Archives for posts with tag: ken babstock

At the close of every year, for over a decade, I have taken a moment in to reflect upon the year’s publications. Like in previous years, my “most engaging books” list reflects what I found most fascinating / useful / generative in terms of form & content from the books I read in 2020.

Seek out these volumes; every one will reward the search (your local, independent, bookstore can help; an excellent choice as many are struggling under the pandemic). This is the cream of the crop for 2020, seriously:

IMG_0004No Press is proud to announce the publication of

from SIGINT by Ken Babstock

Published in a hand-bound edition of 80 copies (only 40 of which are for sale), from SIGINT is available for $3 including domestic postage (+ $2 non-Canadian postage). To order please email derek beaulieu.

These sonnets “occur” inside the abandoned NSA Surveillance station on the summit of Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) in Berlin, Germany. A manmade mountain, Teufelsberg is the result of the Allies’ decision to pile massive quantities of the postwar rubble of Berlin on top of an SS Engineers’ College, designed by Albert Speer, and left unfinished after the war. The poem makes use of diction adapted from Walter Benjamin’s records of his son’s language acquisition between the ages of 2 and 6. The italicized “incident reports” that appear in lieu of a traditional sonnet’s closing couplet point to collisions between light aircraft and common swifts in what would have been Soviet air space.

Ken Babstock’s first collection in 1999, Mean, won him the Milton Acorn Award and the 2000 Atlantic Poetry Prize. Babstock worked as Poetry Faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts and currently lives in Toronto. Babstock’s collection, Airstream Land Yacht, won the Trillium Book Award, was shortlisted for the 2007 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and was nominated for the 2006 Governor General’s Award for poetry. Babstock’s most recent collection, Methodist Hatchet, won the 2012 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize.