Nothing Will Save Your Life
Nancy Jo Cullen
April 26, 2022
96 PAGES | ISBN 978-1-989496-50-3
Nothing Will Save Your Life is an explosion of pop culture, femininity, sex, religion and motherhood held together with humour and lightened with fragments of joy. In this book Nancy Jo Cullen has created a collection that is deeply rooted in the messy day-to-day of life but takes on serious issues such as body image, aging, climate change, capitalism and even death – containing it all within traditional poetic forms. From kitten videos to confirmation bias to cucumber diets to vintage Vivienne Westwood, these poems are a whirlwind of constrained energy. Sometimes neurotic, sometimes bawdy, sometimes tender – they are always irresistible to the reader, drawing us deep into Cullen’s world where she pulls apart society to show us just what it is to be alive in this moment.
Kim Fahner : Nothing Will Save Your Life, by Nancy Jo Cullen (Kim Fahner, periodicities, 04/01/2023)
"There is an awareness of how family influences personal evolution, and how the women we come from form us, and how we must also push back against those patterns that were introduced to us by family, as well as by patriarchal structures of school, church, and society. [...] Yes, this is a key lesson of the poems Cullen offers us here: despite the struggle—despite our falling repeatedly—we must also always get up afterwards."
Nothing Will Save Your Life (K.B. Thors, Alberta Views, November 2022)
"Cullen's lines flow with logic and wit as a religious sense of responsibility merges with issues of economic complicity. Evocative, humane and accessible, Nothing Will Save Your Life will appeal to poetry readers and prose lovers alike."
Poetry: Barb Carey (Barb Carey, the Toronto Star, 28/04/2022)
Death is a recurring theme, too, but even these poignant poems of loss — commemorating her parents, a brother, a beloved dog — buzz with life.
★Nothing Will Save Your Life (Annick MacAskill, Quill & Quire, 01/04/2022)
"Ranging in voice and register, [this] collection [is] vibrant and confident, attuned to the absurdities, hypocrisies, horrors, and beauties of everyday life."
E305 with NANCY JO CULLEN and DAVID EISENSTADT (Jamie Tennant, Get Lit, 22/09/2022)
Nancy Jo talks to Jamie Tennant about her poetry collection.
"One Long Confession" Nancy Jo Cullen on Auden, Endings, & Midsomer Murders (Open Book, 08/04/2022)
"I wrote my first poems knowing very little about poetry [...] I was trying to understand something about myself and grief that was all mixed up with feelings of hubris that seemed particular to being in my early twenties. Everything felt so crucial and so those poems were awful but that’s how I began. That and the whole thing about Catholic confession."
A Year in Reading: The Best of 2022 (Hamilton Review of Books, 21/12/2022)
Nancy Jo's book makes this great roundup.
26 Canadian books to read for Pride Month (CBC Books, 07/06/2022)
Nancy Jo's collection makes this great round-up!
80 Queer and Feminist Books Coming Out Spring 2022 (Casey Stepaniuk, Autostraddle, 31/03/2022)
Nothing Will Save Your Life is on this great list of spring titles.
46 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in spring 2022 (CBC Books, 03/02/2022)
Nancy Jo's collection makes this list of 46 poetry books to watch for in Spring 2022!