Space Between Her Lips
The Poetry of Margaret Christakos
Space Between Her Lips presents the first selected works of one of Canada's most important poets of the last few decades. Margaret Christakos writes vibrant, exciting, and intellectually challenging poetry. She plays language games that bring a probing and disturbing humour to serious themes that range from childhood and children to women in contemporary techno-capitalist society to feminist literary theory, and so much more.
Gregory Betts’ introduction to the collection highlights her formal diversity and her unique combination of feminist and avant-garde affinities. He connects the geographies of her life — including Northern Ontario where she was raised, downtown Toronto where she studied with cutting-edge authors and artists like bpNichol and Michael Snow, and Montreal where she integrated with the country’s leading feminist authors and thinkers — with her polyphonic experimentation. While traversing the problem of bifurcated identities, Christakos is funny at a deeply semiotic level, wickedly wry, exposing something about the way we think by examining the way we speak of it.
In her afterword, Christakos maps out a philosophy of writing that highlights her self-consciousness of the foibles of language but also deep concern for the themes she writes about, including her career-length exploration of self-discovery, hetero-, queer and bi-sexual sexualities, motherhood, self-care, and linguistic alienation. Indeed, Margaret Christakos is a whole-body poet, writing with the materiality of language about the movement of interior thought to embodied experience in the world.