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“This is a weird place to wake up / For someone who has woken up in some pretty strange places before.” Run Riot is a collection of ninety poems, one written each day during Ash Winters’ ninety day stay at a Vancouver rehab centre. A fiercely personal account of what it feels like to stop drinking after a decade of excess, Run Riot takes the reader through moments of determination, anger, hilarity, and heartbreak. Winter’s frank account of early sobriety offers companionship to those who know it well and insight for those that want to know it better. Weaving the past and the present together with ruthless vulnerability, Run Riot is a powerful portrait of one person’s struggle against addiction, laying bare an honest search to heal and better understand one’s self.
About the Author
Ash Winters is an emerging Toronto-based poet. Queer and sober, their work navigates the intersections of addiction, identity, and trauma. Growing up queer in small town Ontario gave Ash a chance to develop a lavish sense of humour and a deep respect for empathy both of which come through in their work. They graduated with their BA in English from Lakehead University in 2010. Their poetry has recently appeared in Existere and Open Minds Quarterly. Run Riot is their first book of poetry.
“Run Riot: Ninety Poems in Ninety Days is a raw, honest meditation on Winters’ struggles with addiction, sobriety, and self-acceptance. Like Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House and Roxane Gay’s Hunger, Run Riot is a memoir about how one copes with and embodies trauma. Amidst scenes of profound vulnerability are surprising moments of levity that carry the poet and the reader through the darker days.” —Read With Pride, readwithpride.org