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Topic: Ken Babstock

Griffin finalist takes us on a wonderful ride: Ken Babstock's Methodist Hatchet

There have been a lot of reviews of Ken Babstock’s Methodist Hatchet, and they’re a pretty mixed bag, swinging from gushing praise to befuddled admiration to downright animosity. And that makes sense. Babstock’s fourth collection is a challenging, confident work that pulls no punches and makes no apologies for deliberately breaking new ground. Seldom emotionally […]

Ken Babstock's Airstream Land Yacht

I really wanted to like this book. Love it, in fact. I wanted to love it like I fell in love with Mean Babstock’s first book. Mean was glorious, it was the way and the light, and as I read it years ago I kept thinking, this is poetry one could emulate, this is poetry worthy of putting forward on the world stage, this is the best book of Canadian poetry I’ve read in years. Mean stuck with me, and it’s stuck with others: it’s the yardstick for a certain generation of poets. I know of what I speak: I’ve asked dozens of poets, in the midst of flagging polite conversation, “But what do you think about Babstock’s Mean?” And the reaction is often one I myself can identify with: unadulterated awe.