Goddess of Incongruity

All our lives we’ve known the atomic bomb,
But that’s OK, we’ve got these sedans.

Someday, we’ll all be middle class!

Get thee to Holt Renfrew.
Get thee to Lviv.
Get thee to thy toilet brush smack dab in a
downtown core.

You tired? I’m tired.
Bitch, please.
Got to find time to fix my ship, I sail in an hour.

Oh, Jesus. Here it comes again.
That weird nausea…thing.

I have indefinable dust in my eye.

If you can’t trust your digital cable,
What can you?



—Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"Bachinsky has won deserved admiration for her work, full of guts and verve, spunk and nerve. She utilizes a straight-shooting, straight-talking vocabulary and combines it with the world-weary wisdom of a Ukrainian, a people who have experienced grievous injustice in all ways… Bachinsky’s third poetry collection [has that] rough beauty, sinuous toughness, of make-do carpentry that works."

—George Elliott Clarke, Halifax Chronicle-Herald

"…a shining example of how poetry can be more revelatory than prose."

BC Bookworld

"Form-wise, Bachinsky is still at play in God of Missed Connections, incorporating everything from lyrical incantations and dramatic monologues to terse journal entries and passages quoted from archival sources. But there’s nothing playful about her subject matter. Bachinsky lays bare many sorrows in what she calls “the midden” of her heritage, including the catastrophic nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986… It leaves a distinct impression."

—Barbara Carey, The Toronto Star

"The standout piece…inspired by Bachinsky’s [God of Missed Connections]…begins with a toast to Ukraine…and continues through poems pithy and profound… We stumble out of this eerie secret location and into the night, feeling a bit stunned. Which is good."

—Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail (on The Initiation Trilogy)

Written in the near absence of creative works by Ukrainian Canadians of her generation, God of Missed Connections is a breakthrough collection by one of Canada’s leading poets. This book is profound, devastating, and draws on Ukraine's brave and bloody history as a means to explore the author’s place in the contemporary world.

“This book explores a century of cultural assimilation in the West, an experience that is not unique to a Ukrainian-Canadian sensibility. In this book, I wanted to capture the sense of what it feels like to not know where you’re from, to be looking for connections, and to come up with ghosts. God of Missed Connections is just the way I’ve gone about sifting through my own cultural detritus. What makes it through time, what doesn’t? That’s what interests me.”

—Elizabeth Bachinsky

Nominated for The Pat Lowther Award for Poetry, The George Ryga Award for Social Justice in Literature, and the Kobzar Award. Adapted for stage by The Electric Company as a segment of The Initiation Trilogy. The production was nominated for two Jessie Awards.


Review from The Globe and Mail
On Nightwood Editions
Review from The Toronto Star.