Listen Before Transmit

Listen Before Transmit

Dani Couture
  • $18.00


March 2018
90 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-54-7

Dani Couture’s latest poems are transmissions that travel across the cosmos and the spaces we live in, as well as within the more intimate distances we navigate between one another. Distances we hope to bridge with contact, often to profound or disastrous effects. With language rooted in science, sociology, memoir and aesthetics, she questions the limits of our bodies, both human and celestial. Like the subtle cues we lend one another and the hopeful messages we send into deep space, these poems broadcast our greatest aspirations and vulnerabilities.

Advance Praise | Interviews | Articles | About the Author

Advance Praise

"The poems in Listen Before Transmit exist in the slippage between language, experience and memory – deftly moving one way, then another, in a call-and-response to the human condition. A beautiful and accomplished collection."
– Helen Humphreys, author of The Ghost Orchard

“A deft collage of syntactical fragments, the title poem of Listen Before Transmit foregrounds the principles of uncertainty, estrangement and disconnection that underlie the haunting mindscapes of this book. But there is also a countermusic in the book that strengthens the hold these poems gain over the reader, a music enacting the human search – however fraught, even risible – for connection and coherence in an indifferent universe. In ‘Minus Time’ both movements are manifest: ‘Who were you when you understood the sun / was simply a star? That you, in part / were made / of collapse. You, smallest sun.’ Couture’s questing figures probe galaxies within and without, in the process enmeshing us in the excitement and risk of both sorts of journey. Spend time with this book. Agile in its management of form, intellectually and emotionally nuanced, it will repay you with riches.”
– Mary Dalton, author of Edge: Essays, Reviews, Interviews

“Equal parts generous and curious, Dani Couture’s Listen Before Transmit is born from the tender space where history ends and the future begins. These beautifully crafted poems place hunger and joy beneath a microscope, attuning the reader to what is magnified there . . . Listen Before Transmit opens the skies for us, demanding we ask more from the science fictive statics our bodies swim inside. Imagine the stars looking down at us when we look up at them: in this intimate and daring book, they do.”
– Jessica Rae Bergamino, author of The Desiring Object or Voyager Two Explains to the Gathering of Stars How She Came to Glow Among Them


"Titles are Chameleon in Nature" - Dani Couture on Poetry, Titles, & the Power of a Single Word (Open Book, 13/03/2018)
"More and more I’m beginning to realize that what I think the function of anything is either more or less than what was intended. And functions can change."


Contact by Dani Couture (Poetry Foundation, 01/12/2017)

"Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview" (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 05/02/2018)
"Dani Couture’s new collection is Listen Before Transmit, poems that travel across the cosmos and the spaces we live in, as well as within the more intimate distances we navigate between one another."

65 Queer and Feminist Books To Read In 2018 (Carolyn Yates, Autostraddle, 02/01/2018)
"The poems in this collection are rooted in science, sociology, memoir and aesthetics, and extend across public and personal spaces to examine our bodies, both human and celestial."

About the Author

Dani Couture is the author of three collections of poetry and the novel Algoma. Her work has been nominated for the Trillium Award for Poetry, received an honour of distinction from the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQ Writers and won the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in publications in Canada, the US and the UK, and in several editions of Best Canadian Poetry in English.

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