Book Review: Sin Eater

Trent is just bursting with talent these days! Every time I turn around, I hear about another member of the Trent community publishing a book.

Soon to be Trent Alumna, Angela Hibbs, Bachelor of Education student, recently published a collection of poems called Sin Eater in 2014 with ARP books in Winnipeg. Hibbs previously completed her Bachelors and Masters in English, specializing in French Immersion, at Concordia University in Montreal. In the book, Hibbs organized her poems under the subheadings of the seven deadly sins: sloth, pride, greed, gluttony, lust, envy, and wrath. It is a quick read, only 100 pages long, and the poems are generally quite short – the longest are about two pages long.

Hibbs uses strong words and powerful images to convey “sin” as a running theme. The way she groups her poems under the subheadings of the sins also add to this overarching tone of the collection in an interesting way. Simply reading the titles in the table of contents, the poems seem to be arbitrarily grouped together. However, after reading the poems in sequence, it is clear that their location in the text is a significant part of the book. Each poem is self-contained and different from the next, yet they all seem connect in their group, and as a whole, as the book progresses.

Hibbs uses the space of the page to convey the themes of the book as well. A couple blank pages separates sections of the book from one another; and sometimes an ironic statement is inserted into these pages. I personally found this to be the most powerful aspect of the book. Each time an ironic, arbitrary statement cut between the poems and interrupted my reading experience, it made me aware of the fact that I was reading a book of poems, which forced me to question the poem and how it connected with the sins and rest of the text.

For those Grad students who love to read poetry, but have a hard time finding time fit in reading for pleasure under a mountain of research, this collection of poems is an excellent choice. Overall, the book is a quick, thought-provoking read packed with emotion and deep images.

If you would like to purchase Sin Eater, you can find it here, on the ARP Books website.

About dontpanictrent

DON'T PANIC: A Trent Graduate Student Blog

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