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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Ken Belford

Ken Belford was born to a farming family in Alberta and grew up in Vancouver. For more than thirty years, he, along with his wife and daughter, operated a non-consumptive enterprise in the unroaded mountains at the vicinity of the headwaters of the Nass and Skeena Rivers.

The “self-educated lan(d)guage” poet has said that living for decades in the “back country” has afforded him a unique relationship to language that rejects the colonial impulse to write about nature, but speaks from the regions of the other.

“The conventional standards of narrative and lyric poetry give me nothing. The intention of the sequences I write is to assemble words that can be messaged to the habituated souls of the city from the land-aware that live outside city limits.”

Currently living in Prince George, British Columbia, with his activist wife, Si, Belford continues to write outside the boundaries of the conventional forms of the various schools of poetry.

His seven previous books of poetry are Fireweed, The Post Electric Caveman, Pathways Into the Mountains, lan(d)guage, when snakes awaken, ecologue, Decompositions, and Internodes. In Spring 2016, look for slick reckoning, his eighth collection.



LATEST Ken Belford NEWS

October 2016 : Our Fall 2016 books are launched!

October 2016 : Tomorrow: Talon’s big fall launch!

October 2016 : All the Fall 2016 poetry is in the house!

July 2016 : Fall 2016 previews!

April 2014 : It’s Poetry Month!

November 2013 : Imperial Canada Inc. and Internodes in The Goose (Issue 12/13)

August 2013 : Internodes and Singed Wings Have Arrived!

BOOK AWARDS

Decompositions

Shortlisted for the 2011 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

QUOTES OF NOTE

slick reckoning

Praise for Internodes:
“In Internodes are poems that are spry organisms assembled from the language of body, land, and politics … His poems thrum in response to texts, media and the land itself … Belford’s book resists conventional thinking as it applies to gender, land use, and animal abuse, but he writes in a way that also resists conventional forms of writing that have helped create those ills. It is the pretty image and the good story that have produced the unsustainable context we are in, and Belford writes his way
out of that tradition and into a new, fluid, and uncertain poetic path”
Northword Magazine

QUOTES OF NOTE

Internodes

“In Internodes are poems that are spry organisms assembled from the language of body, land and politics. … His poems thrum in response to texts, media and the land itself. … Belford’s book resists conventional thinking as it applies to gender, land use and animal abuse, but he writes in a way that also resists conventional forms of writing that have helped create those ills. It is the pretty image and the good story that have produced the unsustainable context we are in and Belford writes his way out of that tradition and into a new, fluid and uncertain poetic path.”
Northword Magazine

“In poem after poem in Internodes, Ken Belford deactivates the egoistic, imperious lie of the ‘I’ and yet somehow reanimates that pronoun with wise, land- & animal-aware, breath-giving energy. Internodes is a rare and fierce book of poetics: one of dispersals and laments and ambiguities – and also one of gatherings, celebrations and visions.”
– Jake Kennedy

“In Ken Belford’s poems, ‘The sentence is not limited to what happens.’ Internodes is a meditation linking language to the world.”
– Tsering Wangmo

QUOTES OF NOTE

Decompositions

“The ‘story’ of nature is not in Belford’s poems – there are glimpses, nuances, discourses, collisions, but no romance and no pastoral gasp at the beauty of it all.”
Globe and Mail

“What a daring and necessary enterprise—to write one’s life in terms of the land and its ongoingness. Breaking down the borders between discourses and processes, we glimpse an astonishing interchangeability, the mingling and blending of a human life with the life of the land, the two going on in concert. A new story arising from the old ones.”
— The Goose

“Belford’s imagery manages to write the earth without falling to pure description or easy sentiment, instead including the landscape itself in an ongoing conversation, citing language, the body and how everything, eventually, falls apart.”
ARC Poetry Magazine

“full of stanzas dense as rainforest understory.”
— Canadian Literature


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We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.


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