Association of Canadian Publishers Buoyancy Control, the latest collection of poems from Vancouverite Adrienne Gruber, explores themes of sexuality, sexual identity, and queerness, while confronting the feelings of loss and longing found in relationships, and the chance glimpse into a new life, while still recovering from a painfully failed connection.
Metaphors of oceans, lakes, and other bodies of water, as well as the creatures that inhabit those spaces, swim and swirl their way through Gruber's languid poems, which are divided into two evocative sections. Though distinguished by their own prologue poems, both sections reveal details of the narrator's examination of life, but from two different perspectives: Section 1, Terra Firma, is an exploration of place, of what we consider solid and secure, and how solidity can betray us. In contrast, Section 2, A mari usque ad maria, brings the reader into themes of water and the fluidity of identity, particularly sexual identity and queerness.
This is an honest, at times humorous, and revealing look inside the mind and body of a woman manoeuvring through experiences of longing, loss, and the fluidity of sexual identity, only to come out on the other side a more forgiving being from the journey.
Fans of Karen Solie's powerfully feminist and unapologetic poetic voice, as well as the playful sarcasm and grit of Alison Calder's Wolf Tree, will glory in Gruber's fascinating culmination of land and sea, mind and body, in Buoyancy Control.