Reviews for Rag Cosmology, by Erin Robinsong
“This debut explores an intimacy of ecological identities as wild, sensual and rhythmic as the cosmos.”
—Canisia Lubrin, The Globe and Mail
“This is Erin Robinsong’s first book and its scope is vast, its premise to somehow gather the cosmos into a bucket an ambitious one. We’re reminded that there’s “no eros / like earth,” and that to be human is to be sensuous. Lines pulse with succulent life, hypnotic in its eroticism, heartbreaking in its frailty.” –Anouk Henri, Arc Poetry
“It’s a late time, anyone can feel it, this grieving of what’s past saving. In these poems comes a prayer for lateness, phrases to be repeated against declining hours.” — Aaron Boothby, Debutantes
“Sex and nature cannot be compartmentalized. Life and pleasure cannot be separated. The poems in Rag Cosmology remind us that we are all part of the world’s constant intercourse.” —Domenica Martinello, Canadian Notes and Queries
“Gratifying and bold, Robinsong’s poems vibrate as the reader is implicated in the lushness of the cosmos, nature, and the self.”
—Gillian Sze, Montreal Review of Books
“Robinsong’s poetry is not here to assuage fears of environmental crisis; rather, its intent is to make one realize that one is living in the midst of one.” —Terry Abrams, Wildness
“In many ways, the structural variety throughout the book is the glue that bonds the collection together, allowing the different elements of [Robinsong’s] explorations through poetry to interact. One might even say: the performance aspect is key.” —rob mclennan’s blog
“The ecological perspectives Rag Cosmology grounds itself in offers a way to understand the personal within the context of the broader life processes we cannot but be part of. Reading it offers a way to richly imagine the natural world and better understand our place within it.” —Alan Reed, Vallum Magazine, Vallum 14:2
“In contrast to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, where nothing connects with nothing, Robinsong’s writing connects everything with everything, no matter how hallucinogenic or absurd the outcome.” —Camilla Nelson, The Goose
“A startling debut that combines an ecological interest with fragmentary, falling lines.” —Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press
“While formal experimentation is a major cog in Robinsong’s work, it is her pristine motions of thought, both outward and inward, that makes her crystalline craft tick.” —Drawn and Quarterly Blog (Summer Reads 2017: Benjamin’s Picks)
On Writing with Erin Robinsong —Open Book
Klara du Plessis in Conversation with Erin Robinsong —Carte Blanche
Down to the Future —Kadenze
Jurors’ Comments (A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry)
This exuberant and extraordinary debut, in all its nervy, nimble, startled seeing, becomes the “very large intimacy” it praises.
Rooted in the fecund scent of nature, of mulch and loam and decay, as well as growth and light and life, Rag Cosmology is as politically aware as it is lyrically aware. So varied in form and content that it seems as though it might fly apart at any moment, either exploding from the pressure driving it within or imploding from under the gravity that holds it all together.
It is always refreshing to read a poet in love with words, but thrilling to read one that trusts the flexing, fertile spaces between.