You Might Be Sorry You Read This is a stunning debut, revealing how breaking silences and reconciling identity can refine anger into something both useful and beautiful.
A poetic memoir that looks unflinchingly at childhood trauma (both incestuous rape and surviving exposure in extreme cold), it also tells the story of coming to terms with a hidden Indigenous identity when the poet discovered her Métis heritage at age 38.
This collection is a journey of pain, belonging, hope, and resilience. The confessional poems are polished yet unpretentious, often edgy but humorous; they explore trauma yet prioritize the poet’s story. Honouring the complexities of Indigenous identity and the raw experiences of womanhood, mental illness, and queer selfhood, these narratives carry weight. They tell us “You need / only be the simple / expression of the divine / intent / that is your life.”
There is a lifetime in these poems.
You Might Be Sorry You Read This was launched at the following venues:
In/Verse FBCW April 9, 2022
Edmonton Poetry Festival: Literary Coctails April 28, 2022
Planet Earth Poetry May 13, 2022
International Symposium of Poetic Inquiry May 26, 2022
Massy Books June 2, 2022
Below is a recording of the Planet Earth Poetry Launch:
“This is a book that refuses secrets, that seeks to transform dark and unsettling experiences by confronting them with clarity and fury.”–Melanie Brannagan Frederiksen, Winnipeg Free Press, July 23, 2022
“Honouring the complexities of Indigenous identity and the raw experiences of womanhood, mental illness, and queer selfhood, the poems in Michelle Poirier Brown’s You Might Be Sorry You Read This reveal how breaking silences and reconciling identity can refine anger into something both useful and beautiful.”–49th Shelf, February 28, 2022
“The epigraph to the collection of poetry, and some prose too, is by Irish poet Pádraig Ó Tuama: ‘One of the functions of poetry / is to make you uncomfortable.’ Indeed, the content will make readers uncomfortable due to descriptions of the author’s childhood trauma and/or references to settler privilege and non-acknowledgment as such. Family members may be ‘sorry’ to read long-held secrets revealed. Most important, Poirier Brown has put an end to silence.”–Mary Ann Moore, The British Columbia Review. Read full review.
“Michelle Poirier Brown’s first collection of poetry is accomplished and gripping. In her five-decade story, perceptions, denial, emotional embroilments and poignant tenderness are peeled back and examined. As the narrative builds, we encounter the sheer alchemical power of poetry. This is rare. You Might Be Sorry You Read This will change you.”–Betsy Warland, Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss
“‘One of the functions of poetry is to make you uncomfortable.’ This epigraph, by Pádraig Ó Tuama, begins Michelle Poirier Brown’s debut collection—a collection that intends, unapologetically, to discomfort the reader. With unflinching precision and the exactness of a fine poet’s eye, Poirier Brown challenges her readers to encounter not only her childhood trauma but, ultimately, the power of her self—her late-discovered Métis identity, her navigation of PTSD, her unwillingness to settle for less than the truth. In the final poem, “Self-Portrait of the Poet,” she concludes, “go ahead. look. / Look as long as you like.” Invitation or command, it’s a hard look Poirier Brown offers. It may make readers uncomfortable. But they won’t be sorry.”—Laura Apol, author of A Fine Yellow Dust
“In her compelling debut collection, You Might Be Sorry You Read This, Michelle Poirier Brown pulls you into an intimate place of unflinching honesty. Brown’s poetic memoir confronts, explores and digests hard truths. There is no sitting quietly on the sidelines for the reader. Her book claims your engagement, especially in the second half. And as the speaker awakens to herself, the poems ring out with new confidence and resonance. I predict emphatically you will be grateful you read this.”— Susan Alexander, author of Nothing You Can Carry