Review: ‘Dawn of the Algorithm’ by Yann Rousselot

It took me a long time to find the right collection of poetry for me. Although I have read many of the classics, your Shakespeare’s and your Dante’s, two semesters of Chaucer, and voluntarily braved Victorian poetry at 7pm on Thursday evenings during pub night, I have never considered myself a poetry reader. I can appreciate a well-turned phrase, but when given the choice between a collection of poetry and a novel, I will always go with the novel.

So how did I find this collection that suits me so well? Dawn of the Algorithm by Yann Rousselot (check out his blog) is at once irreverent and beautiful; it is a collection of science fiction inspired poems that kept me interested because I’m just that much of a geek to find it amusing. I get the references, and maybe that’s why I like it so much. It’s like hipster poetry for those of us who are “uncool” enough to know about blunderbusses and find statistical poetry amusing.

While I did enjoy the majority of the poems in this collection, my favourite is one that is available to read on the publisher’s website.


Do not feed the octoshark,
nor the sharktopus.
I’ve yet to decide which to cull,
which will thrive. What would Darwin do?
Hand me that blunderbuss.
Never look the hypnotoad in the eye
unless you want to mutate
into a Cronenberg-inspired horsefly.
Be warned, human, there is no mating call
like that of the Jesus Monkey.
Makes you wet like a tropical storm,
hard like a unicorn.
Nothing like a bit of inter-species
if you know what I mean.
Don’t throw stones at the Komodo Kid!
That’s my son, and so what if he eats carrion.
He’s cold-blooded, but he has feelings too.
That’s no way to treat the animals
at the Moreau Zoo.

I love imagining all the different creatures mentioned in this poem. Perhaps you have to be a certain type of person to enjoy poetry, but to me this reads like a more cerebral Dr Seuss. If all the poems in this collection were as easy to imagine as this one, I would have absolutely loved the book. I’m a simple being when it comes to poetry, so I probably missed the point on anything that was a bit more intellectual. I’m sure there are people who would love the very deep poems, but I was always hoping for another fun one on the next page.

LC rating: four-stars (great book)

Dawn of the Algorithm is available for order @


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