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.
About the author
Michael Dennis is a professor in the History and Classics Department at Acadia University in Nova Scotia and the author of Luther P. Jackson and a Life for Civil Rights and The New Economy and the Modern South.