TOXICON AND ARACHNE by Joyelle McSweeney
152 x 229mm, 148 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, 2020
This virtuosic poetry collection asks: how does the body gestate grief? How does toxicity birth catastrophe?
In Toxicon & Arachne, McSweeney allows the lyric to course through her like a toxin, producing a quiver of lyrics like poisoned arrows. Toxicon was written in anticipation of the birth of McSweeney’s daughter, Arachne. But when Arachne was born sick, lived briefly, and then died, McSweeney unexpectedly endured a second inundation of lyricism, which would become the poems in Arachne, this time spun with grief. Toxicon & Arachne is the culmination of eight years of engagement with lyric under a regime of global and personal catastrophes.