About the Book
Air Salt re/writes trauma and recovery in a fully-formed debut collection from a writer to watch.
Ian Kinney fell seven stories, and he survived. In Air Salt, Kinney (un)writes his hospitalization and recovery, using poetry as neuro-rehabilitation. A memoir written by an amnesiac, this collection stitches splintered narratives with projective verse, cutting up and reassembling found text from Get Well Soon Cards, emails between friends, excerpts from personal journals, written records of eye witnesses, the police and EMS reports, relevant Real Estate listings, nurses’ charts, doctors’ notes, hospital brochures, and Kinney’s Neuropsychological Assessment: all increasingly recombinant, all increasingly in chorus. Kinney re-sorts the writing to etch in itself a more essential expression, Air Salt.
A challenging, prototypic piece of posttraumatic writing, Air Salt accommodates narrative discord and juxtaposes heterogenous voices. It reflects the lived experience of trauma, continually (re)arranging distorted phrases, interrogating and (re)forming itself, and (re)fusing to compromise. Air Salt reintegrates a shattered body of local narratives and presses on.
About the Author:
Ian Kinney holds an MA in creative writing from the Department of English, University of Calgary. His work has been short-listed for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. This bisexual settler poet lives in Calgary, and cares for his family’s net-zero homestead on the Kainai territory between Lethbridge and Vulcan, Alberta.
Praise for Air Salt:
The work’s eccentricity invites rereading, which offers reward—new discovery, new pleasure and connections, and unnerving empathy with the poet, his traumatic fall and the result of his attempt, touched on in the title poem, to “imitate // the sky.”
—Steven Ross Smith, AlbertaViews
As brilliant as it is harrowing.
—Gregory Betts, professor, English Language and Literature, Brock University
This intriguing and subversive collage serves as a collaborative, inter-textual, and living document
—Erina Harris, poet and Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta
Ian Kinney’s words strain and tug, sever and stretch; they recoil and recuperate. Air Salt is the sting as memories, recollections, and documents split, heal, and become poetic.
—Derek Beaulieu, Calgary Poet Laureate, 2014-2016
Air Salt in the Media:
SHORTLISTED, Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry | 2020