Review: Continuity Errors

Continuity Errors
Catriona Wright, 88 pgs, Coach House Books,, $23.95

Catriona Wright’s Continuity Errors is a poetry book for millennials who are climate anxious, financially insecure and saturated with the dark humour of the internet — that is to say, a lot of them. She manages this without being frivolous, which is an achievement given how commonplace such takes have become.

Instead, she takes a personal approach, writing about pregnancy and birth in a starkly honest yet still oddly sentimental way: “My birth plan is no pain / And the glaciers stop melting.” Alongside these personal reflections, she observes the strange and dystopian in our world: “I take ballet lessons in a Brutalist building / I’m bad at everything except believing / I’m good.” She narrows in on the burden, prison and thrill of technology. She writes as though the internet is listening, not just as a form of technology but as a force field around us that changes how we think, feel and understand the world. All of this alongside dark fantasy and climate change: “I eavesdrop on the heat,” she muses at one point.

Wright’s is a poetry of compromise. A voice that wants to be better, that knows better, but that also delights in the failures and inevitable daily com-promises of the Anthropocene.