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'Endlessly inventive, bruisingly direct, and rich with a desperate, defensive humour. A stunning achievement.' Joe DunthorneThe year is 2016 and Luke Kennard finds himself estranged from his family, his publisher and his faith. With the help of his Community Psychiatric Nurse, who claims to be the living embodiment of Cain - the first murderer - the poet changes his name to Father K and searches for answers - in his childhood, in poetry, in alcohol, and in a notorious, long-running DVD box-set.Tricksy, acerbic and laugh-out-loud funny, Cain is the dazzling new collection from Next Generation Poet Luke Kennard. In a series of animated conversations, Cain provides therapy sessions for the author, covering everything from interfaith dialogue and genealogy to zombies. Cain's central sequence of 31 anagram poems re-energises Genesis 4:9-12, demonstrating the mastery of form and trademark surreal humour that has made Kennard one of British poetry's brightest lights.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Endlessly inventive, bruisingly direct, and rich with a desperate, defensive humour. A stunning achievement." JOE DUNTHORNE; "Luke Kennard is an excruciating observer of the southern cringe. Cain is his best book yet, and ought to bring him coach-loads of new readers. 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." THE SUNDAY TIMES; "Playful and excoriating ... Kennard is a master of the unexpected." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT; "I was dazzled by Luke Kennard's Cain - its central sequence of 31 prose-poems, each an anagram of the same few verses of Genesis, is the cleverest and funniest thing I've read this year." ALAN HOLLINGHURST, THE GUARDIAN; "Tortuous and very funny." POETRY REVIEW; "Kennard has always been a writer with deconstructive, avant-garde tendencies, and these dazzling performances take us further into the treacherous materiality of language than ever before." POETRY LONDON; "Kennard dramatically repurposes the skill he exemplifies better than any poet writing today; he makes deconstruction into a profoundly creative act. Like listening to John Berryman's The Dream Songs being remixed by Stewart Lee, Kennard elevates himself, his craft and his peers by masterfully undermining them." HUFFINGTON POST; "With its humanity and depth, Cain is likely one of the most compelling and perturbing collections to be published this year." THE LITERATEUR;