Join KFB SELECTS SUBSCRIPTION SERIES any time of the year for a full year. Twelve monthly titles of the latest and best in contemporary poetry selected by knife | fork | book.
KFB SELECTS Subscription Series relaunches with our MARCH 2020 Selection: ALICE NOTLEY FOR THE RIDE (Penguin Poets, 2020)
KFB SELECTS APRIL 2020: JOHN ELIZABETH STINTZI JUNEBAT (Anansi Poetry, 2020)
John Elizabeth Stintzi’s unforgettable debut collection, Junebat, grapples with the pain of uncertainty on the path towards becoming. Set during the year Stintzi lived in deep isolation in Jersey City, NJ, these poems map the depression the poet struggled with as they questioned and came to grips with their gender identity. Through the invention of the Junebat — a contradictory, evolving, ever-perplexing creature — Stintzi is able to create a self-defined space within the poems where they can reside comfortably, beyond the firm boundaries of the gender binary or the plethora of identities gathered under the queer umbrella.
As the speaker of the poems begins to emerge from their depression, the second wing of the book tracks their falling in love with a young woman surfacing from the end of her marriage. Challenging, heartbreaking, soaring, and powerfully new, the poems in Junebat demolish false walls and pull the reader to the dark edges of the mind, showing us how identity doesn’t have to be rigid or static but can be defined by confusion and contradiction, possibility and a metamorphosis that never ends. (Anansi Poetry, 2020)
KFB SELECTS MAY 2020: ANNICK MACASKILL MURMURATIONS (Gaspereau Press, 2020)
Murmurations is a collection of love poems that explores how intimacy tests the capacity of language—how music is also noise and the prospect for miscommunication abounds. Populating her poems with birdsong and murmurings of the natural world, MacAskill highlights how poets and lovers share much with birders on the twitch, how even keen observation and intense passion can fail us as we pursue our beloved across distances and through time. Yet when we do finally find love it often seems, like a rare bird, “at once/singular and improbable/ because of how clearly it appeared to us.” (Gaspereau Press, 2020)
KFB SELECTS JUNE 2020: ROXANNA BENNETT UNMEANINGABLE (Gordon Hill Press, 2019) | KAIE KELLOUGH MAGNETIC EQUATOR (McClelland & Stewart, 2019)
2020 RAYMOND SOUSTER AWARD WINNER 2020 TRILLIUM AWARD WINNER 2020 PAT LOWTHER AWARD SHORTLIST
“In Bennett’s work, there is a sense that she has listened too long to normative expectations, and by cracking the sonnet she is also cracking the pain of a shell that does not allow her pain its due.” – ROBERT COLMAN
Unmeaningable welcomes you to the freak show, where the monster on display is a culture that stigmatizes sickness and a system that shames the sufferer. Behold the wonder of the ages, a human mind in a human body, dissected and displayed for entertainment. Witness the ritual of surgical sacrifice! Observe the indignity of institutionalization! Be astounded by the indifference of ableism and ignorance! This uncanny collection of “crippled” sonnets features a thrilling display of cannibals, chimeras, and the crucial question: What meaning can be made of a life lived in pain and isolation? (Gordon Hill Press, 2019)
2020 GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE WINNER
“This is essential work doing the necessary heavy-lifting that poetry is intended to do.” – M. NOURBESE PHILIP
The poems in Kaie Kellough‘s third collection drift between South and North America. They seek their ancestry in Georgetown, Guyana, in the Amazon Rainforest, and in the Atlantic Ocean. They haunt the Canadian Prairie. They recall the 1980s in the suburbs of Calgary, and they reflect on the snowed-in, bricked-in boroughs of post-referendum Montréal. They puzzle their language together from the natural world and from the works of Caribbean and Canadian writers. They reassemble passages about seed catalogues, about origins, about finding a way in the world, about black ships sailing across to land. They struggle to explain a state of being hemisphered, of being present here while carrying a heartbeat from elsewhere, and they map the distances travelled. (M&S, 2019)
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