Ken Babstock


Biography of Ken Babstock

Ken Babstock poet

Ken Babstock (born 1970) is a Canadian poet. He was born in Newfoundland and raised in the Ottawa Valley. Babstock began publishing his poems in journals and anthologies, winning gold at the 1997 Canadian National Magazine Awards. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Babstock discovered poetry in his teens, growing up in Pembroke, Ontario, in the Ottawa Valley.

Babstock's first collection in 1999, Mean, won him the Milton Acorn Award and the 2000 Atlantic Poetry Prize. According to the official edition of 1999, Mean is a "stunning exploration of the threshold and divide between our primeval origins and the meanness of our everyday lives." Babstock has since published a second collection, Days into Flatspin, which has also come in for high critical praise.

He was the winner of a K.M. Hunter Award. His poems have won Gold at the National Magazine Awards, have been anthologized in Canada and the United States, and have been translated into Dutch, Serbo-Croatian, and Latvian.

Babstock worked as Poetry Faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts and currently lives in Toronto. He is currently the poetry editor for the Toronto-based press House of Anansi.

Babstock's collection, Airstream Land Yacht, won the Trillium Book Award, was shortlisted for the 2007 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and was nominated for the 2006 Governor General's Award for poetry.

Babstock's most recent collection, Methodist Hatchet, won the 2012 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. Updates


That dog padded home wearing a rip
in his back, clicked onto the kitchen linoleum
with a five-inch smile down his saddling spine.

Where pebbles and dark grit stuck to the wound's
lips, vertebrae like molars grinned through
in an anemic bluish white. The dumb grey

meat of his tongue like a sodden flag waiting

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