We Are All Just Animals & Plants
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A fruit is just an explosion of a flower, frozen in time
Predator and prey, host and parasite; symbiosis, evolution, competition. Nature is a complex web of relationships and dualities. In his debut poetry collection, We Are All Just Animals & Plants, Alex Manley maps the “red in tooth and claw” of the natural world onto contemporary relationships, exposing the brutality of longing and the highs and lows of love in the digital age.
Alex Manley is a 33-year-old non-binary person (they/them pronouns) who has lived in Montreal/Tiohtià:ke their whole life. Their debut poetry collection, We Are All Just Animals & Plants, was published by Metatron Press in 2016; a second book, Made-Up: A True Story of Beauty Culture Under Late Capitalism, an English-language translation of Daphné B.’s Maquillée (Marchand de feuilles, 2020), was published by Coach House Books in 2021. Their essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Walrus, Hazlitt, Maisonneuve magazine, Carte Blanche, the Literary Review of Canada, Grain, Vallum, The Puritan, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day feature, among others. They are currently working on a non-fiction book about masculinity, slated to be published in early 2023 by ECW Press.
Cover art | Charlotte Picotte
ISBN | 978-1-988355-01-6
“These poems make me feel safe.”
– Sarah Jean Alexander, author of Wildlives
“This is a book about bodies and the ways they come together. Manley has built a taxonomy of a world that’s unlike any you’ll find in a biology textbook, but somehow exactly like the one you know.”
– Emma Healey, author of Begin With The End In Mind
“These poems are tense, quick, agile leaps between desire and despair. They remind us that what we want is fleeting and that to want means being willing to be marked by love.”
– Emily Kendal Frey, author of Sorrow Arrow
Open Book | "[Manley] has an abiding love of language, of puns, of small moments that encapsulate some greater truth about the world. You can see his in his poetry, where his lines turn on a dime from serious emotional engagement to flourishes of technicolour wordplay and back again."
Vallum | "The collection leaves the reader with a pervasive sense of calm, a dismantling of the metamorphic jungle of dating, and a clearing, a blank page, for Manley’s next book to germinate."
rob mcclennan | 12 or 20 Questions with Alex Manley
Debutantes | “(T)hese poems call attention to the thin membrane of perception between world and self, the itch of awareness that contorts itself into style.”
Inside the Frozen Mammoth [Podcast]
The Cascade | “Alex Manley has a knack for describing weird little details of this era in a way that makes you feel smarter for having thought something similar.”
The Town Crier | An Interview with Alex Manley
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