About this book
Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit
Oneiric, fabulist, hilarious, surreal. No single term seems to sufficiently contain Mikko Harvey’s delightful, cheeky, absurdist, inimitable debut collection. A bomb and a raindrop make small talk as they fall through the air; a trip to the phlebotomist evolves into a nightmarish party; a boy finds himself turning into a piano key. Reading Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit is like spending the day at the strangest amusement park you've ever seen. At first the rides appear familiar, then you realize they possess the power to not merely thrill and terrify, but also to destabilize your very notion of “amusement.” These poems veer sharply away from what’s normally expected from poetry, landing readers instead in that awkward, lonely, interior space where we may be most ourselves. Along with beauty and humour, there is menace here, the threat of disfigurement and death around every turn. But somehow, Harvey manages to make that menace, too, a place of wonder.
The bomb and the raindrop overlap briefly.
Nice night, says the drop.
Where you headed? says the bomb.
Don't know, says the drop.
Well goodbye, says the bomb.
The bomb thinks, I am too heavy to make friends. Then he touches
the mudbrick building.
Shortly after, landing in debris, the drop thinks, O.
About the Author
Mikko Harvey was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His poems have been published in DIAGRAM, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, and Maisonneuve. He attended Vassar College and the Ohio State University, and he currently serves as a digital poetry editor for Fairy Tale Review. He currently lives in Berkeley, California.
Awards and Praise
PRAISE FOR UNSTABLE NEIGHBOURHOOD RABBIT:
“Bizarre but compelling, Harvey’s poetic “playground” is fascinating territory.” ? Toronto Star
“A startling debut.” ? Winnipeg Free Press
“Lively, sometimes intense, and linguistically inventive.” ? Quill & Quire “All words are adult, said Maurice Blanchot. And this book is saying to words (like “nature”) die! *gently* die! And be born again: babies, children, reindeer. So, don't read this book if you don’t want to think like a child (and don’t read it if you don't think childthought is absolutely magnified). Don’t read this book if you don’t want to lose your I. Don’t read this book if you don’t want to cry.” ? Darcie Dennigan, author of Madame X and Palace of Subatomic Bliss
“In Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit, as it should be the case, natural elements act like neighbours and old friends, people act like animals, animals act like people, names determine fate, rice and goats and bowls determine how we interpret the world, our palms control our thinking, our imaginations are celebrated and called upon to take responsibility for what they call into existence, our imaginations transform us as necessary, everything is a sign, everything is heroic and epic and fragile, everything matters, the wind can undo our shoelaces.” — Dara Wier, award-winning author of Reverse Rapture
PRAISE FOR MIKKO HARVEY:
“[Harvey] is able to transform ordinary experiences into revelations about the world and our place within it. These poems blend humor and observation, often in close proximity, and make excellent use of voice, whether spoken or filtered through narration. A thoroughly commendable series of poems, and I am thankful for having the opportunity to read them.” — Mary Biddinger, author of A Sunny Place with Adequate Water and Small Enterprise
“The author of these poems has an energy that promises a life in poetry and also delights this reader. The poems are witty, smart, fun, and written with authority . . . they are memorable. I kept coming back to them and enjoying them all over again . . . maybe the best test of all for the best poetry.” — Kelly Cherry, author of The Woman Who and The Retreats of Thought