as a mother channels her inner Lady Macbeth. Lush imagery melds with organic rhythms to spawn a visceral experience, a tendon-and-muscle-driven engine that readers can feel racing within their own bodies.
Carol Harvey Steski grew up under the wide Winnipeg sky. Her poems have been published in the poetry anthology Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, and literary magazines including Room, Prairie Fire, FreeFall, untethered, Contemporary Verse 2, and CAROUSEL. Her work was featured in Winnipeg Transit’s “Poetry in Motion” program and tootled around town on buses. Twice she was a finalist in FreeFall’s annual poetry contest. As a young-adult survivor of melanoma she has been a guest on CBC Radio-Manitoba speaking about the therapeutic benefits of writing through disease. She lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter, working in corporate communications. rump + flank is her debut poetry collection. Visit her website: carolharveysteski.com. Connect with her on Twitter: @charveysteski and Instagram: @carolharveysteski.