Selected Press (Online)
Rob McLennan, review of Myself A Paperclip. Read the review here.
Isabella Wang, Room Magazine. Read the interview here.
Alex Boyd, One Question Interview. Read the interview here.
Jennifer Still, Winnipeg Free Press. Read the review here.
Rhea Tregebov, The Globe and Mail. Read the review here.
Thomas Hodd, The Telegraph-Journal. Read the profile here.
Praise for Myself A Paperclip
“In Myself a Paperclip, Triny Finlay renews the elemental possibilities of poetry—transformation, preservation, vision, and voice—in order to counter the stigmatization of mental illness, resist the idealization of treatment, and reveal the intense difficulties of recovery and survival. Myself a Paperclip is an essential, necessary read for its vital authenticity, courageous activism, and singular art.” —Daniel Scott Tysdal
“Just as a paperclip is bent but holds every page together, its strength not sapped but tautened by the bending, Triny Finlay’s fierce and gentle new poems join us to a struggle with the everyday, not just inside the psych ward but outside, baring its roots not only in care but in vulneration of bodies. Without flinching, using documentary, theatres of voices, and lyric, Myself a Paperclip echoes Eliot’s ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ as Finlay evokes an uncertain world, its components and banality, its Sanka and toast, a dwelling-place fraught and unfraught. Here is the litany of voices from which collectivity emerges and yet individuality is preserved.” —Erín Moure
“‘Like a curious fawn,’ Triny Finlay writes in this stark, candid, and surprisingly funny collection about mental illness; ‘off a ledge backwards,’ she writes. Here is the self undone and bent but unbreaking, the voice a lash and a roar, here are words well-wrought and wielded with such care. Myself a Paperclip is compelling in the earliest sense of the word, urging us irresistibly together. Would that we were all ‘so ready to be unfastened.’” —Katia Grubisic
“She writes pauses, halts and bursts, writing a lyric notebook of experiences, of banality and balance. ‘Call it irrational,’ she writes, as part of the extended sketchbook sequence ‘You Don’t Want What I’ve Got,’ ‘mercurial. Wild / pink moons. It’s like / you’re not even trying. // Plucking guitar strings all ticky-tacky / in a high, unlikely room. // Wistful, hysterical. / And through the walls, wisteria.’ She writes of #MeToo, and attempting to right herself after assaults from without and from within. She writes of lists and keeping score and keeping track. She writes poems that count backwards from ten, documenting progress, losses and frustration. The poems in Myself a Paperclip offer an open and direct account of her experiences through mental illness, one that is sharp, thoughtful and written almost as a notebook of slow return…” —Rob McLennan
Praise for Splitting Off
“Inventive, quick, charged with appetites, these poems realize a lively, engaged poetic intelligence. Triny Finlay’s Splitting Off is a marvelous debut, a highly accomplished book, versatile and confident in pleasure and form.” —Sharon Thesen
“In Triny Finlay’s Splitting Off, all objects are erotic—they reach out to you: pinking shears, seductive omelettes, a fine-boned teacup. A kiss and there are ‘flashes of sweet, gapped-teeth lacunae infuriating the room.’ She knows the innards of words, and has a painter’s eye for detail. A mistress of impersonations, she plays riffs on family, friends, freaks. A wonderful debut collection.” —Rosemary Sullivan
“Triny Finlay’s voice is unique, sensual and muscular. Her poems are threatening and seductive; we’re pulled in by our faith in the everyday objects that fill them and find ourselves led willingly into a sinister domestic wilderness that surely lives somewhere just down the block. This is poetry of intense, feral beauty.” —Sean Johnston
“Finlay’s dry mixture of cynicism and epicurean delight struck me as very much of the moment, capturing a particularly modern disillusionment that comes from searching for love in today’s landscape of gender politics.” —Sonnet L’Abbé, The Globe and Mail
“Triny Finlay’s Splitting Off is declaratory poetry. She writes a fast line: an arrow shot with little trajectory but great speed… Her approach is sensual/erotic/wet, this in a country parka-ed, toqued, and frozen for half the year. She’s moving mountains to bring us exotica. ‘You think I am different. / You don’t know difference’ (35). That is indeed what we wish our poets to do: make a difference / make it different.” —Andrew Vaisius, Prairie Fire
“Splitting Off is a tour through a talented early poet’s rigorous testing of her own voice, through a range of poetic styles and devices, from momentum-heavy prose pieces to taut couplets and sonnet-variations to one of the best glosas I’ve ever read: ‘Winter Ritual,’ which avoids the standard pitfall of paling in comparision to the four-line quotation around which it is built…Finlay is sharp, rhythmically masterful, and playful.” —Anita Lahey, ARC Magazine
“Throughout Splitting Off, intimate scenes are created and emotions are transmitted without extraneous melodrama, without histrionics. Finlay has presented a relaxed rationality so the reader can revaluate symbolic objects. Via her speakers, she has rendered a humble stoicism, a private logic.” —Michael Lockett, The Fiddlehead
“Finlay’s first collection of poems articulates her contemporary woman’s sensibility while quoting, paraphrasing, and alluding to literary works of the past. Finlay’s incorporation of literary forebears structurally and thematically gives depth to the poems…her poetry in Splitting Off, is already brilliantly accomplished.” —Thomas M.F. Gerry, Canadian Book Review
“This is the work of poetry; this is the kind of talent I require to hold attention; this is the debut that seems as if it could have been written instead by a pseudonymous ten-book poet; this is poetry that seems so shaped, so aged, so ripe, so playful, so idiosyncratic (save for the snake in the grass cliché) that it can only come from one consciousness — splitting off, as it were. With this book, Triny Finlay has made her mark.” —Shane Neilson, PoetryReviews.ca
Praise for Histories Haunt Us
“Undisguised, her poetry takes on a powerful authenticity.” —Rhea Tregebov, The Globe and Mail
“Powerfully elemental in image and sound, particularly in the ghazal-like title sequence, this is a beautifully sombre and sensual reflection on the faithful failing of language.” —Jennifer Still, Winnipeg Free Press
“Uniting the [book’s] two styles is Finlay’s declarative sentences such as, ‘The finest art can be the ugliest metaphor’ or ‘After the bliss of the baby came the flies.’ In Finlay’s world, filled with lingering ghosts, broken hearts and sickness, where ‘you are an anchor or you are not,’ these sentences reflect a desire to make sense of it all. Anchored, these poems are, perhaps, but during a hurricane at night, in the middle of the ocean.” —The Telegraph-Journal
“Finlay has a gift for weaving many images into neat patterns with open-ended conclusions. She frames many pictures, some of which are fleeting while others probe in-depth the feelings, thoughts, and imaginings of the human psyche.” —Michael O. Nowlan, The Daily Gleaner