We are absolutely bowled over to be able to announce that kicking off our new experimental pamphlet series will be LUKE KENNARD’s first pamphlet since 2012 – Truffle Hound. More resolutely prose than any of his previous books of poetry (although not his novel) here Luke allows his childhood (imagined or otherwise) to flood into the foreground, while his present (factual or fake news) distorts and fractures as if his life were being directed by David Lynch and Terry Gilliam and neither could agree whether horror or comedy should dominate. Dogs, cigarettes, children and pills shouldn’t really be permitted to mix should they? Here they are a heady mixture indeed!
With that nonchalant way that Luke has of seeming to toss words as if they were his hair, Truffle Hound piles neuroses on top of neuroses (not necessarily Luke’s) as it tackles subjects as wildly varying and yet somehow connected as over the counter pain-killers, the domestic struggles of humans on other planets, scathing criticism (both literary and personal), transistor radios and shops – an inordinate amount of shops. (The shops are where you can buy the pills and cigarettes and food for the dogs.)
We found out today that in some colleges across the land, a certain kind of poetic output is sometimes described as being Kennardian. We don’t know if Truffle Hound is Kennardian or not. (Perhaps it is Neo-Kennardian?) But we are hoping that one day soon, something, somewhere, of very little interest if needs be, will be referred to as Vervian. We are hoping this a lot.
Luke Kennard is a poet and novelist. His books have been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. He lectures in the School of English at the University of Birmingham.