Luke Kennard writes and publishes poetry and short stories. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Exeter and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. His first book, The Solex Brothers, was published by Stride in 2005 and won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. His second collection of poetry, The Harbour Beyond the Movie, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2007. His third book is called The Migraine Hotel and is available from Salt. Luke’s poem-play, Planet-Shaped Horse (2011), is published by Nine Arches Press. His criticism appears in Poetry London, The TLS and The National.
Luke Kennard’s Planet-Shaped Horse (Nine Arches Press, 2011) is an unhinged black-comedy poem-play from one of contemporary poetry’s most unique voices. When the (anti) hero of the piece is enduring a somewhat ‘enforced’ stay at Fouracres Halfway House, entanglements ensue. Both terrible and beautiful things happen. Hermits and doctors are not what they seem and neither Miranda nor Simon seem capable of reining in or reforming their unreliable narrator …
Praise for Luke Kennard:
“His language is exciting and it feels to me that he’s a truly 21st-century writer, taking inspiration from all over the place, unafraid of barriers and conventions.”
– Ian McMillan, The Times
“Inventive, academically aware, fearless and hugely enjoyable.”
– Nick Laird, The Telegraph
“Luke Kennard writes vibrant, original poems that stick in your mind for a long time and enliven your imagination.”
– Sophie Hannah
Oh, You Don’t Agree?
I don’t want to sound like a prophet,
but last night I found over twenty things in Revelation
that could be metaphors for the internet.
I’m going to pretend I overheard that in Pret A Manger;
a pretty young mother said it to her baby son.
She ate a beef and watercress sandwich.
She said many beautiful and terrible things.
The smile of the ducks on his pram was beautiful
and terrible. All children are psychic.
I’m drinking this new red coffee, but then I swallow,
hard. There is no red coffee. It doesn’t exist.
Her long black coat is a tundra in profile. She turns
on me like a security camera. She offers her hand.
‘I’m Miranda,’ she says. ‘This is Simon.’
‘You’re going to be hearing a lot about yourself on the radio.
We’re here to make sure it’s all great!’
House like a dozen bookshelves fished out of a canal.
House like a stranger’s Christmas. The baby says,
‘It’s always sad in the alcoholic wing
when they wake up screaming,
“I saw Hell in a tomato! I saw Hell in a tomato!'”
I too have seen Hell in a tomato.
from Planet-Shaped Horse (Nine Arches Press, 2011).
Order Planet-Shaped Horse.
Date: Thursday, 3 February 2011
Time: 19h00 – 21h00
Venue: The Priory Rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF
With readings from Luke Kennard, David Hart, Milorad Krystanovich and Simon Turner.