Joan Crate’s much-anticipated third book of poetry is equal parts revision and reverie, offering a mid-life view of childhood influences and expectations that is stirring, startling, and wise. Deliciously invoking the iconic figure of Snow White, subUrban Legends considers what lies beyond youth and the trite promise of “happily ever after,” transporting readers to a land of complexity and nuance from which few cultural officiados report.
“Joan Crate is the poet of our suburban dreams and our suburban nightmares. She turns daily experience into the stuff of shocking fairy tales and renewed legends. Line by eloquent line, her poems give voice to our stifling silences.” — Robert Kroetsch
“With easy wit and bitten lower lip, Joan Crate wakens us with empowering stories from her childhood, influenced by Métis wisdom and charms. subUrban Legends balances delinquent toughness with tough love, and doomed fantasies with the quiet determination “to create something—anything—from scraps.” But more than that, her down-home fix on these once-upon-a-characters draws us towards a sense of renewal called forth by an older collective—the incantatory voice of story itself. With each successive poem, she allows us sensuous and wise passage to and from both worlds.” — Weyman Chan