FINALIST, DOROTHY LIVESAY POETRY PRIZE (BC BOOK PRIZES)
Wood is a pop-culture meditation on parenthood and all its complexities and complications. In her third collection, Harper deftly inhabits the lives of sons and daughters, fathers and mothers — the real, the mythical, the dreamed-up, and the surrogate. Pinocchio tries to make his father proud in a tempting world of sex and vice. A young caregiver to a special needs child ponders her romantic future alongside the true meaning of Crimson & Clover. Bess Houdini, married to the world’s greatest magician, conjures the children she’ll never have. Mad Men’s Sally Draper, daughter of a philandering genius, grows up desperately trying to both defy her father and become him.
The poems in Wood are playful, surprising, tender, and brave…and universal in their emotional resonance.
“Wood is also an exploration of parenthood, one of the most fraught and complicated relationships of all. The most heartrending section, ‘The Box,’ is told in the voice of Wilhemina Beatrice Rahner, Harry Houdini’s wife, who attempts to conjure non-existent children through dreams and longing. While her partner may be capable of great illusions, she fumes that the well of magic is incapable of giving her a child outside of her imagination.”
— Quill and Quire