Beautiful Chaos


105 pages
ISBN 0-921852-27-4
DDC C811'.54





Olga Costopoulos-Almon teaches English at the University of Alberta.


Sonja Skarstedt’s book is often beautiful but never chaotic. In the
title poem, which presents an Apollonian understanding of a Dionysian
concert, she encompasses a great deal of the chaos of contemporary life
with lucidity.

Skarstedt expresses gratitude to the late Louis Dudek for counsel and
inspiration and, like Dudek, she can range through mythology (Aztec),
art (Van Gogh and Kahlo), and literary figures (Lorca, Yevtushenko). Her
feeling for the urban landscapes of Montreal is strong, but she can also
evoke the milieu of the American Southwest, as in her suite called
“Arizona Circumferences.” Skarstedt has a capacious sensibility and
a sharp, image-laden style to express what she imagines and experiences.


Skarstedt, Sonja A., “Beautiful Chaos,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,