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"[O]ne of the most demoralizing aspects of these changes is how [Ken] Babstock’s poetry has crossed into that area of initiates, best understood by those who claim to understand it. And as astonishing as it is to willingly transform oneself, in the span of five books, from an addictive substance into an acquired taste, On Malice may present even Babstock’s most ardent decoders with the chore of acquiring that taste anew." Carmine Starnino Maisonneuve "Rather than having liberated his work from its early rootedness in persona, Babstock has simply shifted the frieght of persona to the paratext. Whereas the most striking line in the Acknowledgments section of Mean offers “Deep thanks to everyone at The Banff Centre for the Arts—not least of all, the bartender with the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco albums,” its relative equivalent in On Malice tells us that “Fredric Jameson’s Valences of the Dialectic broke a silence, or opened on to one.” In the conceptual and rhetorical space between these two sentences of acknowledgement can be charted Babstock’s aesthetic journey thus far in all its dazzling ambition. In less than two decades he has not only irrevocably altered our poetic climate but briskly evolved multiple new ecosystems in which his fellow songsters can work and flourish. In the wake of On Malice, I think we should prepare ourselves for a raft of source-text experiments and procedural treatises. Because as Canadian poets, it’s Babstock’s planet we’re walking on." Stewart Cole Partisan "The effect of reading the book is akin to perusing mined data and trying to assemble sense from it." Jason Wiens Quill & Quire


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Ken Babstock Coach House




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The Page is edited by John McAuliffe, Vincenz Serrano and, since September 2013, Evan Jones at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. It was founded in October 2004 by Andrew Johnston, who edited it until October 2009.
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