The Answer to Everything

Selected Poems of Ken Belford

By Ken Belford
Edited by Jordan Scott & Rob Budde

Categories: Poetry
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781773860688, 160 pages, November 2021

A remarkable collection showcasing the definitive works of Ken Belford.


Ken Belford's career has spanned six decades and three lives. The Answer to Everything collects Belford's poetry of the 1960s in Vancouver, his "lan(d)guage" poetry of the early 2000s influenced by his time on remote Blackwater Lake, and his more political-charged poetry of the last decade while he lived in Prince George. This collection allows readers to discover or reflect on Ken's unique and challenging work, seeing patterns and themes in his poetics as they evolved out of his TISH-influenced poetry and into more contemporary dialogues where Belford seemingly establishes a poetic school of his own.

The collection has been organized chronologically, setting foundational texts from his earlier work next to his celebrated recent books that concretized his distinct poetic sensibilities. This remarkable collection is assembled based on Belford's wishes by those close to him as a definitive record of his life's work.


"The land's nourishment, flowing water, ancestral wind all commingle in these analects, generating rain, cloud cover, and conditions for a poetry that enlivens our capacity to remember that we are part of the earth. Belford reminds us, with humour, humbleness and wide-ranging references, that a life well lived is built through relationships, not commodities, through a falling apart that is also a rebuilding of parts. Listen to this ecosystem that anticipates climate's sudden shifts & stays with what the trees, the viruses, the small and the big, have to teach us, when we pay attention and respect our interconnectedness."

—Rita Wong, author of monkeypuzzle, forage and undercurrent