Poetry Pause x Biblioasis: Alexandra Oliver — The Lipstick Effect

Poem Author: Alexandra Oliver Poem title: The Lipstick Effect Poem: You know you need a new one when you’re bored or overcome or underwhelmed, or sad, when you can feel the jangles of your age; when you have matters weighing on your mind (the news, your kids, the heft of your behind)— or change arrives, the flipping of a page: you lose a job, move house, cremate your dad, then add another colour to the hoard amassed in your boudoir. Their names alone inspire revolution at some level, assuring you there’s Fire Down Below (your husband says it’s snuffed), a latent Vamp, a Dolce Vita waiting where you camp and, on the prairie, Cherries in the Snow. Beneath the paint, you’re neither sleek nor evil. It’s just the tubes, the hollow names, you own. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Alexandra Oliver Originally appeared in The Walrus (2018). Also appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2019 (Biblioasis, 2019). Reprinted with permission of the author. Alexandra Oliver was born in Vancouver and lives in Burlington, ON. She is the author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (Biblioasis, 2013; winner of the 2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award) and Let the Empire Down (Biblioasis, 2016). A past co-editor of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman’s Library, 2015) and the Canadian formalist journal The Rotary Dial, she is currently enrolled as a PhD student in English at McMaster University. Photo credit: David Walker Biblioasis is a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario committed to publishing the best poetry, fiction and nonfiction in beautifully crafted editions. Best Canadian Poetry 2019 edited by guest editor Rob Taylor, series editor Anita Lahey, and advisory editor Amanda Jernigan (Biblioasis, 2019)

About Best Canadian Poetry:

Launched in 2008 by Tightrope Books with former series editor Molly Peacock, the Best Canadian Poetry Series features fifty Canadian poets annually, drawn from Canadian literary journals magazines, both print and on-line. Each year, a distinguished guest editor (2008, Stephanie Bolster; 2009, A.F. Moritz; 2010, Lorna Crozier; 2011, Priscila Uppal; 2012, Carmine Starnino; 2013, Sue Goyette; 2014, Sonnet L’Abbé; Jacob McArthur Mooney, 2015, Helen Humphreys, 2016, Hoa Nguyen, 2018) selects the poems based on their intellectual, artistic, or inventive merit. The editorial taste changes with each new volume. The special Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition celebrates ten stellar years of the series.

As of 2019, the series is being published by Biblioasis and currently thrives under the stewardship of series editor Anita Lahey and advisory editor Amanda Jernigan. Best Canadian Poetry ushers readers into the heart of the diverse Canadian poetry scene. The anthology is a must-read for anyone with a stake or interest in contemporary Canadian literature.