Bad Engine

By Michael Dennis

Bad Engine
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Selected and with an Introduction by Stuart Ross Michael Dennis has been hammering his love, his anger, his grief, and his awe into poems for over forty years. With seven books and nearly twenty chapbooks to his credit, Dennis isn't exactly a household name in Canadian poetry, ... Read more


Overview

Selected and with an Introduction by Stuart Ross Michael Dennis has been hammering his love, his anger, his grief, and his awe into poems for over forty years. With seven books and nearly twenty chapbooks to his credit, Dennis isn't exactly a household name in Canadian poetry, but he is a natural heir to poets like Canadian icon Al Purdy and American legends Eileen Myles and Charles Bukowski. His poems are his life made into poems: direct, emphatic, honest. Bad Engine brings together mostly revised versions of about one hundred poems selected from Dennis's published work, along with several dozen new poems. This volume, introduced and edited by Dennis's long-time friend, the poet and editor Stuart Ross, marks a milestone in the career of a homegrown, no-bullshit, tells-it-likes-he-sees-it populist bard. Here the reader will find a rollicking tale of drinking with racists, poignant prayers for quiet nights with lovers, raw narratives of childhood abuse, defiant anthems of a body broken by sports injuries, a mindful meditation about a stoned dragonfly, and the not-quite resigned laughter of a man smashing away at a keyboard for four decades and becoming neither rich nor famous. Bad Engine is Michael Dennis being human.

Michael Dennis

Born in London, Ontario, in 1956, Michael Dennis published his first poems in the early '70s. He has published eight books of poetry and more than 25 chapbooks. His working life has included everything from building engines for Ford and working for Falconbridge Copper in a northern Ontario mine to washing dishes in a strip club. He ran a boutique hotel in the 80s, was the Santa for the Kmart in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and opened a non-profit ESL school in Jablonec nad Nisou, Czechoslovakia, immediately following the Velvet Revolution. Michael has driven a taxi and a truck and had a brief stint as a private chauffeur. Now semi-retired, he lives in Ottawa, where he writes the popular blog Today's book of poetry.

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