Like the promise of its title, All This Could Be Yours is full of elusive gifts. Joshua Trotter’s debut collection is a metaphysical hall of windows that seem to be mirrors and mirrors presenting themselves as windows. Trotter’s poems—which could be the bastard love-children of Stevens and Frost—refract, reflect and deflect with canny puns and rhymes, the rigour of their forms belying the rogue trickster twists of cockeyed logic they take and the po-faced near-sense in which they speak. Don’t be fooled into thinking these poems glib: Trotter is often most serious precisely at his most blithe; his poems are always thought-full. Full of “intemperate winds / blown thinking from the ledge, through the gap // between the frame and what it haunts for us,” they resist the intelligence, almost successfully, as Stevens said a poem should.
“A miracle of meter and meteorology.”—Poetry
“Joshua Trotter’s long-awaited debut is here, and it’s every bit as good as we’d hoped. His poems have the one maker’s mark of authenticity that absolutely cannot be faked: a fresh style that holds novelty and tradition in creative tension. And this is no small feat, considering that almost all of Trotter’s poems are written in iambic pentameter, a good number of them are sonnets, and lots of them rhyme. His sonnets, in fact, are something of a wonder: he manages to recreate the form, with its historical baggage and predisposition to gigantism, in a way that makes it sound as distinctly his as Lowell or Berrigan did. By turns funny and terrifying, airy and claustrophobic, non-representational and razor-sharp, Trotter is stock to buy early and hold.”—Michael Lista, National Post
“Crowded with sound and cluttered with allusions, Trotter’s poems are studies in abundance. They work on the same intimate and playful level as nursery rhymes, drawing the reader in with clever wordplay and creating a musicality so irresistible, meaning insinuates itself like a subtle flavour. What results is a bewitching combination of familiar pleasure and strange surprise — plenty for the brain to chew on.”—Abby Paige, The Rover