Satched

Satched

Written by: Coles, Megan Gail

Named after a local word meaning “soaked through” or “weighed down,” Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Megan Gail Coles’s debut poetry collection, Satched, is a vivid portrait of intergenerational trauma, ecological grief, and late-stage capitalism from the perspective of a woman of rural-remote, Northern, working class, mixed ancestry.

Honest, penetrating, and often darkly comic, these poems explore the extraordinary will it requires to stay alive in the face of economic precariousness, growing inequality, and prevailing dissatisfaction. With a fierce dedication to place, the collection explores the conflict inherent to individualistic priorities and collective needs present in a hyper-commodified Newfoundland and Labrador. Satched demands compassionate advocacy for all as it resolutely strives for clarity and acceptance while celebrating the momentary glimpses of joy in the path toward shared values and resilience.

Named after a local word meaning “soaked through” or “weighed down,” Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Megan Gail Coles’s debut poetry collection, Satched, is a vivid portrait of intergenerational trauma, ecological grief, and late-stage capitalism from the perspective of a woman of rural-remote, Northern, working class, mixed ancestry.

Honest, penetrating, and often darkly comic, these poems explore the extraordinary will it requires to stay alive in the face of economic precariousness, growing inequality, and prevailing dissatisfaction. With a fierce dedication to place, the collection explores the conflict inherent to individualistic priorities and collective needs present in a hyper-commodified Newfoundland and Labrador. Satched demands compassionate advocacy for all as it resolutely strives for clarity and acceptance while celebrating the momentary glimpses of joy in the path toward shared values and resilience.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc - Sep 7, 2021
Specifications 112 pages | 6 in x 8 in
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Excerpt

PRAISE FOR MEGAN GAIL COLES AND SATCHED

“This collection trills of the [Newfoundland] region and its distinct speech … Coles creates an intimacy in Satched through her urban maritime lens and straightforward style.” — Quill & Quire

“Reading Satched is like drinking chilled wine with an old friend on a hot night, commiserating with love, gratitude, and mutual affection. It’s opening a second bottle, letting the kids fall asleep watching movies, and getting out the hidden cigarettes to really get into it. It’s a fist in the air before it’s aimed at an appropriate eyeball. It’s an exceptional accomplishment full of lyrical strength and poetic endurance.” — Katherena Vermette, author of river woman

“Are you ready for poems that pierce straight to the bone? Megan Gail Coles’s Satched is a razor edge of fierce truth, grim humour, and unalloyed beauty. With sharp-eyed clarity and fearless candour, Coles slices open the veils of capitalism and colonization to reveal a landscape marked by poverty and resilience, violence, and hope. This is Newfoundland and Labrador seen through the eyes of unconditional love and furious rage. The political, the personal, and the poetic interweave seamlessly in this debut collection, adding another genre to Coles’s already impressive repertoire. Satched is the kind of book we need right now, the kind that confronts the real world head-on while also teaching us how to live in it.” — Kai Cheng Thom, author of a place called No Homeland

Satched is an acerbic, bold, and wise debut that susses out the subtle and sinister ways men infringe on women’s mental and physical spaces, the horrors of the climate crisis, and the pitfalls of economic precarity. With technical mastery and an immediately infectious tone, Coles inhabits the voices of Atlantic Canada, unearths the ways grief inhabits a place, and interrogates prevailing notions of resiliency. Coles intimates both how ‘our minds are poisoned against ourselves’ and the ways in which kinship offers a path to forge through the audaciousness of capital and insidiousness of colonialism. Reading Satched is like talking to your smartest, funniest friend, who wryly declares, ‘there is nothing and no one standing in your way, / except capitalism and global pandemics.’” — Cassidy McFadzean, author of Drolleries

“These poems tumble into me with a rage and beauty that is oceanic. I am satched to the core. Megan Gail Coles writes poems that ask us to reconsider historical and contemporary attitudes toward poverty, race, gender, and the environment, engaging her reader in ‘this present rowing over the past / to make up the future.’ Because while these poems speak deeply to intergenerational trauma, solastalgia, and the systemic ills of capitalism hidden in plain sight, they are forward-looking at heart. Satched puts forth that despite (or perhaps because of) our human frailties, we can begin again. These poems demonstrate that repair is possible, even from a rusty scaffold, if we are willing to reach beyond ourselves.” — Clea Roberts, author of Auguries

PRAISE FOR MEGAN GAIL COLES AND SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB

#1 National Bestseller

Winner, BMO Winterset Award

Finalist, Scotiabank Giller Prize

Finalist, CBC Canada Reads

A Globe and Mail Book of the Year

A CBC Book of the Year

“What recommends this novel most is the way its author stays with her characters’ hurt, how she holds it without reverence but understands how those wounds can motivate like nothing else … 

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club is a dark, taut, funny novel that feels for its characters’ pain while remaining caustic toward the enablers and the kinds of violence that polite society allows.” — Globe and Mail

“A profound read, offering up perfectly crafted sentences in the thoughts of the motley cast of characters.” — Canadian Living

“Although Small Game Hunting is often tragic and heartbreaking, its finale offers a glimmer of hope that we are invited to be brave and wait for. The hope that sees women, both tattered and changed by the work of male violence and power, not at a loss for agency or warmth. In the end, Coles’s powerful novel is a tale of resilience.” — Rabble.ca

“No mistake, Megan Gail Coles is a driven, consequential writer who plays for keeps. Her seemingly off-the-cuff voice is controlled and quite intricate, and commands revisiting. Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club is as important a novel as any that’s hit Canadian literature in years.” — Joel Thomas Hynes, author of We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night

“Each character is rendered with such stunning details and unflinching insights that you can’t leave this novel’s pages without being changed. To read Megan Gail Coles’s masterful debut is to become obsessed with it.” — Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

Small Game Hunting is a singular, beautiful, burning story — not only a piercing page-turner but a sharp and essential portrait of an island and its people in our times that will draw you in and then pull you under. It is an ocean of a book. Not to be missed.” — Elisabeth de Mariaffi, author of Hysteria

“Beautifully fluid writing pulls the reader right in and keeps them gliding along. Fans of Rene Denfeld, Alice Sebold, and Eowyn Ivey will want to check this book out.” — Booklist

“A blistering novel that reveals deep social rifts … Megan Gail Coles’s novel is blunt and veracious.” — Foreword Reviews

“The lure of Coles’s often glorious use of language and the importance of reading books that do exactly what Small Game Hunting does — force the reader to face truths that have been hidden and swept away for far too long, to be made uncomfortable and prompted to think rather than be simply entertained — are reason enough to give this up-and-coming author’s new work serious consideration.” — Quill & Quire

“Early in Small Game Hunting, a Nigerian immigrant asks the heroine about her true origins: ‘You don’t look all white,’ he says. In other words, this is not your traditional Newfoundland novel of social isolation. Instead, Megan Gail Coles portrays the harsh existence of the islanders as emblematic of the human condition itself. The characters’ lives unfold around a fine restaurant. They are physically and emotionally crippled by their society’s devastating inequalities, the women psychologically maimed by repeated sexual assault. Coles’s narrator storms against the status quo in a kinetic novel that dazzles, challenges, and exhilarates.” — Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation

“Coles is a writer’s writer … The action is compacted into one day, but carries and conveys incredible personal backstory and narrative texture. Coles’s writing is agile, precise, muscular, vernacular. She invests in voice and perspective and the payoff inscribes the page. It’s poetry of a frank, rough kind: some of it is hard to read. ‘This might hurt a little,’ is Coles’s opening note. And it does. This is a dense, dark, propulsive work.” — St. John’s Telegram

“Coles’s background as a playwright reveals itself in the way she skillfully engages a diverse cast.” — Overcast

Small Game Hunting is brutal, poetic, and political.” — Pique Magazine

“Vivid and provocative.” — I’ve Read This


PRAISE FOR MEGAN GAIL COLES AND EATING HABITS OF THE CHRONICALLY LONESOME

 “A potent fiction debut … These stories are blunt and direct.” — Quill & Quire

“Characters are the crux of this breed of lively, unrestrained short fiction, and the cast in this book are endearing, gut-busting, and memorably real.” — The Overcast

“Pitch perfect. Appropriately restrained and conversational. Coles is not your average newbie. She’s a serious talent who deserves to be mentioned alongside other young Newfoundland writers like Joel Thomas Hynes and Sara Tilley.” — Atlantic Books Today

“The stories are often very short, even only four pages, but in each she compresses situation (relationship fracture and reknit), character (distilled to their absolute wants), and setting (St. John’s, Montreal, or Korea) like a literary Oreo cookie. It’s all about the crux, the crisis, propelled from the first sentence … crisp, lyric prose.” — St. John’s Telegram