ISBN 978-1-77126-144-9
$17.00 CDN/USA
104 pages





How do the words we use shape our thoughts and actions? Can poems disrupt passivity, or is art one of its conduits? Spit on the Devil is a lyrical evocation of these questions and a searing interrogation of progressive sentiments during a time of regressive politics. Combining outrage and robust hope, this collection breathes new life into classic poetic styles and deftly explores the tensions between repetition and change, past and present. Shaped by love and ancestors in many forms, by lost homes, city spaces, and motherhood, Bernstein’s poems embrace the whirl of life and sing insurrection against apathy and fear.

In a sassy combination of the domestic and the political, in long lines and short, Samantha Bernstein meditates on relationships, how to take a stand, the crumbling world around her, motherhood, and daughterhood, too. She quips, she expounds, she considers life as a poet—and as the daughter of an iconic poet, Irving Layton.  In her in her splendid debut volume, Spit on the Devil, Bernstein is resolutely her own artist, speaking boldly, with Whitmanesque self-definition, proudly creating a woman’s 21st-century Canadian poetics.

—Molly Peacock, author of The Analyst

“The strong confident voice in this debut book of poems from Samantha Bernstein signals the arrival of an assured literary intelligence in full bloom.Probing, elegant poetry that rewards many readings and deserves many readers.”

—Robert Priest, author of  Previously Feared Darkness

“Political and precise, honest and humble, intimate and intelligent, Spit on the Devil is poetry for everyone. At its core is a heart pumping for happiness in a world destined to challenge it, and a sweet-singing voice leading us down a road paved with a mother’s wisdom, guided by a poet’s philosophical compass, and a light so bright we can see both inwards and towards.”

—Vanessa Shields, author of Look at Her

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