Rarely does a writer surprise and delight her reader with such beauty, subtlety and subversive vulnerability. Status Update, Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang’s second book of poetry, is a collection of epigraph poems, each one composed in response to an entry pulled from a real status update posted on Facebook. Tsiang plays with a wide variety of subjects, from the deeply personal, to the banal, to the puzzling, to the philosophical. Her reverence for language, her playfulness and understanding, often mischievous, weave poems of rich diversity, irony and curiosity.
Status Update is a collision between one of today’s most popular social networking websites and the seemingly rigid conventions of poetry. Through this juxtaposition, Tsiang explores the intimate, perverse, and endlessly compelling world of text that is sent out daily to strangers and friends alike.
“As Tsiang’s poems depart from life to virtual life to burning imagination, they become strangely illicit. You wonder abour your own conduct. Should you be reading / so closely / the lives of others?”
“I read Tsiang’s work and was taken immediately by how well she navigates our time. She injects poetry into our online community, which is becoming like a park in the city where we as poets meet to exchange and share our news. And she does it with the spirit I’ve come to expect from her: wild, funny, proper. Tsiang adds some much-needed verve and sass to Canadian poetry.”