Publication Year

Safe Words

From a student’s confrontation with a teenage streaker, to a company man’s complete undoing at his summer party, Michelle Brown’s Safe Words finds rich darkness in happy partnerships. A maiden name is “handed down / like a sweater”, a taxi ride “ends… at someone else’s life”. Played against a backdrop of pop culture, late-night swagger and vivid imaginary landscapes, Safe Words is the rare poetic debut that delivers passion and control, wielding humour and empathy in equal parts.


Michelle Brown

Originally from Victoria, BC, Michelle Brown lives in Toronto with her husband and three-legged dog Bo. Safe Words is her first full-length collection.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


Safe Words – Sixteen – Altar Girls – Streaker – Daily Routine – On not becoming famous – All the parties I’ve ever been to – Invasive Species … 25 $2.50


Dark Sides – Hello, it’s me – Cave of Illusions – Double – ‘You meant nothing’ was said – If not x then why – Take me anywhere or actually … 13 $1.30


home alone – Company Picnic – Ebb – Father, on a camping trip, refuses to leave his tent – Restaurant Review – Boy, on the nonexistence of the Triceratops – … 11 $1.10


Having Done my Penance, Let’s try this Thing Again – Dog Farm – Twenty-seven – When you go out in the world today – Energizer – Vows – In the kitchen … 10 $1.00