* CBC's The Best Canadian Poetry of 2020 List
In Saturn Peach, Lily Wang establishes a distinctive voice that is part heartbreak and part wise witness chronicling the strangeness of a technologized world. When asked to describe her book, Wang answered in her quintessential way, “There are things I never want to know but always know. Every day I live with them. Every day I live. I am like a young fruit. Like a peach, common, not the popular kind but oblate, saturn. I live and inside me this pale fruit, yellow and white. I take bites out of myself and share them with you. Maybe you taste like me. Maybe you hold this fruit and become a tree.” If ever there were a book that disarmingly – and seemingly effortlessly – encouraged its reader to become a metaphor, then Saturn Peach is it.
Lily Wang is the founder and editor of Half a Grapefruit Magazine. She is doing her MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. Her first chapbook Everyone In Your Dream is You was published by Anstruther Press in 2018. Her work has appeared in Peach Mag, The Puritan, The Hart House Review, Bad Nudes, Hobart Pulp, and more.
Praise for Lily Wang and Saturn Peach
"The dream-world of Saturn Peach is one to both ponder and savour. Wang's poems reach out with the warmth of a friend and offer questions and ideas to carry with you long after reading." – Carolyn Nakagawa in EVENT Magazine
"Wang harnesses image through experiences of her daily life, portraits of friends, ekphrastic examinations of classic (and often violent) films, and even an homage to Anne Carson. Yet the overarching structure... feels simultaneously distant and present, faded and yet ripe with intense remembering." – Greg Bem in rain taxi
"These poems abound with pleasure and wordplay. Read this book if you like tiny stories, shifting timelines, and dreamy stanzas to repeat to yourself over and over. At once grounding and ethereal, abstract and accessible, Saturn Peach should be read slowly, thoroughly, and more than once." – Jaclyn Desforges in Hamilton Review of Books
"A slipstream meditation on the self, Saturn Peach presents a series of collisions and departures of identity, much like the rhythmic separation and reunification of a juggling ball and hand. This ball, however, is soft — it's a peach — and readers don't emerge unscathed, unaffected, unbruised. This peach — this book — has tender flesh. — Erica McKeen, in Carousel Magazine
"Reading the poems in this collection is like entering a dream state. Wang demonstrates her striking ability to wield syllabic structure to produce a surreal affect in both her prose and lyric poems. From short lines cut off too soon to long lines that swerve between different images, there is no telling where each poem will go next." — Manahil Bandukwala, in Carousel Magazine
"One keynote of Lily Wang’s Saturn Peach is the line, 'I am a friend', from a poem in which the poet and her companions are marvellously 'A tower of sparrows, dirty and simple': a gang of co-survivors. Every poem here embodies friendship, generosity, witty warmth of feeling, the nostalgic recall of ordinary actions remembered with love. Yet dread and longing are always present: 'it’s early afternoon. the world makes a lot of sense. /.../ I wait around for the harm.' Helpless vulnerability dreams of its own absence, of a place where 'mother is always at home, and longing never reaches you.' So another keynote of this surprising, fresh, truly new poetry might be the double-meaning that opens 'flash storm': 'I can admit the truth now that it is quiet and you are with me.' The poet in Saturn Peach is 'searching for beauty / in my own mind' and knows that, in spite of fear and sorrow, 'There are / still many flowers I haven’t learned to name. / I bring them to you: my arms / full / of silence.'" – A. F. Moritz, author of The Sparrow
"This book is a lucid dream. Wang floats between head and heart with care; her voice at once tender and tough. She is in complete control of letting go. Hold onto her words. You will devour them, swallow them whole, and they will nestle pleasantly in your body for a long time after. You will dream of fruit and scorpions, of the sea and your crush. And then you will wake up and reach for this book again." – Sennah Yee, author of How Do I Look?
"The first-person narratives in Saturn Peach are composed with a curious looseness paired with energy and confidence, as Wang composes first person meditative portraits of small moments that move through experience, including mis-adventuring with friends, translations of self, summers and crying, and pop culture references from the previous century." — rob mclennon, rob mclennon's blog