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Adeena Karasick's third book of poems provides the reader with an experience akin to a roman candle going off in the dark night of your soul. Palimpsesting Hitler and Derrida with The Violent Femmes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, images from consumer advertising, and the cartoons of Gary Larson, Genrecide explores the intersection of multiple cultures, codes, idioms, and constructs that impact on the social construction of female identity. An extended and extensive play and pun on shifting perspectives of language, it provides radical possibilities for meaning production. Genrecide explores the relation of genre / genus / genesis /gender and carves out a s/cite for a culturally concerned Canadian feminist poetics.

"Karasick's is less a poetry of ideas than ideas of poetry - plural, cascading, exuberant in their cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory."
               —Charles Bernstein

" interlingual, intralingual, and intersemiotic translation of various discources (poetic, critical, autobiographical, feminist, and historical, with a special focus on the history of Jews and the Holocaust) and languages (English, French, German, Hebrew), including the intersemiotic transcoding between the body and writing�. In the tradition of the historical avant-garde�the writing is certainly a feast for readers who appreciate the "dance of the intellect.""
               —Canadian Book Review Annual

Selected Reviews
  • "Slick Karasick Lets Words Play" by Charlie Cho in The Vancouver Courier. Sunday, November 23, 1997.
  • "Bridging the Genre Gap" by Chris Par� in The Link, November 26, 1996.
  • "Karasick's Beautiful Linguistic Carnage" by tricia salah in Word 3, February, 1997.
  • "Adeena Karasick Gets a Kick Out of Language" by Colin Dennis in Concordia's Thursday Report. June 5, 1997.
  • CBRA, Vol 23, #3185, p.229, 1999.


Mêmewars is a book writing against itself. Imagine a language constructed of a breath scattering Adolph Hitler, Jacques Derrida and H�l�ne Cixous into the inarticulate breathlessness of the arctic page. In a world of poetic discourse increasingly fragmented by the politically and poetically correct of this minor group of post-modern sycophants vs. that minor group of hangers-on, wouldn't it be refreshing to encounter a language that can hold, however fleetingly, the image of silicone-filled breast implants within a meditation on the polar opposites suggested by just on letter of the Hebrew alphabet? Wouldn't it be great to open a book of poetry and read towards some place in the middle, and then have to turn the book around and start from the other end to figure out what you started to read, perhaps even to believe, only to end up in the same place you left off, again in the middle? And wouldn't it be great to do this in the presence of a kind of laughter that refuses to acknowledge the question of interrogation itself? If you are looking for a breath of fresh air, M�mewars delivers more than you bargained for: Adeena Karasick's second book delivers a hurricane.

"Mêmewarsis electricity in language, especially at its best where "there's a profusion of presents." This book makes eye contact with she and with me. It reminds me how being a reader can be exciting."

Selected Reviews
  • "Adeena Karasick: a cool & wacky poetry cat" by Daniel L.R. Zanth. The Toronto Star, October 15, 1994.
  • "Karasick, Adeena. M�mewars" by Eugeia Sojka. Literature and Language (3180 CBRA 210).

The Empress Has No Closure

As she moves in and around, back and forth amongst poetry, criticism, autobiography and feminist theory, Adeena Karasick writes ecstatically, seeking out synchronicity, the provisional time and space factored metaphor. Working between poetry and prose, exceeding and subverting linear structures, exploding codes and orders, inviting and permitting entry. Karasick's language exists at the borders of things where things are carried over, transferred, exchanged at the very heart of metaphor.

"Sanguine, even jubilant, Karasick layers on Freud as she erases him with Cixous, bill bissett and Derrida. Her work is a poetic of literary criticism that exceeds the inscription of its own boundaries�. The Empress Has No Closure is an impressive deconstruction of language and meaning that is already finding an enthusiastic audience among feminist (especially) academics, and will, I hope, find a(n) (un)stable place in the corpus of texts that are changing and being changed by contemporary pedagogies."
                —Canadian Literature

"Against closure, play of unfinalizability, between genres (poetry? critical commentary? autobiography? feminist theory?), Adeena Karasick's text unsettles relations in `trans`elation`. This is a writing of excess, abundance, overflow, laughter. Like Cixous' Medusa, the Empress unhinges the bar between signifier and signified, producing a slippage of signifiers, a glass slipp ing, between the body and the erasure of the body of/in language, writing, as sound seeks out sense. Usure, metaphor at a loss in the derive. Rel(a)y, relie, relic. Incremental, relational, liminal. `Semerotic`: energy of the trace. Performance at the threshold. Hymeneal, Ef fem eral, F.feminal. O pen ing�"
                —Barbara Godard

Selected Reviews
  • "The Empress Has No Closure" by Julian Spahr. The Poetry Project. New York City, Spring, 1992.
  • 'The Empress Has No Closure" by Tom Kohut. Prairie Fire, Volume 15, No.4.
  • "Creating Meaning, Finding a Voice: A Feminist Language Primer". Literary Arts, Montreal, 1994.
  • "Winnipeg-born Poet Explores Making Meaning in Different Ways" by Matt Bellan. The Jewish Post and News. Vol. 11, No.17. Wednesday, November 20, 1996.

Adeena Karasick's works copyright © to the author.

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