There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore explores the manipulative pull of self-mythology and how it informs the telling of story—whether by a fan worshipping her idol, or an old vaudevillian star reminiscing about a glamorous past. Intimate glances into the lives of the famous — Lady Di, Zelda Sayre, Stevie Nicks, Oprah — bring back points of reflection on their relation to the everyday. Poems about the cast of The Wizard of Oz present the tragedy and ambition of Hollywood life.
The life of the stars is full of glamour, but is also contrasted with the trauma of leading such a life: “what a world, what a twisted/world this is, that, like a boxer’s embrace,/ beats us into bloody conceit.” Following this thread are poems about the sometimes-similar struggles and dreams of the less fortunate, portrayed with storybook metaphor. Alternating between prose, lyric, elegy and dramatic monologue, the poems of There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore question the nature of performance, blur the lines of identity, and illustrate the age-old hunger to find, amidst life’s glitter and waste, a happy ending.
What the critics say:
- “Adrienne Weiss is well on her way to joining the best pop culture writers CanPo has to offer…” — Kimmy Beach, Arc Poetry Magazine
- “Additional to Weiss’s attentive, relevant, and effective critique of the culture we live in, There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore showcases the work of a finely tuned poem.” — Tiffany Sillanpää, Canadian Woman Studies, 30 (2,3)
- “Adrienne Weiss is the woman behind the curtain, an artful prophet and travel guide — she peels back the membrane of the world as we see it, and shows us the strange tragicomic truth underneath….” — Sandra Kasturi, author of Come Late to the Love of Birds
- “There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore is a touching collection, carefully guiding its reader through a vast world of personal truths.” — Maureen Brouwer, Broken Pencil
- “The collection must be appreciated for its ambition, intellectual muscle, and heart.” — Elizabeth Ross, Poetry Is Dead (Issue 10)
- “There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore … uncovers a complex human experience filled with aspirations, cravings, and disappointments.” — Rebecca Geleyn, The Malahat Review
- “Weiss is a brilliant ventriloquist, multiplying perspectives in a way that suggests a human chorus of sometimes rueful self-scrutiny.” — Hilary Turner, EVENT, 43/3
- “The title poem of this sparkling second collection is a poignant, bristling, humorous stew of what it means to be alive at the end of one’s tether….” — Mariianne Mays, Herizons, 29(3)
- “With the rise of Internet celebrity as a viable option for people of all stripes, Adrienne Weiss’s new collection feels both oddly archaic and extremely appropriate…” — Natalie Zina Walschots, Quill & Quire
- “‘The Midway’ and ‘Heads or Tails’ almost satisfyingly evoke a fusion of Frank O’Hara and Philip Larkin…” — Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews
- “And so, as ‘the future comes anyway,’ her plant-like human body will lean in to jest at those who, desperate to quench their thirst amidst burning police cars and Teenage Dream posters (70), still believe in the immortality of verse.” — Abigail Slinger, The Bull Calf (6.2)
- “As uncanny as Weiss’s impressions are, the unnamed narrators often resonate the longest.” — McKinley Hellenes, Canadian Literature (Issue 222)
Where to sample some of Adrienne’s work:
- Read “A Member of the Wait Staff Delivers a Glass of Ice to Oprah” (Taddle Creek).
How to buy There Are No Solid Gold Dancers Anymore: