Book Review: There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore


There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore, Adrienne Weiss, 70 pgs, Nightwood Editions, $18.95

Whether it be by imposing fantasy on a lover, indulging in a fanatic sense of affinity with a favourite artist or carefully curating an image of one’s self for the eyes of the other, we are all somehow guilty of self-mythologizing. Toronto poet Adrienne Weiss works through themes of self-narration in her second book There Are No Gold Dancers Anymore to arrive at a truth between the life we perceive ourselves to lead and the world we belong to.

The work in There Are No Gold Dancers Anymore shows a deft handling of poetic technique, moving with a careful, conscious metre and managing unique and intensely physical descriptions such as: “where we sit the sliding door / sighs, the air reeks of green, and a cool / breeze lies against your throat like / a threat” from “The Future Comes Anyway.” Weiss writes from many points of view, occupying the consciousness of high school students, the cast and characters of the film The Wizard of Oz, and a sex worker in Amsterdam’s Red Light District with remarkable insight. She manages each voice with compassion and pathos, hinting at the complexity of characters commonly perceived as negligible.

There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore is a touching collection, carefully guiding its reader through a vast world of personal truths. (Maureen Brouwer)