Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit

Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit

by Mikko Harvey


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Oneiric, fabulist, hilarious, surreal. No single term seems to efficiently contain Mikko Harvey’s delightful, cheeky, absurdist, inimitable debut collection. A bomb and a raindrop make small talk as they fall through the air; a visit to the phlebotomist evolves into a nightmarish party; a boy notices himself turning into a piano key. Reading Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit is like spending the day at a strange amusement park. At first the rides appear familiar—then you realize they possess the power to not only thrill and terrify, but destabilize your very notion of amusement. These poems veer sharply away from what’s normally expected of poetry, instead bringing readers to that darkened, awkward, interior space where we are free to be most ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487003609
Publisher: House of Anansi Press
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Mikko Harvey received the 2017 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award, and his poems appear in places such as Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Lemon Hound, and Maisonneuve. He attended Vassar College and Ohio State University, and he is currently an associate poetry editor for Fairy Tale Review. This is his first book.

Read an Excerpt


The bomb and the raindrop overlap briefly.

Nice night, says the drop.

Where you headed? says the bomb.

Don't know, says the drop.

Well goodbye, says the bomb.

The bomb thinks, I am too heavy to make friends. Then he touches

the mudbrick building.

Shortly after, landing in debris, the drop thinks, O.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


"In Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit, as it should be the case, natural elements act like neighbours and old friends, people act like animals, animals act like people, names determine fate, rice and goats and bowls determine how we interpret the world, our palms control our thinking, our imaginations are celebrated and called upon to take responsibility for what they call into existence, our imaginations transform us as necessary, everything is a sign, everything is heroic and epic and fragile, everything matters, the wind can undo our shoelaces." — Dara Wier, award-winning author of Reverse Rapture


"These poems stood out for their commanding execution of a particular kind of disaffected energy; each poem, for all its nonchalance, left me feeling startled. 'You're losing control,' the speaker of the first poem proclaims to a reflection in a spoon, but in fact these poems know exactly what they're doing." — Natalie Shapero, author of No Object

"[Harvey] is able to transform ordinary experiences into revelations about the world and our place within it. These poems blend humor and observation, often in close proximity, and make excellent use of voice, whether spoken or filtered through narration. A thoroughly commendable series of poems, and I am thankful for having the opportunity to read them." — Mary Biddinger, author of A Sunny Place with Adequate Water and Small Enterprise

"The author of these poems has an energy that promises a life in poetry and also delights this reader. The poems are witty, smart, fun, and written with authority . . . they are memorable. I kept coming back to them and enjoying them all over again . . . maybe the best test of all for the best poetry." — Kelly Cherry, author of The Woman Who and The Retreats of Thought

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