"I wasn’t very far into Pearl Pirie’s new poetry collection the pet radish, shrunken when I wished that I wasn’t reading it. Oh, don’t get excited; this isn’t some horrible negative review. Alone in my backyard in suburbia with the book in hand, I wished for a brief moment to be in a darkened public venue somewhere in urban wherever, listening to Pirie read, or better yet, to have her teleport to my backyard and read the book to me, or leap it to me, spin it to me like sixteen plates on sticks, dance its punny pas de bourrée, mash its oulipo sassiness into a fine paste and wear it like a facial. Wishing makes it so, in this case: that all happened anyway despite the decided lack of technology to support teleportation, which tells you something about the linguistic clean and jerk that this book performs and about the power and appeal of Pirie’s whirling dervish wordplay. ”
"After two books, Pearl Pirie already has something of a reputation for verbal pyrotechnics, & her eccentrically titled new collection will definitely further burnish it. [...] Although many of these pieces seem to fly beyond the ordinary, the local & political world hovers nearby, & sometimes impinges in a cutting manner. There’s a pertinent impertinence to such poems as ‘but here are you from, really?’ with lines like ‘absence makes the heart grown nomads. we are cheerleaders / standing on the pyramid of temporary workers,’ ”
"The lyrics populating Ottawa poet Pearl Pirie's new collection, the pet radish, shrunken, buzz with oblique wisdom and surgically sharp wit.[...] the sonnets, tercets and dialogue poems of this new collection strike powerful and deliberate chords even while they frolic and surprise. ”
"the pet radish, shrunken explores and dissects sound, form, and linguistic play, frustrating what Pirie calls embedded sense – the deeper meanings we ascribe to words, and by extension, the world. In “the body, its calendar” she writes, “wouldn’t we all fly up if not clasped? / you & I talk of saturn. I say weight. / you reply, mass, mass, but all I hear / is the trinity. dust, our size, not our origin.” Worlds collide in this single stanza: creationism is pitted against not only evolution, but existentialism.[...] Many of these poems aren’t pretty in a lyrical sense, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because they please the mind in another way. "
"She'll slip a hard edge into the most carefree poems to knock you out while other lines evoke giggles[...] a radiant union of contemporary situations and classic themes."
"She’s the opposite of boring!”
"[S]he manages to articulate a series of confusions and sparks, none of which could have been articulated in any other way. These are poems learning how to explore simply by exploring. She has become a poet worth watching, which is always a rare and enviable position."
"In Pearl Pirie's poems, language ferments, foments a "vinegar vigour." Flipping the labels off contemporary mores, cooking with sound, she offers quick food for thought. Keep up with her if you can."
"These interesting and articulate poems seem to come from a very deep well. […] Her dry humour just races around inside these poems […] Pirie's mature poems are Brautiganian whip-smart and as precise as pinched purpose. […] full of wisdom and a little piss and vinegar. Someone confident enough to let loose with those assuring assessments, clinical appraisals and whimsical amusements."
"the pet radish, shrunken (March), the third full collection of poetry from Pearl Pirie, deals in the poetics of sound, language, and play."