By Aidan Chafe
Gospel Drunk follows a speaker's journey to find clarity and identity as he contemplates his Catholic upbringing and struggles with loneliness and alcohol addiction. Sharp, intoxicating imagery and a minimalist aesthetic combine in these poems to explore some of our darkest and strongest belief systems, dismantling them with wit and wisdom. Poignant boyhood memories of hockey coaches as "dragons in suits" collide with critiques of "the broken bicycle of recovery." A child's fingers interlace to form a gun during mass and Hulk attends an AA meeting. Boldly honest, Gospel Drunk is for all who seek humanity in a world where the personal and the political are equally complicated.He drops a match on his wound to set fireto his blood. At a certain temperature eventhe Devil cools. -from "Drowning Man Sonnets"
About the Author
Aidan Chafe is the author of Short Histories of Light, which was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. He has also published two chapbooks, Right Hand Hymns and Sharpest Tooth. His poems and reviews have appeared in journals including Arc, CV2, PRISM international, EVENT, and Vallum. He lives on the ancestral unceded homelands of the Coast Salish peoples (Burnaby, BC).
# 10 on Edmonton Poetry Bestsellers list, October 10, 2021
"The poems in Gospel Drunk transfigure hockey bros, hazing rituals, and the warmest parking lot in Canada into a bioluminescence of interconnections. By drawing upon the personal, Chafe is able to write with pointed authority to the central struggle of our age: the structural abuses of faith. Redefining the dowry of religion's aftermath, Chafe crafts work out of reason and imagination, showing how metaphor can help carry us across the turbulence of our times."—Kevin Spenst, poet and author"At the heart of Aidan Chafe's impressive sophomore collection is a bare-knuckle interrogation of organized, patriarchal religion. Languishing in the space between faith and doubt, the speaker of Gospel Drunk gives himself over to awe and observation, exploring violence, masculinity, addiction, and structural injustice in lyrics that are sonorous, deliberate, and searching."—Annick MacAskill, author of Murmurations
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