Selected and with an Introduction by Stuart Ross
Michael Dennis has been hammering his love, his anger, his grief, and his awe into poems for over forty years. With seven books and nearly twenty chapbooks to his credit, Dennis isn't exactly a household name in Canadian poetry, but he is a natural heir to poets like Canadian icon Al Purdy and American legends Eileen Myles and Charles Bukowski. His poems are his life made into poems: direct, emphatic, honest.
Bad Engine brings together mostly revised versions of about one hundred poems selected from Dennis's published work, along with several dozen new poems. This volume, introduced and edited by Dennis's long-time friend, the poet and editor Stuart Ross, marks a milestone in the career of a homegrown, no-bullshit, tells-it-likes-he-sees-it populist bard. Here the reader will find a rollicking tale of drinking with racists, poignant prayers for quiet nights with lovers, raw narratives of childhood abuse, defiant anthems of a body broken by sports injuries, a mindful meditation about a stoned dragonfly, and the not-quite resigned laughter of a man smashing away at a keyboard for four decades and becoming neither rich nor famous. Bad Engine is Michael Dennis being human.
Michael Dennis is a poet from Ottawa, Ontario. He has published seven books of poetry and nearly twenty chapbooks, and has been widely published in Canadian literary magazines and journals. For the last three years Dennis has been the labour behind Today's Book of Poetry, a regular blog where Dennis talks about books of poetry he likes. Dennis has posted over 450 blogs/reviews of Canadian and American small press poetry. These days he can be found in Vanier, keeping his laneway clean.