Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Days into Flatspin

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Days into Flatspin

House of Anansi Press, 2001

Days into Flatspin is Babstock's extraordinary second collection and it reveals a poet in full flight, fearless and technically brilliant. Diving into and then beyond what is seen or the "coma of looking" as one poem calls it, Babstock veers into the inner core of things, animals, and places through portals that exist all around us -- clothing, banisters, marshes, locks, wounds. And these are always entry points, always a means by which to go forward and further into, forcing decisions about whether to continue on or retreat and revealing that we rarely have any choice at all.

Babstock opens everything to investigation, rupturing the limitations of the eye and the strictures of the poetic form: a sonnet is built from a Frisbee game, a love poem inspired by a cow, a gash inhabited by a field of crickets. And throughout his poetic landscape is a solitary bird -- watching, passsing overhead, biding time, always present.

Days into Flatspin is a soaring collection and delivers on every one of Babstock's early promises: he is the poet to watch, the poet whose confidence, range, and measured empathy will have a startling and long-lasting impact upon Canadian letters.

Ken Babstock was born in Newfoundland and grew up in the Ottawa Valley. His poems have appeared in several Canadian Journals and anthologies, including The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, PRISM International, and Canadian Literature, and won gold at the 1997 National Magazine Awards. He won the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Prize and the Atlantic Poetry Prize for his collection Mean. He worked as Poetry Faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts and currently lives in Toronto.