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Poetry Canadian


by (author) Kevin Spenst

Anvil Press Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price

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A finalist for the&nbspAlfred G. Bailey Prize,&nbspIgnite&nbspis a collection of elegiac and experimental poetry powder-kegged with questions about one man's lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. Born into a strict Mennonite family, Abe Spenst's mental illness spanned three decades in and out of mental institutions where he underwent electric shock treatment and coma-induced insulin therapy. Merging memory and medical records, Kevin Spenst recreates his father's life through a cuckoo's nest of styles that both stand as witness and waltz to the interplay between memory, emotion and all our forms of becoming.

Praise for Ignite:

"... with a fearless layering of voice,&nbspIgnite&nbspis upfront and unswerving. A novel-esque torrent tracing a troubling history of illness, part confrontation and part chronicle, this collection is daring with its dark narrative. Here is a willingness for, and enviable strength in, extending poetic range.&nbspIgnite&nbspheals and ascends. There are books that need to be written and this is one of them. This is a collection which gives more and more with every read."&nbsp(Sandra Ridley, judge, Alfred G. Bailey prize)

"An outstanding follow-up to Spenst's excellent first collection. (Winnipeg Free Press)"

A selection of poems from Ignite won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Kevin Spenst is the author of&nbspJabbering with Bing Bong&nbsp(Anvil Press) and ten chapbooks including&nbspPray Goodbye&nbsp(the Alfred Gustav Press),&nbspRetractable&nbsp(the serif of nottingham),&nbspand&nbspSurrey Sonnets&nbsp(JackPine Press).&nbspHe has done a one-man show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and over a hundred readings across the country. His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry and has appeared in dozens of publications including Prairie Fire, BafterC, Lemon Hound, Poetry is Dead, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014. He lives and works in Vancouver, BC where he's an enthusiastic participant in a number of writing communities.

User Reviews

Quick Question about Above Formating

First off, thanks for featuring my book. I was wondering if there was any way to clean up the text above. the&nbspAlfred G. Bailey Prize,&nbspIgnite&nbspis is not a prize that I'm aware of. In the quote there are three instances of ipsum (or I suppose misread html?): voice,&nbspIgnite&nbspis upfront and... extending poetic range.&nbspIgnite&nbsp Also, at the end &nbsp(Sandra Ridley... is also a bit confusing. Thanks in advance for your help.

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