Review: Metastasis by Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews

Reviewed by Emma Odrach

Metastasis by Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews (Mosaic Press, 2021)

Insightful. thoughtful and timely

Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews says in her preface poets are “the antennae of their times”. She is correct and her poems prove it. But they are not optimistic, rather, they come with an outcry against all that is wrong with the world today – corruption, moral decay, exploitation, disease. And it affects us all: “Tonight, on the rising waves The stars are shaking.”

There’s no escape, at least there doesn’t seem to be. And to further make her case, the fly on the book cover is a symbol of death as it flits around with its “incessant, repulsive, living buzz”. We are at the mercy of sociopaths, the deep state, oligarchies with despicable schemes, man-made turmoils, surveillance apparatus. We are living a dystopian nightmare, a New Normal. “Monsanto. Pesticides on your apples. On your cornflakes. Stored in your fat.”

But the message is not all doom and gloom (thankfully). There is hope, at least a glimmer of it. Di Sciascio-Andrews reminds us the fly also “cleanses the world of toxicity”. She suggests, “We will rise up Red as the dawn.” Is she being prophetic? Is that not what is happening right now, an awakening the world over?

Di Sciascio-Andrews indeed is an antenna of our times. She is opening our eyes to everything going on in the world, warning us that “The wheel of freedom Is disappearing.” But there might be a way out, and she knows this because she can see something beautiful: “Beautiful blue flowers Sway in someone’s post.”

Metastasis is an insightful, thoughtful and timely collection. Di Sciascio-Andrews’ voice is both passionate and defiant, offering alarming reflections on life, death and what it means to hope.

Metastasis by Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews (Mosaic Press, 2021)

Emma Odrach is a lit translator and author. Her translated books included Wave of Terror (Chicago Review Press) and Village Teacher (Glagoslav Publications, UK/Netherlands). Her books include Alaska or Bust (Crimson Cloak Pub., US) and The Bank Street Peeper, Adalaide Books, NY).

Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews is a poet, author, teacher and also host & coordinator of the Oakville Literary Cafe Series She has published four books of poetry and her most recent book of poems, A Jar of Fireflies, was published by Mosaic Press and received wide critical acclaim. Her poems have been anthologized widely including in The Malahat Review, Descant, Canadian Voices, Volumes 1 and 2The Canada Cuba Literary Alliance: she has won numerous literary awards; she has also authored two non-fiction books, In the Name of Hockey and How the Italians Created Canada. She lives in Oakville, Ontario.