About this book
Finalist, Vancouver Book Award
Billeh Nickerson is one of Canada's showiest poets; colourful, witty, and wise, with undertones of sexy. By turns outlandish and poignant, Artificial Cherry heralds the return of Billeh's cheeky/sweet sensibilities. From Elvis Presley and glass eyes to phantom lovers and hockey haiku, you're never quite sure where Billeh will take you, but the outcomes are worth the ride.
Nickerson is busy in these poems with transformations of his own. From the gossipy accounts of poetry readings across Canada to the simple, piercing grief of 'Red Mailboxes,' a compressed meditation on loss, Nickerson is fusing a mix of pop culture, personal vision and scenes from memory into shapely and oddly compelling poems. 'Petrified,' which captures a moment in a hotel room as two old friends reflect on life, love, loss and time, is one of the most artfully crafted and moving of the poems in this book, while the title work, 'Artificial Cherry,' meditates on the nature of art and artifice, and on the unpleasantly compelling power of the popular culture the author mines for his material. Vancouver Sun
"Irony is my bread and butter," muses the poet in this clever and insightful collection. Nickerson takes on an otherwise unclaimed Canadiana -- one known by writers and queers, and those who look for the absurd and poetic in everyday encounters, or who find it without looking. Publishers Weekly