POETRY:  Accidents  Faceless    Mating in Captivity


In elegant language which peels back masks to discover a self ‘folded inside these pages,’ Genni Gunn’s Accidents exposes links hidden in childhood and in the body to the essence of family, time, and place. It’s the knowing, Gunn says, that ‘joins us to the ghost limbs of our past’ . Gunn’s poetry illuminates found objects, their connections coalescing into an autobiography of perception itself.”

     — Marilyn Bowering, author of What is Long Past occurs in Full Light

“…[Genni Gunn’s] poems traverse the globe and take readers along for a ride through a world where familial ghosts reside. The memories those spirits bring, often unsettling, ring true as bright shards of glass in sunlight. These poems sometimes inhabit wild places where “…buildings [are] slowly stifled by tentacles of vines” yet may still head uptown to the mostly sedate streets of the poshly manicured Shaughnessy district. Although life in these pages is an ongoing theatre, frequently “…a theatre / of regrets,” the dramas that play out also offer hope through these days of fear and isolation.”  

    — Heidi Greco, author of Glorious Birds                    



"As a central metaphor, “faces” are an interesting one to explore, ripe with echoes of surface and depth, geography and biology, semantics and connotations. Faceless explores these themes with vigor and scope, collecting almost every poetic angle on the subject of the face into a group of image driven, largely narrative pieces. . . This is a book about conjoining memories to landscapes, spaces to letters, fusing poetic techniques to linear and lyric storytelling."- The Dansforth Review, November 2007

“The lines of Genni Gunn's Faceless move with a nervy, angular rhythm; the book's title functions as a literal description of a French woman horribly mauled by her own dog (the subject of one sequence of poems) and as a metaphor for the contemporary experience of mass-produced urban anonymity. Gunn's lines eschew any 'conventional' sort of phonic beauty, and such a soundscape is in keeping not only with the world these poems explore but with their tough-minded and often ironic stance toward that world. . .”

- University of Toronto Quarterly 2009

"In the poems in Faceless, Genni Gunn explores the many masks worn and peeled away in attempts at formulating identity, influencing opinion and finding a place in vast, nullifying or unforgiving landscapes. Sometimes it is nature masking itself as benign, when in reality it has the "furious will" of a wrecking ball, smashing things in its path on the predictably unpredictable cycle of birth, growth and death… When a vital part of physical identity is taken away—as in the title poem where a French woman's face has been ripped off by her own dog, or in "Hands" where two Mexican women each lose a hand in successive industrial accidents—there is only emptiness left behind, and an even greater yearning for acceptance by the world." —Event, Winter 2008


Interview: Genni Gunn talks of Opera and Poetry on NOT YOUR MOTHER’S POETRY 

by Blaine Greenwood

Mating in Captivity


"Genni Gunn's Mating in Captivity is a long self-documentary poetic cycle comprised largely of prose poems, with occasional poems in verse. Realism and surrealism alternate as the speaker confesses to the distances she has created between herself and others, and between her conscious life and her inner self..."

 - Canadian Literature, Spring 1996

"’Variations of Silence’ works especially well, with its combination of sharp images, sensual detail and emotion . . . Unified metaphor transforms this dense work into something resonant..."

-UBC Chronicle, Spring 1994

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