Reviewed by the very smart Carleen Tibbetts, who notes
Goransson writes of Los Angles as fantasy, the fantasy of burning it, of burning down the illusory. The first poem in the collection, “Burn the Whole Thing Down,” asks “Have you ever fallen in love while a city burned?”
Throughout The Sugar Book, Goransson uses language smeared with bodily fluid and sex, language spackled with violence and death (in addition to literal bodies in states of otherness, objectification, violation, and evisceration), in mini-Ars Poeticas and commentary on the state of art and the art scene….
The Sugar Book is vile and violent, but also asphyxiatingly sweet, choking while gorging on its aloof, artful persona. It unsettles. It takes the reader far beyond their comfort zone, as poetry should. Just like Los Angeles herself, the poems inhabit that glittering/grotesque duality of Kardashian Family and Manson Family.