Nine years (ahem...) in the making, award-winning Kevin Connolly’s new collection extends its author’s investigation of identity, authority, intention, and authenticity. What is a public poetry? In an age of tweets and trolls, what should it even try to be? Through revision, redaction, ventriloquism, homage, self-sabotage, and outright plunder, the poems in Connolly’s Xiphoid Process interrogate the alleged futility and alleged insight of mid-life. Are we who we are simply because we’d otherwise be nothing? Or are we (more hopefully) something parked, for a time, in time, trying to make something useful out of the experience? Walt Whitman, Tom Petty, Alec Baldwin, Doug Stanhope, Journey, Judd Nelson, Billy Ripken, Johnny Weissmuller, Don Felder, Lindsay Lohan, Shiprock, NM, the police blotter at Point Reyes Station, CA and the moons of Saturn are all poised to make their case in the poet’s latest deliberations.
Kevin Connolly’s previous collections include Asphalt Cigar a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award; Drift, winner of the Trillium Poetry Prize; and Revolver a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and Trillium Book Award. He teaches poetry in the MFA program at the University of Guelph-Humber and has been poetry faculty at the Banff Centre’s May Writing Studio.
Connolly is known for his satirical wit, and some of the poems here fit that mould. But they are buttressed by poems in a more pensive, lyrical vein. These offer deep thought rather than easy laughs, and they are the backbone ... of Xiphoid Process.
Connolly's poetic flights are short, beautiful and speak back to the darkness
a heterodox collection that defies conventional expectations