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Asbestos Heights

Asbestos Heights

By David McGimpsey
Categories: Poetry
Paperback : 9781552453094, 96 pages, April 2015
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770564152, 96 pages, April 2015
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770564145, 96 pages, April 2015
Read Excerpt (PDF)

Winner of the 2015 Quebec Writers' Federation's A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry

If you tore off the tops of canola --
yellow canola flowers -- would you
jump in a tub of canola margarine
just to make the best of despair?

Implored by concerned readers to be 'classy' and 'real' for once, David McGimpsey has composed a sequence of canonical note­books on all things 'poetic' and 'poetical.' Birds! Flowers! History! Sad leaders! The word 'aubade'! They're all here, in a serial, State Fair-bound collection of lyrics set in the working­-class belvedere of Asbestos Heights.

Among the refreshing lemon-­lime sodas of the world and the rousing lyrics to 'Bootylicious,' Asbestos Heights amps up McGimpsey's trademark sideswiping of formal rhetoric and prosody with pop savoir faire to �*nd his boldest collection. Imagine Petrarch in a Tweet war about where to buy a good pair of dad jeans. Imagine Yeats but with a lot fewer swans. Imagine a poet who was told long ago that nothing good ever comes out of a place like Asbestos Heights.

'David McGimpsey is unfuckwithable, poetry­wise, and I'll stand on John Ashbery's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.'
-- Michael Robbins

'McGimpsey’s book is a masterful display of formal unity ... The work addresses the devalued currency of the overeducated, but underemployed, poet of art-culture, juxtaposing this experience with the esteemed currency of the undereducated, but overemployed, star of pop-culture ... It is also a book of significant pathos and submerged emotion.'
– QWF A.M. Klein Poetry Prize jury citation


  • Winner, A.M. KLEIN POETRY PRIZE 2015


In a review of David McGimpsey's Asbestos Heights, Klara Du Plessis notes of the Montreal writer's playful and unusual poetic subjects represented in formally tight quatrains, that "[u]sually, poetry is a boy’s club of erudite references. McGimpsey turns the tables, expanding poetic subject matter to the popular contemporary, but creating a new niche readership in the process. "