This Is Where I Get Off is an illuminating marvel for its combination of intense focus—on the cocksucker of the collection’s prelude cum manifesto—and the astonishing range of experience, emotion, insight, form, and resonating power that arises from this attention. Kirby teaches us to explore the parts of ourselves the world wants to render impossible, to deny, dismiss, or even destroy, and to do so with the various voices and connections, protests and ecstasies, poetry makes possible. – DANIEL SCOTT TYSDAL
08|10|19 HALIFAX. KIRBY is joined by local poets Alice Burdick, Annick MacAskill, Nolan Natasha, and Bart Vautour, and is hosted by Sam Sternberg. Bookings is recorded and produced by Paul MacKay for the King’s Co-op Bookstore in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Kirby’s latest is the full-length debut poetry title This Is Where I Get Off (Toronto ON: Permanent Sleep Press, 2019), a collection of first-person lyrics bristling with energy, from grief to passion to wild exuberance and graphic enthusiasm. Kirby cribs, cradles and wrestles with their own history, writing passionately of living and loving, doing so openly and defiantly, even against climates that worked equally hard to deny their existence. There is such an openness to this collection, one that works to celebrate as much as acknowledge, working to record the stories of too many individuals lost over too many years. “My mother said that’s all they knew of homosexuals,” Kirby writes, early on in the poem “The Only Reason,” “that they were child / molesters and they killed themselves […]” And yet, for all the dark corners Kirby writes on, around and through, this is a glowing, glorious, exuberant collection of hope.