From twirling tassels to dead playmates Archive of the Undressed is a sharp, darkly comic look at the image of women in a society between changing sexual mores. Jeanette Lynes brings her iconic style to these poems, fearlessly critiquing attitudes towards women, poking at Canadian identity and finding something sexy in the settlement of “The Queen’s Bush” – Northern Ontario. A wickedly pointed and funny collection, Archive of the Undressed will overturn any reader’s belief that poetry is boring.
"The Triumph of Hugh Hefner"
Hurtled his roadster straight through the great books
of his country, never once stopped for gas or swerved
to avoid a rabbit. Tore along the spines of Faulkner past
Hemingway's huffing bulls then slowed at last
to flick an affectionate yet manly wave Huck's way,
hell of a kid, that rebel heart, refusal to stay caged
in a world ruled by Aunt Pollys, they formed
an unofficial congress. Sail on, boy. A lusty wind
beat in from the west, one stiff breeze linked
to another like a line of chorus girls in red heels.
His cracking fast car was a Triumph in the latest
series of Triumphs. He spurred throttled it
open burnt up the interstate, hightailed it.
Left Aunt Polly's bloomers flapping
on the clothesline, sad flag of defeat.
Poetry reviews (Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star, 10/05/2013)
“In essence, Lynes is the Tina Fey of Canadian poetry. She’s at her best when combining the farcical with a sharp eye for the telling detail.... Though it revisits a historical period, there’s nothing dated about ‘Archive of the Undressed’: it’s smart, funny and relevant.”
Review (Kimmy Beach, Canadian Poetries, 01/04/2013)
“This book is great, rollicking fun, and a joyous pop-camp romp. To read the queen of CanPo popcult's defiant deconstruction of skin-mag culture is a welcome shot in the arm for anyone who wants Canadian poetry to occasionally be more damn fun.”
The Poetry Shelf (Wisconsin Bookwatch, The Midwest Book Review, 01/03/2013)
"Archive of the Undressed is a must for contemporary poetry collections."
Starred Review (Liz Worth, The Quill & Quire, 01/12/2012)
“Lynes builds lines of connection with the women she portrays. She presents them intimately, makes them so real they seem touchable – probably not unlike the way Playboy readers felt decades ago when they gazed upon the first centrefolds.”
Heed warnings of playboys, bunnies (Bill Robertson, The StarPhoenix, 16/02/2013)
“Archive of the Undressed is a collection packed with fun, frolic, irony, history, sociology, literature, autobiography, as well as being a serious meditation on loneliness and its vectors of disenchantment, disappointment, and disengagement at the heart (or lower) of the girl-next-door fantasy.”
Jeanette Lynes - Archive of the Undressed (an interview) (The Toronto Quarterly, 09/11/2012)
"Archive of the Undressed was inspired by a bunch of old Playboy magazines from the 1960’s and 70’s that I came upon. Research into Hugh Hefner and Playboy led to a wider exploration of showgirls, pin-up, and burlesque."
Fall book season packed with variety and options (Carla Lucchetta, Vancouver Sun, 14/09/2012)
"Poet and novelist Jeanette Lynes has some fun with ever-evolving sexual mores in her sixth collection, Archive of the Undressed.”
Fall preview 2012: crime & mystery, short stories, graphica, and poetry (Stuart Woods, Quill & Quire, 02/08/2012)
"Her sixth collection, Archive of the Undressed (Wolsak & Wynn, $17 pa., Sept.), is a darkly comic take on the representation of women during a period of changing sexual mores."
Other titles by Jeanette Lynes
The New Blue Distance (2009)
Left Fields (2003)