Table Manners


Carnal, flamboyant, visceral and bold, Table Manners is a rich meal. Catriona Wright’s debut introduces us to the image of the poet as “gastronaut,” a figure who seems to live entirely between a table and a stove and who steeps her surroundings and relationships in complex emotional flavours. “My life,” she writes, “is now tuned to bone marrow donuts and chef gossip. I’m useless at any other frequency.” Wright’s wild narratives are sometimes funny, sometimes frightening and always ravishingly observed. Table Manners is what might have emerged had Julia Child written like Sharon Olds, or if Anthony Bourdain knew his way around a line break.




Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry, 2nd Place

10 Must-Read Books of 2017 – League of Canadian Poets 

2017 Recommended Read – The Fiddlehead 


“Catriona Wright’s shining debut, Table Manners, is the decadent feast of a sharp mind at play. The poems offer unerring precision of thought and a kaleidoscopic view of a stratum of human desire, performance and need that far eclipses that of mere survival.” – Dani Couture, author of Yaw

“In Table Manners, Catriona Wright’s delicious artfulness, rich vision, and biting wit make her poems equal parts feast and feaster—as you devour the poems, they, in turn, consume you.”  – Daniel Scott Tysdal, author of Fauxcassional Poems


“Tightly woven and elaborate in its conceit, the poems in Table Manners linger both on the mind and palate.” – Gillian Sze, Montreal Review of Books

“…a baroque feast of juicy diction and inventive wordplay that explores food as social ritual and slippery signifier of desire.” – Barb Carey, The Toronto Star

“If you’ve ever Instagrammed your lunch, or directed distain toward somebody who has, this is the book for you. The poems are vivid, surprising, and pretty much devourable.” – Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf

“The richness and sheer availability of the wordplay in these and other assessments are, I think, proof positive that Wright’s poetic gastronomy translates.” – Natalie Boldt, Canadian Literature

“These are not celebratory poems, they are irritable bowel poems.” – Julie Mannell, Vallum

“Think Julia Child cooking with a willing Erica Jong, or Martha Stewart supplying her level of expertise to a baking dominatrix.  Yes, this poetry is as fun as it sounds.” – Michael Dennis, Today’s Book of Poetry

“On the one hand, it’s unsettling that a writer can make words leap out of a poem and land in your mouth as “pale green macarons that taste/ of clover.” But on the other, it’s pure magic. Wright keeps both those hands where the reader can see them, elbows planted firmly on the table.” – Claire Caldwell, Debutantes

“Laced with Wright’s dark humour, the poems that inhabit Table Manners move easily and quickly from elegance to vulgarity.” – Jessica Rose, Room Magazine


Véhicule Press

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