New Recruits Episode 20: Caitlin Reads Lisa Robertson

Welcome to Episode 20 of New Recruits! If you’re new here, check out the description in Episode 1 for more information about how this works.

I have no idea why it took me so long to come across Lisa Robertson’s work. So far I only have her newest collection, 3 Summers, but I’m looking forward to tracking down all the rest of them. There are lots of great reviews of this book that have popped up on my Twitter feed recently, including one that I think is particularly interesting by Klara du Plessis in The Rusty Toque.

Caitlin and I are somewhat new friends and we have never met in person. I know more about her than she knows about me because of some internet espionage that is too difficult to explain. This is probably just as shifty as it sounds. What I have learned from years of lurking (see, shifty) is that Caitlin embodies the simultaneous fortitude and fragility of Robertson’s poetry. She is also infectiously kind and maybe the only person to ever make me seriously consider the validity of astrology.

I gave Caitlin the first bit of the section titled “The Middle” in 3 Summers. If you have a body, this is probably a poem you’re going to want to read.



What was your first impression of the poem?

Reflective, atmospheric, an inversion.

Which line of the poem do you like best?

“roseate genitalia et cetera transcendent”


How the words mingle together, what they conjure in your mind.

What does this poem make you think of?

Explorations and the shaping of the self, how woman is shaped. A transformation.

Do you have any questions for the poet?

What inspired or caused you to write these words?


Caitlin is a mid-20’s woman interested in many aspects of life.

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