About this book
In Intruder, acclaimed poet Bardia Sinaee explores with vivid and precise language themes of encroachment in contemporary life.
Bemused and droll, paranoid and demagogic, Sinaee’s much-anticipated debut collection presents a world beset by precarity, illness, and human sprawl. Anxiety, hospitalization, and body paranoia recur in the poems’ imagery — Sinaee went through two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy in his mid-twenties, documented in the vertiginous multipart prose poem “Twelve Storeys” — making Intruder a book that seems especially timely, notably in the dreamlike, minimalist sequence “Half-Life,” written during the lockdown in Toronto in spring 2020.
Progressing from plain-spoken dispatches about city life to lucid nightmares of the calamities of history, the poems in Intruder ultimately grapple with, and even embrace, the daily undertaking of living through whatever the hell it is we’re living through.
About the Author
BARDIA SINAEE was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives in Toronto. He is the author of the chapbooks Blue Night Express and Salamander Festival. His poems have also appeared in magazines across Canada and in several editions of Best Canadian Poetry. In 2012 his poem “Barnacle Goose Ballad” was Reader’s Choice winner for The Walrus Poetry Prize, and in 2020 he was co-winner of the Capilano Review’s Robin Blaser Award. He holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Guelph University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Intruder is his first book.
Awards and Praise
PRAISE FOR BARDIA SINAEE AND INTRUDER
“‘Attuned to discourses regarding the spectral nature of just about everything,’ Bardia Sinaee illuminates our modern gothic in his debut collection, Intruder. Haunted by the political history of the Middle East, by the precarity of the contemporary Canadian metropole, and by the spectre of death — ‘That slow ghost / pushing a drip stand / down the corridor / That’s me’ — this existential intruder questions just about everything, including himself. ‘Maybe you ask too many questions,’ writes the poet, ‘Maybe it’s time to let the wind have your clothes.’ Wondrously, Sinaee’s lyric interrogations hold us captive even as they invite us to imagine our escape.” — Srikanth Reddy, author of Underworld Lit
“Intruder is a book that wants to ‘welcome the world, all of it’ — birdsong and myth, magnolias and the city, along with the ‘slow ghost / pushing a drip stand /down the corridor.’ We sit with the poet in a room with two windows; we sit with the patient as a central venous catheter is inserted into his chest. Sinaee writes that ‘all poems are true/even ugly ones.’ But there are no ugly poems in this surprising, moving, and darkly humorous debut collection — only true ones.” — Jen Currin, author of School
PRAISE FOR BARDIA SINAEE
“The question of a full-length book from Sinaee isn’t a matter of if, but when, and there is such a care and a patience in his poems that suggests, perhaps, he simply isn’t in a hurry, which might, for now, be the smartest thing he can do.” — Open Book
“Several peers: Aisha Sasha John, Phoebe Wang, Vladimir Lucien, Safiya Sinclair, Danez Smith, Solmaz Sharif, Juliane Okot Bitek, Bardia Sinaee, Ishion Hutchinson, and others. These poets are all holding dynamic spaces within their own rattled courtships with language and feeling and thought in poetry.” — Canisia Lubrin, What the Poets Are Doing
“Sinaee’s poetry always strikes just the right note between sarcasm and wisdom. Sincerity has become a dirty word, a saccharine insult, but when done right, like in the poetry of Bardia Sinaee, these poems rise above any cheap sentiment and truthfully, crisply, clearly, cut to the heart of matters.” — Michael Dennis