Bath Spa Live presents....
Luke Kennard’s poetic work embraces absurdist humour and surrealist satire, with his talent for storytelling creating an evident framework for unconventional explorations. (He answered in a Guardian interview in 2008, to the question “What made you want to write when you were starting out?” – “The desire to write a science-fiction epic, told backwards by eight unreliable narrators.”)
In 2005, Luke Kennard’s first collection of prose poems, The Solex Brothers, won the Eric Gregory award, and Kennard went on to become the youngest poet ever nominated for the Forward Prizes. His second collection, The Harbour Beyond the Movie, was shortlisted for Best Collection in 2007.
Two further collections were published by Salt in 2009 (The Migraine Hotel), and 2012 (A Lost Expression), and Kennard released two pamphlets entitled The Necropolis Boat and Planet-Shaped Horse in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2014 he was selected by the Poetry Book Society as one of the Next Generation Poets.
The publication of Kennard’s fifth collection, Cain, has drawn high praise and awards recognition. Cain was longisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, declared a Best Book of the Summer by the Guardian and the Observer, and named one of the Guardian Best Books of 2016. Alan Hollinghurst remarked ‘[Cain] is the cleverest and funniest thing I’ve read this year’, and Jeremy Noel-Todd states in The Sunday Times that, “At its heart is a dazzlingly ingenious, anagram-driven sequence of prose poems about an imaginary American television series, which reads like Nabokov watching Netflix with the poet John Ashbery.”
Kennard’s first fiction publication, Holophin (Penned in the Margins, 2012), won the Saboteur Award for Best Novella 2013. He saw the publication in 2017 of his novel, The Transition, by Fourth Estate.
Luke Kennard was born in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1981 and grew up in Luton. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Exeter and lectures in creative writing at the University of Birmingham.
“Kennard's work is witty, extravagant and provocatively genre-bending.” The Poetry Archive