Jenny Sampirisi Discusses her 'Abject Obsession' with Open Book Toronto

In an interview with Open Book Toronto, Coach House poet Jenny Sampirisi discusses the fascination with bodies, transformation and trauma that motivates her debut collection, Croak.

Open Book: Tell us about your book Croak.

Jenny Sampirisi: Croak is really, at its core, a book about relationships and the ways people compromise themselves and each other in love. The frogs and the girls of the collection are in constant flux. They’re changing: growing new limbs, losing others, slowly fusing together to become the Frogirls. It’s playing with a lot of the history of Frogs in cartoons, literature and in the real world.

OB: What recurring themes or obsessions do you notice turning up in your writing?

JS: I can’t get away from bodies. The internal minds of my characters always seem to play out through physical distress. In is/was [Sampirisi's debut novel] the characters were all struggling internally both in body and mind. We all spend so much time inside our heads, I think we sometimes forget we even have a body unless something is 'wrong' with it. The subjects of my books are always in a state of physical transformation. It’s an abject obsession.

To read the full interview, click here.

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