Poetry in Motion: Coming of age with Jabbering with Bing Bong

June 8, 2015

Kevin Spenst’s much-anticipated debut collection of poetry from Anvil Press 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.

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JabberingWBingBong

Kevin Spenst’s much-anticipated debut collection of poetry from Anvil Press 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.

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A few other people are jabbering about Jabbering with Bing Bong:

“Belief and disbelief rub up against each other in this startling and flawless debut collection… These important poems do not redeem so much as allow the possibility of redemption.”
—Jen Currin, author of The Inquisition Yours


“Kevin Spenst provides further proof that the best writing these days is in the practice of poetry. Hang on tight as you are winged deftly through the human strains… curiosity, sexuality, death, religion and striving—it’s all here.”
—Dennis E. Bolen, author of Black Liquor


“Kevin Spenst’s muscular vocabulary, vigorous pace and nimble references to cultural details enliven his exploration of topics ranging from adolescence to God to Fenris wolf.”
—Sarah Klassen, author of Journey to Yalta

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But don't take their word for it, you can watch two videos Spenst put together for his debut collection. First up is "Gibberish":

 

 

 

The next poem speaks to the sense of place found within Spenst's poetry, with "Jabberwock BC":

 

 

 

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Thank you to Anvil Press, especially Shazia Hafiz Ramji, for sharing Jabbering with Bing Bong with us.


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