by Kevin Spenst
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- culture and "post-Mennonitism." JABBERING WITH BONG BONG interrogates memory and makes its way into the urban energies of Vancouver.
Language is at play with sit-com sonnets and soundscapes of noise; videogame goombas and an Old-Testament God; teenage longing within the power chords of heavy metal and the complicated loss of a father to schizophrenia. JABBERING WITH BONG BONG, chronicles the heartbreaking and slapstick pursuit of truth in the realms of religion, mental health, and poetic form itself.
The poems in JABBERING WITH BONG BONG are formally inventive, emotionally charged, and teeming with ideas.
"Belief and disbelief rub up against each other in this startling and flawless debut collection by Kevin Spenst. JABBERING WITH BONG BONG's urban and suburban-scapes vibrate with a controlled hysteria; a music at turns ebullient, ribald, somber. These important poems do not redeem so much as allow the possibility of redemption: Sometimes words/mean nothing and everything. Open your mouth and see.'" Jen Currin
..".JABBERING WITH BING BONG is a keen and courageous first outing. Spenst attacks his narrative with intelligence, compassion and wit; his is a voice that would lure even the most cautious character home a voice which one would be well-advised to listen for in the future." Arc Poetry Magazine
"Each of these powerful poems is a facet of the surreal. It's not bad either that they're witty, tough and funny. Surrey and its many locales has arrived as literary territory. Fleetwood. Cloverdale. Guildford Mall. Surrey Place. Johnston Heights. The Port Mann. Coast Meridian Road... The work here is in a variety of forms, including a few prose poems. The tone varies but the situation is the same. Here are 24 more reasons for jabbering with Kevin Spenst." The Vancouver Sun"