UPCOMING TOUR DATES
Check back for more dates and details!
MAY 25, 2017 | Toronto
TORONTO NEW SCHOOL OF WRITING (281 Augusta Ave)
Poetry Fit to Print and Fold: A Chapbook Workshop
MAY 30, 2017 | Toronto
ART BAR (320 College St)
with Sarah de Leeuw & Robert Colman
JUNE 2, 2017 | London
11:00AM: MUSEUM LONDON (421 Ridout St North)
12:30PM: ARTS PROJECT (203 Dundas St)
2:15PM: FIRE ROASTED CAFÉ (105 King St)
3:15PM: JONATHON BANCROFT-SNELL GALLERY (258 Dundas St)
4:00PM: DNA ARTSPACE (123 Dundas St)
with Kevin Shaw, Madeline Bassnett, Blair Trewartha, Kevin Heslop & Andy Verboom
MAY 4, 2017 | Hamiliton
LIT LIVE (27 Dundurn St North)
with Carole Giangrande, Steve Mayoff, Guy Ewing, Showey Yazdanian & Sharon Berg
MAY 6, 2017 | Toronto
ROWERS READING SERIES (Supermarket – 268 Augusta Ave)
with Trevor Cole, Elise Levine & Steven Mayoff
THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER
Interview with Sachiko Murakami | Read interview
POETIC LICENCE: ‘THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF’
Weekly poetry forum, hosted by the folks at the Westender, featuring words by local poets. This week? Author and Wax Poetic co-host Kevin Spenst. | Visit Website
100 LOVE POEMS
I’ve been writing around the topic of love for my third manuscript of poetry and with that in mind I started a new project on Instagram: 100 love poems. Come and have a swoon!
WINNIPEG INTERNATIONAL WRITER’S FESTIVAL
A big thanks to Hannah Foulger for doing a write-up of my walkabout for the Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival in September 2016:
Before we officially begin, Kevin Spenst sits amidst this flurry of excited patrons, at a corner table, writing. His pen flows up and down the page with staccato impulse. He scrawls line after line, when a thought occurs to him, and he jumps back to the first, peeling out and scratching off this new poem to set off our Poetry Walkabout. Conversation floats over top and around this new incarnation, as we wait, talking, sipping and occasionally shooting a furtive glance in the direction of our guide-poet.
A finalist for the Alfred G. Baily Prize and winner of the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry, Ignite is a collection of elegiac and experimental poetry powder-kegged with questions about one man’s lifelong struggle with schizophrenia. Born into a strict Mennonite family, Abe Spenst’s mental illness spanned three decades in and out of mental institutions where he underwent electric shock treatment and coma-induced insulin therapy. Merging memory and medical records, Kevin Spenst recreates his father’s life through a cuckoo’s nest of styles that both stand as witness and waltz to the interplay between memory, emotion and all our forms of becoming.
JABBERING WITH BING BONG
Kevin Spenst’s much-anticipated debut collection of poetry opens as a coming-of-age narrative of lower-middle class life in Vancouver’s suburb of Surrey, embroidered within a myriad of pop—and “post-Mennonite”—culture.
Language is at play with sit-com sonnets, soundscapes of noise, videogame goombas, an Old-Testament God, teenage longing within the power chords of heavy metal, and the complicated loss of a father to schizophrenia. Jabbering with Bing Bong chronicles the heartbreaking and slapstick pursuit of truth in the realms of religion, mental health, and poetic form itself.
In April and May of 2015, Spenst embarked on his 50-venue reading tour of the province, AKA Jabbering with BC tour. Reading at bookstores, art galleries, coffee shops, breweries and other venues, he brought his bombastic style of reading to audiences big and small, suspecting and unsuspecting. Some of the poems were written on the spot, while most of the poetry came from the pages of Jabbering with Bing Bong.