Winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry
Enjoy It While It Hurts is an edifying miscellany of quarrelsome quips, holiday oddities, benevolent advice, curious thoughts and comically apocalyptic melancholia. This delightful collection of light verse and nonsense poetry written and illustrated by the award-winning, multitalented JonArno Lawson keeps alive the traditions of Edward Gorey, Shel Silverstein and Hilaire Belloc. Erudite, witty and wholly original, Lawson's wordplay is serious business.
About the author
Born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised nearby in Dundas, JonArno Lawson's most formative experiences as a child occurred in Florida which he visited for an extended stay at the age of eight. Happy to be missing almost an entire year of school, he filled his days at the beach digging holes and collecting shells and coconuts, travelling in glass-bottomed boats and touring nature parks that featured free-roaming monkeys and parrots. He wore a ship captain's hat at all times, and a green pouch in which he kept dozens of ticket stubs, a musket ball, brass souvenir coins that bore the faces of various American presidents, and other treasures which he hoards to this day. JonArno is a two-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children's Poetry, for Black Stars in a White Night Sky in 2007 and again in 2009 for A Voweller's Bestiary. In 2011 his poetry collection Think Again was short-listed for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award. JonArno lives in Toronto with his wife Amy Freedman and his children Sophie, Ashey and Joseph, all of whom assist the author with phrases, topics and sometimes even complete lines for use in his poems.
"Enjoy it While it Hurts is a delight and a great introduction to Lawson's talent and breadth of style. Not quite comedy and not quite tragedy but somewhere in between, this book reveals his unique relationship with life and all the people in it with our awesome, heart-breaking, perplexing ways. Oh, humanity." - ARC Poetry Magazine
"Lawson's reading was one of the most inspiring and educational moments of the festival for me, because it shook up my notions of how a book has to look if it wants to see print nowadays." - Sarah Henstra
"The night's host Paul Vermeersch described Lawson as the Shel Silverstein of the new generation... I was delighted to find that Lawson is continuing the tradition of illustrated poetry that is as philosophical as it is whimsical." - Town Crier