Ken Babstock’s poetry, writes a reviewer in the Edmonton Journal, “is like following the trunk of a tree upward as it divides and subdivides, fraying into the finest threads until a beautiful but complex circuitry webs the sky.”
In other words, painstaking reading, but the payoff is profound.
Ken is that rarefied creature known as a lyric poet. Time magazine called his first book “one of the best things to happen to poetry in Canada”; the Globe and Mail said his last book was “perhaps the most important poetry book yet from any Canadian born in the 1970s or beyond.” Now The Walrus is saying flat-out, Ken Babstock is “the best Canadian poet of his generation.”
Ken’s compelling collection of poetry, Methodist Hatchet, is the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize winner. Ken is also a winner of the Milton Acorn Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize, and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry.
Ken has worked as a farm labourer, a construction worker, and a film industry grip. Among the influences he credits are Al Purdy and Ted Hughes. The son of a United Church minister and a nurse, Ken was born in Burin, Newfoundland, and raised in the Ottawa Valley before moving to Toronto. Until recently he was poetry editor at House of Anansi Press.