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Methodist Hatchet

Written by Ken Babstock

  • 112 Pages
  • 9780887842931
  • 8.5" x 5.5"
  • POETRY / Canadian


Publication Date April 30, 2011

Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award

Marooned in the shiftless, unnamed space between a map of the world and a world of false maps, the poems in Methodist Hatchet cling to what’s necessary from each, while attempting to sing their own bewilderment. Carolinian forest echoes back as construction cranes in an urban skyline. Second Life returns as wildlife, as childhood. Even the poem itself -- the idea of a poem -- as a unit of understanding is shadowed by a great unknowing.

Fearless in its language, its trajectories and frames of reference, Methodist Hatchet gazes upon the objects of its attention until they rattle and exude their auras of strangeness. It is this strangeness, this mysterious stillness, that is the big heart of Ken Babstock’s playful, fierce, intelligent book.

Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize 2012

Selected for the Globe and Mail Top 100 Book 2011

Short-listed for the Trillium Book Award 2012

Long-listed for the ReLit Awards 2012


Ken Babstock
Ken Babstock is the author of Airstream Land Yacht, which was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award, won the Trillium Book Award, and was a Globe and Mail Top 100 book; Days into Flatspin, which was shortlisted for the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing; and Mean, which won the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. Ken Babstock lives in Toronto, Ontario.


"With his new book, it’s time to forgo the qualifiers and just call [Ken Babstock] what he is: the best Canadian poet of his generation." Walrus Magazine

"Methodist Hatchet will be a bellwether for contemporary Canadian poetry . . . [Ken Babstock's poems] invite us to listen more closely, to bring the discernment of reading poems into our habits of reading the world." Rover Arts

". . . affecting and deft . . . [a] lasting contribution to Canadian poetry . . ." Quill and Quire

"Methodist Hatchet is as precise as it is expansive, as complex as it is companionable . . . [Ken] Babstock is one of the most exciting lyric poets writing today." Globe and Mail

". . . a dazzling display by a talented writer . . ." Toronto Star

"[Ken Babstock] is something like a baffled scientist investigating the limits of our comprehension . . . this book's poetic voice [. . .] represents our greatest opportunity to make sense of a seemingly schizophrenic world." Puritan

"The beauty here lies in its simplicity ... the effect of the book is kaleidoscopic." Another Chicago Magazine

"…an outstanding volume – plugged in, polished, complex, and delightful." SubTerrain