Book cover image for: Quarry


Tanis Franco

$17.99 CAD / $17.99 USD

80 pages

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-981-2 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-982-9 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-55238-983-6 (ePub)

978-1-55238-984-3 (mobi)

January 2018

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About the Book

Forward Review INDIES and PubWest medalist, shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Quarry is poet Tanis Franco’s acclaimed debut.

Spaces are not exterior to bodies. They influence and affect the way bodies exist in the world. A quarry is an unnatural place within a natural territory. At any moment, it can be abandoned. A body is not separate from the spaces it inhabits. They exist together, in a mutual state of interrelation and instability.

Quarry relays a year in the life of a body in transition as it changes with other bodies; human, animal, and mineral. It examines queer social spaces and contested natural spaces, asking how they affect each other. Using evocative metaphor and refreshing language, these poems make bodily experience new.

Tanis Franco eschews traditional narratives of the queer and transgender body, bringing nuanced ideas to an ongoing literary and philosophical conversation. They create a strong sense of location and landscape, interweaving place with sensual language and impeccable craft to create a unique and distinctive voice. 

About the Author

Tanis Franco has been published in Grain, Room, and Best American Experimental Writing 2018. This is their first book.

Praise for Quarry

Quarry reminded me of all the things I love about poetry . . . A collection that will last, and one I will recommend for some time. 

—Evelyn Deshane, Plenitude Magazine

Franco here writes beautifully, with imagery of the can’t-go-back sort, line breaks that magnify scenes, and a tone that feels plain-true (yet far from plain). However, the poems are worth reading not for what they do on the page-vacuum, but for where they guide the reader, by way of things concrete (stones, rocks, a quarry), to a place of only being, to the seen/un/seen’s edge.

—Hayden Bergman, The Literary Review  

Tanis Franco’s debut collection of poetry is as dense as it is moving, with new dimensions presenting themselves on each re-read

—Marcela Huerta, Montreal Review of Books 

This book transitions, is in transition, comes through transition. It describes a state of tension, of anxiety, of becoming. Lines blur between person and place: this pond was a quarry, was excavated from a prior landscape. The discussion of body, of bodily changes is amorphous, we begin with bois and bodies colliding, moments of aloneness and of intimacy . . . Quarry is full of hard minerals, of stones, of pebbles. It chips away. A pebble is a stone you can take with you, a souvenir. Bodies and ecosystems cannot fail to leave traces of themselves; they alter things. These minerals hint at the skeleton beneath flesh, “the body is only a vase for holding.” The book a body, the book bringing us alongside the body, witnessing body in relation, in environment, in flux. 

—Claire Lacey, Debutantes

In Tanis Franco’s Quarry, bois cruise the city/island/land distinctions, rearrange and make way for languages’ turbulent turns and breaks upon the materially becoming body. In their intimacy and ranging glance, Franco’s poems open upon what is sought after in a quarry: how to calculate “to what extent is the body aware of its intentions?”

—Trish Salah, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, Queen’s University 

Franco’s Quarry is an existential investigation of queer bodies, queer love, of touch & its limitations. I admire these poems’ humor & sincerity, their excavations both of the historical & the possible self. Franco’s work collapses syntax, eschews tradition, & envisions the dissociating of language as the dissociation of our romantic, personal, & historical selves.

—Raena Shirali, author of GILT

In the Media

USERVIEW 006: Talking to Stones, an experimental book review, Carousel


GOLD MEDAL, PubWest Book Design Awards - Poetry, Short Stories & Anthologies | 2019

BRONZE MEDAL, Forward Review INDIES - LGBTQ Non-Fiction | 2019

SHORTLISTED, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award | 2019