It is the Third Millennium. The 20th century is a memory. Humans no longer walk on the moon. Passenger planes no longer fly at supersonic speeds. Disinformation overwhelms the legitimate news. The signs of our civilization’s demise are all around us, but hope is not lost. In these poems, you will find a map through our dystopia and protection from all manner of monsters, both natural and human made. Only the products of our imaginations — buildings and movies, daydreams and wondrous machines — can show us how to transform our lives. Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is a survival guide for the Dark Age that lies ahead.
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Paul Vermeersch is a poet, professor, artist, and editor. The author of five previous collections of poetry, including The Reinvention of the Human Hand, a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, and Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something, he teaches in the Creative Writing & Publishing program at Sheridan College and is senior editor at Wolsak and Wynn Publishers where he runs the Buckrider Books imprint. He lives in Toronto.
Published: September 2018
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“Replete with deep thinking and reflection, revealing the poet’s wide-ranging intellect, eclectic mind, and penchant for sharp satire.” — Publishers Weekly
“Beautiful . . . Part inspirational tract (borne of a deliciously playful inspiration, not the usual kind), part prophetic revelation, and all crafted with Vermeersch’s signature elan, Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is a generous chocolate box stuffed with bon(-bon) mots, the perfect gift for your inner visionary. Shine on, you crazy zircon.” — This Magazine
“Paul Vermeersch’s Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is in turns wry, funny, horrifying and incisive . . . It both delights during a quick read and rewards careful re-reading, and I highly recommend it . . . Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is perceptive, carefully-crafted, melancholy and funny. The simultaneously critical and wryly amused attitude of the collection is perhaps the only self-defence that we have against time and the monsters of our own creation.” — The /tƐmz/ Review
“While the collection might begin in some rather dark places, Vermeersch’s use of humour, pop culture, surrealism and collage work to disarm the increasing anxieties surrounding the darkest possibilities of humanity’s demise . . . Between the lyric narratives, essay-poems and visual pieces, I’m intrigued by the broadening of Vermeersch’s structural scope, and how everything contained fits so nicely together.” — DULSIE
“Vermeersch is a poet who calls upon myth, robotics, space travel, nursery rhymes, pop culture, and other detrital allusiveness to construct his visual formalities, which teem with innovative envisionings.” — Canadian Literature
“Pataphysics meets pulp in Paul Vermeersch’s sixth collection . . . Gone is the flat-footed earnestness which sometimes troubled Vermeersch’s earlier work, replaced with a canny pop acceleration equal to the obdurate cargo of politics.” — Quill & Quire
“Wit is Vermeersch’s stylistic signature, and it is present at full power in this collection.” — The Coil Magazine
“Vermeersch’s use of humour, pop culture, surrealism and collage work to disarm the increasing anxieties surrounding the darkest possibilities of humanity’s demise . . . Between the lyric narratives, essay-poems and visual pieces, I’m intrigued by the broadening of Vermeersch’s structural scope, and how everything contained fits so nicely together.” — rob mclennan’s blog
“One of the great pleasures of reading Vermeersch is not only in his attention to words . . . but also the way a poem expertly drifts from a unique starting point to something wildly unexpected . . . Whether in a bunker, time-machine, or living-room, Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is the perfect read to get you ready for the future, the coming past, and the implicated present.” — SubTerrain