“Full of humour and the slippages between thought and language, this sublime poetic debut by Heslop dances the reader between language, sound, and the dissonance of linguistic connotation. Language, here, distilled to the level of thought act. These are poems that are human in a way that many contemporary collections miss with their noise. Here we have a lyric web cast from the individual into the massive breadth of the world. the correct fury of your why is a mountain is both profoundly personal with sonic word play and the bleeding of meaning, built upon the beauty of rich lasting metaphors, yet a clear reflection of a rich world inhabited by an equally rich poetic consciousness.”
–– D.A. Lockhart, author of Breaking Right
Poet-critic Jim Johnstone has described Kevin Heslop's
the correct fury of your why is a mountain as among “the most promising poetic projects to come out of Canada in recent years.” This debut collection communicates Heslop’s sense of balance as a visual artist, curator, and poet who weights the page with visual harmony. By turns experiment, lyric, and incantation, the book nods to its author’s training as an actor, combining a command of language, form, character, and polyphony to make something performatively unique.
“'Is poetry the organization of hope?'” Heslop asks in this irrepressibly atypical collection of polychromatic poetry. Free-ranging, light-lucid, clarion-clear, these poems are radiant ‘clusters of nerves, borrowed,’ unstrung mala beads resonating at the frequency of truth. Metaphysical, razor-witted, a liberated consciousness bursting from the pages in an oceanic radicalization of empathy, grief and utter fucking joy in livingness and language, the correct fury of your why is a mountain looks with loving-kindness upon the unkindnesses of the world and responds with sheer syntactical ecstasy.”
–– Roxanna Bennett, author of Unmeaningable
“At times spare and minimal, and at others unruly and encyclopaedic, Kevin Heslop’s book-length debut, as Hugh Kenner famously said of Ezra Pound’s Cantos, is ‘a gestalt of what it can assimilate.’ Aphoristic, fractured, and reluctantly elegiac, the poems in the correct fury of your why is a mountain reward careful reading, and despite their commitment to alterity, remain tethered to affect, lyricism and a searching subjectivity, to ‘the flummoxed half-light … touching everything.’”
–– Phillip Crymble, author of Not Even Laughter
“How uncanny, I know just from the titles alone, it’s a Kevin Heslop poem, and that’s a sweet thing, because we’re only at the gate. To enter lies the real joy. ‘is poetry / the organization of hope? / the suitably excessively word organization of hope a few steps at a time?’ Yes, darlin’s, fortunately for us, Heslop knows, wields this simple truth in tonal wordscapes ‘like a perfect eyelash on a sleeping baby’s cheek’ … ‘Listen: someone’s saying a prayer in a locked bathroom.’ Meticulous is too often trifled, here, an exacting elegance that gleams. Does a more ravishing debut come to mind? Nope. ‘What in the world is come next?’ This is it. Welcome to Heslop mountain.’
“In English the word for poetic rhythm doubles as the name Kevin Heslop. Which is to say that the poems in Heslop’s debut collection, fresh, innovative, far-reaching, do not miss a beat. Nor does their reach exceed their sure grasp. Heslop’s ‘poems are like grief.’ His slide into hope: ‘volta volta volta.’ They are rivers of poetic consciousness, elegant and exuberant, contagious. No poet, no lover of poetry should be without this astonishingly inspired––and inspiring––collection.”
This limited edition poem-made-broadside published by Anstruther Press, edited by Jim Johnstone, and designed by Erica Smith, attests to Heslop's gift for writing rhythmical and descriptively capacious sentences while centring human relationships on the ledge of climate collapse and human revolution.
"Selected from a series of brief poems well over one hundred parts long, con/tig/u/us strings together ephemeral, non sequitur thoughts into a fragmentary and ever-shifting stream of poetic consciousness. With only a handful of words, Kevin Heslop writes tiny poems opening upon a world of possibility, and with that in mind we've produced a limited edition of tiny hand-bound chapbooks, a mere 2" by 5.25", opening a window into Heslop's larger poetic practice."
Featuring flash fiction and prose poems "from 34 of Canada's most exciting authors," this anthology finds Heslop's words alongside those of Paola Ferrante, Francis Boyle, Conyer Clayton, and Bruce Meyer behind cover art from the inimitable Tim Murray.
From Baseline Press, this translational anthology edited by Jessica Hiemstra and Gillian Sze features Heslop's work alongside John Barton, Cornelia Hoogland, Gary Barwin, and publisher Karen Schindler.
From Frog Hollow Press, Heslop's second chapbook there is no minor violence just as there is no negligible cough during an aria "has a strong and singular solo voice animating the violences we often overlook, whether these are inflicted by us or upon us."
For the full review from poet and critic Amy LeBlanc, click here.
Alongside many of the finest poets in the country––Isabella Wang, Jordan Abel, Gary Barwin, Shane Neilson––Heslop's "i cavalloni" finds an audience with 'Canada's' oldest literary journal, The Fiddlehead.
Featuring poetry from 26 London, Ontario-affiliated poets including Tom Cull, Camille Intson, Holly Painter, and David White, this anthology from 2016 documents the ongoing moment of vitality in the London literary community.