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Book cover for Xanax Cowboy, by Hannah Green

Xanax Cowboy

By Hannah Green

House of Anansi Press

Xanax Cowboy takes us on a grim and tender ride, exploring a journey through mental illness and addiction. Self-reflexive and contemporary in phrasing and sensibility, the book pairs, like the title itself, a dark coping mechanism of life with the bittersweet harrows of self-performance. Dazzling in its play with form, the book has an utterly original voice, hard-hitting, mordantly ironic, unsparing in its gaze on the self.”

—Peer assessment committee: Mary Dalton, Moez Surani and Gillian Sze


This edgy, often darkly comedic long poem considers the romanticization of addiction and mental illness via the romanticization of the Wild West.

The Xanax Cowboy has a reputation like a rattlesnake. She might as well be a strike-anywhere match in a gasoline town. Her whiskey is mixed with vengeance like her mind is mixed with pills. The last doctor who told her she ain’t nothin’ is still spitting blood through a split lip.

Hannah Green poses for the camera.


Hannah Green is a writer and poetry editor at CV2. Her work has appeared in journals including The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine and Poetry Is Dead. Green holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Winnipeg and a master’s degree in English from Concordia University. She was a poetry finalist for the 2021 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Green

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