It’s no secret, I have had a lifelong love affair with the artist, beloved friend, Philip Hare (yes, Kirk knows). They moved to Nova Scotia (“Fairyland”) a couple of years ago, Philip’s instagram provides ample glimpses of paradise found. They were kind enough to meet me in Lunenburg where I read with fellow NS poets, Annick MacAskill & Andy Verboom at Alice Burdick‘s shop. I was supposed to return with them to their haven near Harbourville then, but our best laid plans got botched up (my end) as I promised a return visit, “Soon.”

Two years later…

“Hey, Kirby, there’s this lovely little community hall in Harbourville we can book for a reading if you’d like.”

“Darlin’ not only a [my first live reading in over a year] reading, this will be my launch!”

A perfect re-entry. And so fitting. Philip and I having collaborated/in support of each other’s work for decades, beginning in the early nineties with his “Flying Weenie Mandala” that defined the space at the Gay Vision Conference (Toronto, 1992), to a recent pink bandana illustrating a poem, “You’re Welcome” from She’s Having a Doris Day (KFB, 2017), and now work in Not Your Best 2 (KFB, 2021) and the cover art for my newest Poetry Is Queer (Palimpsest Press, 2021) launching at Harbourville Hall, Sunday, September 19th 2PM Atlantic. (Copies of both will be on hand.)

East Coast poets and friends and to those I will newly meet, consider this a welcome invite. Philip and I would love to see you there. It will be grand.


“I call myself QUEER because I’ve learned to eroticize my own and everyone else’s confusions.” — NAYLAND BLAKE, Artist

Thrilled to edit this, the second instalment of knife | fork | book’s Not Your Best Series, affectionately titled, “The Queer Ass Fuck Issue.”

Why Not Your Best? Writing is not a contest. This series was created to counter rampant silly notions of “best/awards/winning,” to simply recognize/acknowledge the work itself. 

What do I mean by queer? 

In my book, Poetry is Queer (Palimpsest Press, 2021) queer is defined as: a person who self-proclaims the authority of their own body in defiance of church and state. 


Resilient. Tenacious. Creative. Out there. Joyous. Playful. Catty. Fun. Non-conforming. Fleshy. SparklePony. Baton-twirling. Activist. Sick to death of rainbows. Pride. Butch. Kween. Friend of Dorothy. Pro-sexual. Unrankled. Big fan of pretty. Plays well in the dark. Reads. Can bend when willing. Loves Mom. Cher. Pink. Warriors. Dancers. Anything flamboyant. Flies in the face of. Any combination of the above or make it up.

The call: “As editor, I’m a visceral poet and reader, make it memorable. Surprise and delight. Give me something that sticks, causes me to stop, read aloud, want to share, return to, that I won’t forget. Good poetry does just that.”

There’s no mistaking QUEER. And when a queer’s creative fountain is on full, MARVEL.

17 Artists deliver the goods. Pick it up here.