Finalist for 2016 JM Abraham Poetry Award
$18.95 CDN / $17.95 US | Trade Paperback
Festus wakes inside a myth—on a wharf in Halifax, Nova Scotia— and recalls nothing but a bicycle. As he looks for it, he thinks the city’s thoughts. Upon a sidewalk over a buried river, he remembers what the city remembers. He steps past a skateboard park to a Mi’kmaq lagoon. He follows 17th century pioneer cattle to a fast food restaurant. In these poems, every object has a voice; every thing is awake. A girl he once knew steps out of the fragments. Festus is an anagogic man, loser-hero of the first city, Ur, Halifax. The Book of Festus is a shattered fable, a city’s lucid dream of itself.
Praise for The Book Of Festus
[Festus is a] surreal time-travel trip…as much about Halifax and Canadian history as it is about the ache for identity and meaning in a shifting and shifty world.—Elizabeth Johnston, Atlantic Books Today
Praise for John Wall Barger
Gritty, innovative work written with great impact, skill and mastery.—The Chronicle Herald
Anyone who writes with the flourish and intensity of John Wall Barger deserves to be read and re-read.—The Malahat Review