Sweet [poetry, 2010]

“The bears want not / the honey, but the bees. Carry a swarm / in your pocket to feed the beasts you meet.”

Sweet is a gravity-clutched leap into personal emergency and the turbulent landscape surrounding ambivalence, including what lives in that landscape — invited or not. Dani Couture’s second collection of poetry takes the traveller from the emerald ash-borer infested trees of Essex County, Ontario, to the frozen lakes of Alaska and to points in-between. Dogged by tree-snapping winds, garbage-hungry bears, global uncertainty and war movie prophecy, the heart bends toward greater and deeper persistence through the intimate and at times anxious metre of Couture’s new poems.

Sweet won the 2011 ReLit Award for Poetry!

Sweet was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, 24th Annual Trillium Book Awards.

“Dani Couture is the much-needed urban update of our national literary obsession with a natural world.”
–Stacey May Fowles for Broken Pencil

Sweet by Dani Couture, with its candy stripe cover and carnivalesque font, has a saccharine veneer that implies this book may be both immensely satisfying and regrettable in its intensity. However, Couture’s second volume of poetry manages to delight without overwhelming, and Sweet has a complexity that extends far beyond the notes detectable by our mammalian taste buds. In this work, Couture does not savour the Sweetness of anything. She explores instead the act of longing, and how desire leaves one vulnerable and exposed to the unforeseen.”
Stevie Howell for Quill and Quire

“In Sweet, Dani Couture deftly renders small, startling moments of violence and bleak, lush sadness.”
–Jessica Westhead for Open Book: Toronto

“The follow-up to Good Meat, her debut collection, Sweet is a step forward in both the poet’s ambition and her repertoire of control. In a book of short, specific poems that are sometimes generous and sometimes mean, Couture takes in everything from urban loneliness to hunting to insomnia. Dani is one of several Toronto poets who bring a distinctly rural outlook and ethic to their considerations of our city. The result is an ear for the social ecology of humans as tuned as the one for flight patterns of birds or the eating habits of a grizzly bear. Sweet is an excellent read: short, sweet, and constantly challenging.”
-Jacob McArthur Mooney for Torontoist

“Bitch Magazine’s review of Neko Case’s Fox Confessor Brings the Flood likened that album to Ukrainian folk tales….all dark animal imagery and danger in the woods. The best parts of this book are like that, enticingly foreboding and deliciously dark, with an urban sensibility. Beautifully designed by Pedlar Press.”
-Nikki Reimer


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