Previously Feared Darkness picks up and pulls at the vibrant threads of Robert Priest's last collection, Reading the Bible Backwards. One strand leads, with unabashed candour and elegance, through the author’s love life; another, through fields of praise; a third experiments with automated metaphors and delivers a challenging new selection of mashups that Priest calls meme splices. A fourth thread rekindles the author's love of the prose poem to produce a suite of strange tales, bizarre playlets, and phonetic modifications. And, for those whose cry is "brevity forever," the micro-poems Priest collects are numerous and brilliant. Previously Feared Darkness consorts with forms and subject matter to present the work of a master getting deep and nasty and hilarious with the best of them.
"Priest should be a household name, Previously Feared Darkness can only bring more readers to one of our best read poets. ... This book makes me remember the feeling I had when I first tackled Irving Layton and tried hammering through his books. Dense, humorous , knowing, pleading, consoling and entirely invigorating poems of the first class."
- Michael Dennis
The Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry Award, 1989
Special Choice Award, Children's Book Centre, 1993
Socan Airplay Award, 1994
Chalmer's Award, Theatre for Young Audiences, 1998
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