"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


With so many companies fighting to be the first to offer space tourism, American poet Kenneth Pobo takes you there and beyond and back again in his whacky-wonderful collection BOOKING ROOMS IN THE KUIPER BELT (Urban Farmhouse Press). And all from a window seat with spectacular views.

Not only does Pobo create a believable journey, but offers laugh-out-loud humour as in-flight entertainment. From "WHITMAN IN McDONALDS" to Ginsberg in Heaven, there are many memorable poems you'll read out loud to your friends. My favourite, "JOSEPH", offers Pobo's take on being the stepfather to Jesus, and the unenviable task of living in the shadow of God:

                                                    Maybe he didn't mind
                                                    working behind the scenes,
                                                    watching his son
                                                    grow up to look
                                                    nothing like him,
                                                    a kid who said,
                                                    "I'm the King of Heaven,
                                                    dad. Thanks for everything."

Pobo then takes us deep into the community of the universe; planetary personifications offer alternate views of our celestial neighbours, with a familiarity close the home. "RED PLANET GREEN" looks at Earth stepping out of a fitting room

                                                    wearing a natty ocean
                                                    the envy
                                                    of Mars

Pobo then returns us home with an elegant landing, highlighted by "9/11: LAVENDER MEMORIAM", a subtly-charged elegy to the gay firefighters lost on 9/11 that history fails to mention:

                                                   We are human beings.
                                                   We too
                                                    sleep in ashes.

From cosmically comical to heartbreakingly real, this is a collection from a very gifted, and very imaginative poet. What a voyage. BOOKING ROOMS IN THE KUIPER BELT has earned a place on my shelf among my favorites.

To book your flight, visit Urban Farmhouse Press HERE 

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