Ken Belford's career has spanned six decades and three lives. The Answer to Everything collects Belford's poetry of the 1960s in Vancouver, his "lan(d)guage" poetry of the early 2000s influenced by his time on remote Blackwater Lake, and his more political-charged poetry of the last decade while he lived in Prince George. This collection allows readers to discover or reflect on Ken's unique and challenging work, seeing patterns and themes in his poetics as they evolved out of his TISH-influenced poetry and into more contemporary dialogues where Belford seemingly establishes a poetic school of his own.
The collection has been organized chronologically, setting foundational texts from his earlier work next to his celebrated recent books that concretized his distinct poetic sensibilities. This remarkable collection is assembled based on Belford's wishes by those close to him as a definitive record of his life's work.
About the authors
Ken Belford, the “self-educatedLan(d)guage” poet, has said that living for decades in the “back country” has afforded him a unique relationship to language that rejects the colonial impulse to write about nature but attempts to write from nature and our relationship to the land.
Currently living in Prince George, BC, he continues to write outside the boundaries of the conventional forms espoused by what he calls the “tribal schools” of poetry. His six previous books of poetry are Fireweed, The Post Electric Caveman, Pathways into the Mountains, lan(d)guage, when snakes awaken and Ecologue.
New Westminster, BC native Jordan Scott is a graduate student in creative writing at the University of Calgary. He has published several chapbooks, including A Walking History of Wladyslaw's Body In Parts and Mere Mismemory. His work has also appeared in Matrix, Filling Station, and other journals. He lives in Calgary.
Rob Budde teaches Creative Writing at the University of Northern BC and has taught previously at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. He has published seven books of poetry, fiction, and short fiction. He has been a finalist for the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer and the McNally-Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year. In 1995, Budde completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. Recently Budde published a book of poetry titled Finding Ft. George, a collection of poems about Rob s growing relationship with Prince George and Northern BC. Rob lives in Prince George with his partner, Debbie Keahey and four children: Robin, Erin, Quinlan, and Anya. Check out his poetry blog: www.writingwaynorth.blogspot.com
"The land's nourishment, flowing water, ancestral wind all commingle in these analects, generating rain, cloud cover, and conditions for a poetry that enlivens our capacity to remember that we are part of the earth. Belford reminds us, with humour, humbleness and wide-ranging references, that a life well lived is built through relationships, not commodities, through a falling apart that is also a rebuilding of parts. Listen to this ecosystem that anticipates climate's sudden shifts & stays with what the trees, the viruses, the small and the big, have to teach us, when we pay attention and respect our interconnectedness."
--Rita Wong, author of monkeypuzzle, forage and undercurrent