The Politics of Knives

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Coach House Books, Oct 9, 2012 - Poetry - 96 pages
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Winner of the 2013 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry (Manitoba Book Awards)

If Lisa Robertson were to collide with David Lynch in a dark alley, the result would be a lot like "The Politics of Knives." From shattered narratives to surrealistic fantasies, the poems in "The Politics of Knives" bridge that gap between the conventional and the experimental, combining the intellectual with the visceral. The complicity of language in violence, and the production of stories as both a defensive and offensive gesture, trouble the stability of these poetic sequences that dwell in the borderland between speaking and screaming.

"She made hyphens and made me use them.
From her back she pulled brackets. Saying:
"These in your throat and these around your neck.""

Jonathan Ball teaches English, film, and writing at two universities in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is the author of "Ex Machina" and "Clockfire," which was shortlisted for a Manitoba Book Award.


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About the author (2012)

Jonathan Ball: Jonathan Ball teaches English, film, and writing at universities in Winnipeg. He is the author of Ex Machina and Clockfire, which was shortlisted for a Manitoba Book Award. Ex Machina considers the relationship between humans, books, and machines, and Clockfire contains 77 plays that would be impossible to produce. Both books were published under Creative Commons licenses, so you can remix their contents. Visit

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