• A cool-toned teal background shows darker abstract images of the kink band rock formation (a formation of tabular fold zones wherein a layer of rock is folded in upon itself to create a “Z” like impression) and the title and poet’s name in bold sunset orange. Full text reads: Kink Bands. Poems. David Martin.

Kink Bands


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978-1-77439-077-1 | 2023 September | 100 Pages


In his second book of poems, David Martin digs deep into an examination of the world using the lens of geology. 

With lyrically experimental poems expanding and retracting, this collection finds sonic and conceptual energy from the perspective of deep time and the geological forces that have shaped and continue to shape the Earth. Enacting seismic shifts, catastrophes, and erosions throughout the natural and cultural worlds, Martin’s poetic practice pushes forward to contend with the contemporary environmental changes and the structure of the Anthropocene that affect how we live in the twenty-first century. The collection veers from the Rocky Mountains and explorations of “fossilized” towns to family histories and myth-soaked theories, all while seeking a balance between disruptive poetic techniques and the centred lyrical voice.

“Martin explores…myths in gritty, sensual, and historically vivid language. This ambitious debut immerses us in the tar of archaeology and the bite of our own environmental dilemma.”
— Jury Citation, Raymond Souster Award (shortlisted) 

“Martin’s troubling of the history of the tar sands in this impressive first poetry collection invites more historical and creative work in this vein.”
— Melanie Dennis Unrau, The Goose

“Martin’s complex collection criticizes the hubristic development of the tar sands and unearths fixed forms to reckon with environmental change.”
— Kait Pinder, Canadian Literature

“This book is a wild ride, chilling at times though leavened with dark humour, and the poet has an ominous warning for politicians and taxpayers to come.”
— Sid Marty, Alberta Views

“Martin's Tar Swan illuminates the degradation of the non-human and human world in four fictive voices bound by a specific thematic and historical period.... this work quickens.“
— Deanna Radford, ARC Poetry Magazine

“This is a remarkable collection…”
— Anne Burke, The Prairie Journal 

“Martin’s poems are hewn, carved and crafted, comparable to if one could simultaneously carve and reconceptualize stone.”
— Rob Mclennan, rob mclennan's blog (full review)

“There are many gems to discover in this collection, if one digs deep enough, or, as Martin says, climbs ‘the beautiful and slightly terrifying’ mountains high enough, to find them.”
— Kyla Neufeld, Prairie Books NOW

“I will guarantee it’s like nothing else you’ve ever read.”
— Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews (full review)

“Martin has left no stone unturned, or perhaps, no turn unstoned...the language dazzles and disorients.”
— Steven Ross Smith, Freefall Magazine