Endlessly inventive, bruisingly direct, and rich with a desperate, defensive humour. A stunning achievement.
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.
Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times
Playful and excoriating ... Kennard is a master of the unexpected.
Leaf Arbuthnot, 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 Best Books of 2016
Tortuous and very funny.
Edwina Atlee, 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.
Dai George, 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.
Phil Brown, Huffington Post
With its humanity and depth, Cain
is likely one of the most compelling and perturbing collections to be published this year.
Charles Whalley, Literateur
Incredibly inventive, funny, varied and individual; you're not going to read many collections like this.
Maria Taylor, Under the Radar
The most philosophically interesting of Luke Kennard's collections.
Charlie Baylis, Stride Magazine