Compiled and with an Afterword by Alessandro Porco.
For over thirty years, Steve Venright has devoted himself to the liberation of the imagination, documenting hallucinatory trips through Southwestern Ontario’s deliriomantic landscapes with his signature puns, portmanteaus, and spoonerisms. The Least You Can Do Is Be Magnificent: Selected & New Writings is a generous gathering of Venright’s most enduring and extraordinary poems, including the revised and expanded “Manta Ray Jack and the Crew of the Spooner”— the most outlandish and hilarious seafaring tale since Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. This volume also features an in-depth examination of Venright’s work by scholar Alessandro Porco.
“Steve Venright’s work is, in turns, luminous, passionate, surreal, and absurd. While some poets cultivate small or topical terrains, Venright isn’t about a lawn of one’s own. He hops the fences and jumps in the pools. His writing sandblasts our needless veneers and reveals something more authentic — something, ultimately, more human.”
– Stevie Howell, author of Sharps
“This beautiful, inviting book is immensely readable and brimful with a totally unique, liberated humour. Steve Venright’s prose-inflected poetry and genre-bending prose sparkle with all the crystal residue of the pataphysical turn in the Canadian avant-garde. These joyful texts are euphoriagrams from the lucid dreams you wish you had.”
– Gregory Betts, author of Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations
“Steve Venright’s blissful and satirical experiments can be seen as artistic extensions of alternative worldviews held by psychonaut Terence McKenna and others, where travelling the imagination is not merely a metaphorical exploration of consciousness but a material voyage that can include complex linguistic innovation. Venright has created a literature of great mutability, cleverness, and depth.”
– Amy Catanzano, author of Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella
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