We Like Feelings. We Are Serious.
128 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-69-1
In a powerful combination of prose poems, graphica, lyric poems and lyric essays, Julie McIsaac's new book is at once fiercely political, intimate and hilarious. We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. is an exploded view of contemporary feminism, sex, loss, beauty myths, self-doubt, psychology, menstruation, resistance, family and love. Intellectually dazzling, emotionally lavish and allergic to bullshit, this is a book that is timely, refreshing and wholly original.
"I feel as though I read Julie McIsaac's We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. while holding my breath. Vertiginous and searing, disruptive and dissenting, this collection takes on our long neo-liberal moment rife with misogyny, racism and that ugly affect of boredom + overwhelm that Sianne Ngai called 'stuplimity.' Working at the interstices of genre, McIsaac worries the repressive archiving impulse of patriarchy, troubles the narrowness of the collective pronoun 'we,' works through ordinary affects towards sincerity, but is gnawed at by the compulsory performance of irony in a world that is so desperate for empathy and softness."
– Erin Wunker, author of Notes from a Feminist Killjoy
"McIsaac's work is searing, relentlessly tense, sharp and daring with clear-eyed defiance. Dauntless, it bristles with fury, and irreverent badass wit. This multifarious collection embodies a singularly shocking voice. It makes visible the tyrannies of women’s experience: the hidden, the invisibilized and the erased. There is no silencing here – We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. catches in your throat."
– Sandra Ridley, author of Silvija
Review of We Like Feelings. We Are Serious (Julie McIsaac) (After the Pause, 03/01/2019)
"We Like Feelings. We Are Serious is the kind of poetry collection that feels like a series of chapbooks magicked into a coherent spell. Each section sprouts with vehemence [...] [McIsaac's] poetry embraces the mess, is not afraid to confront it, and is willing to do the hard work to create something from the mess that others seem afraid to engage with, let alone pen, which makes this work all the more necessary."
Julie McIsaac, We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. (rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, 08/12/2018)
"Hers is a poetry that focuses her attention on forms of power that work to reduce or dismiss the contributions of women, from theory to patriarchy to literary writing to cultural influences to more intimate interactions. For all the rage that rages throughout, there is an enormous amount of play going on in the writing itself, exploring structures of the lyric sentence, prose poems and the haibun, allowing repetition and rhythm and the effects of sound to showcase her enviable ability to strike and parry, twist and sing at even the highest volume."
We like Feelings. We are Serious. (Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews, 11/12/2018)
"Repeated drawings of a woman inserting a tampon, visual evidence of feminist archives, as well as the resulting forms of interview, notation, speeches, and harangues, then meddlings with the sonnet as grocery list, a long dramatic monologue on an obsessive masturbator [...] and pieces of First World Context, all called 'It Could be Worse,' provide incessant shifts in perspective, voice and focus, most of them shuddering with underlying infuriation, such as we all should feel over how so much of who we truly are, as woman, has been quashed by the patriarchy."
A 'best of' list of 2018 Canadian poetry books (rob mclennan, DUSIE, 17/12/2018)
"McIsaac's debut collection of poems rages against numerous oppressive systems while highlighting the often-unspoken traumas of female experience, composing poems as journal entries, and questioning her own behaviour as much as she shines a spotlight on the behaviour of others."
15 Canadian collections of poetry to watch for this fall (CBC Books, 09/08/2018)
"What it's about: We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. combines poetry with essays and illustrations to create a powerful collection that explores womenhood in 2018 and all that comes with it: feminism, bodily functions, sex, love, family and more."
Read an excerpt of We Like Feelings. We Are Serious.
About the Author
Julie McIsaac is a writer, artist, maker and momma with years of experience teaching writing at advanced levels. She’s worked in Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal and New York City. While living in NYC, she hosted several salons in her home and loved bringing together creative people in informal spaces. That’s one of the reasons she started hosting writing workshops in Hamilton. Her first book, Entry Level, was published with Insomniac Press in 2012. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario.