David James Brock

Theatre, Opera, Poetry, Film

David James Brock is a Canadian writer of opera, theatre, poetry, and film.
Author of poetry collections Everyone is CO2 and Ten-Headed Alien.
Co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera for cystic fibrosis.

Second Collection! Ten-Headed Alien 


Ten-Headed Alien draws from sci-fi and poli-sci, prog rock and politics, climate fiction and ancient mythology to create poems that are at once global and personal. The opening sections of the book take the reader on a harrowing sea-to-sky epic, from a drunken plane crash in the BC interior to the quiet beaches of Crete. Mythological creatures battle for the attention of an inverted mermaid, bionic pigeons flee their creators, barflies conjure soulmates, balloon farms exist on the moon and pigs, of course, fly. From Lake Nipissing to the moons of Jupiter, these poems travel around the world (and off it) united by the language of human fragility, and a sense of the body as engineered, temporary and exquisitely sad.

The book’s final section brings an uncanny ten-headed alien to Earth and the apocalypse that unfolds is complex and devastating. Ten-Headed Alien, broad in scope, revels in strange, protean imagery to explore the swamps between our natural and technological worlds.

To Order the book, visit the Wolsak & Wynn website.

Advanced Praise for Ten-Headed Alien

“Brock’s book is a sophisticated monster. This is war poetry that white-knuckles the horror story of normal life, where the most human thing about a robot is its lack of function. Here, language is a junkyard drum set of evil sounds, let loose in pursuit of an enemy half-machinic, half-mythic. Success is mutually assured destruction.”
– Linda Besner, author of Feel Happier in Nine Seconds

“David James Brock is the vital, urgent and mesmerizing maestro of the breakdown. His voices – brimming with acuity, wit and imagination – chart the frightening and inexorable breaking down of our times. Ten-Headed Alien documents the struggle for coherence and connection in the moments where spasm meets dance, where nightmare bleeds into vision, where we encounter the monster of our history and where the fertile ruins of the present are surveyed from the ruins of the future.”
– Daniel Scott Tysdal, author of Fauxccasional Poems


Spring Preview: Staff Picks (All Lit Up, 01/03/2018)
"Spring is in the air and I am looking forward to some patio time with many of the amazing poetry collections we have to offer this year. It was hard to narrow it down to one, but David James Brock's Ten-Headed Alien promises to be an epic mash-up of sci-fi, prog-rock, politics and myth; everything my little geek heart could ask for. Plus, who could resist that stunning, otherworldly cover? This alien invasion is not to be missed."

12 Canadian poetic works to discover in the first half of 2018 (CBC Books, 06/02/2018)
"Ten-Headed Alien touches on fantasy, science fiction and mythology while always keeping touch with the world we live in. This collection stretches from the fantastic to the ridiculous."

"Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview" (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 05/02/2018)
"David James Brock follows up Everyone is C02 with Ten Headed Alien, whose poems draw from sci-fi and poli-sci, prog rock and politics, climate fiction and ancient mythology."

"What's Your Story?" Final Instalment of the 2017 Obpo Writing Contest Winners: Etobicoke (Open Book, 04/12/2017)
Poem, "Bionic Pigeon Wing on the Roadside."

Debut Poetry Collection: Everyone is CO2

Everyone is CO2  (Wolsak & Wynn, 2014)

Everyone is CO2 (Wolsak & Wynn, 2014)

Crafting poems that delight scholars and fanboys alike, David James Brock's debut poetry collection addresses the things that influence our private mythologies, from television to space exploration, from heavy metal to the epic of Gilgamesh. What distinguishes his work is his knack for condensed narrative, lyrical inventiveness and his use of surprising details. He brings together all his experience as a dramatist and lyricist to mine the zeitgeist and write poems sure to entertain the most discerning pop-cultural intellectual.

David James Brock's Everyone is CO2 launched on April 16 as part of Wolsak & Wynn's new imprint, Buckrider Books. 

Buy the book at an upcoming event or on the Wolsak & Wynn website.



Press For Everyone is CO2

Review by Michael Dennis (Today's Book of Poetry, September 15, 2014)
"These poems leap from the page directly at your jugular.  That is, of course, only after he has sucker-punched your brain.  This is a master stage director plotting the audience and organizing their gasps... Brock shreds common sense as unnecessary as he rollicks all over the place with Shaman-like wisdom and an encyclopedic memory... I thought Everyone is CO2 was whipsmart stuff from start to end."

Review by Mark Sampson (Free Range Reading, August 8, 2014)
Everyone Is CO2 taps into very specific periods of pop culture... the references here will resonate most with those born in the 1970s and `80s. Yet what comes of all this? An entirely new and fresh existence for these cultural touchstones, infusing them with an agency of their own. This is something that Brock does exceedingly well."

Review by Nico Mara-McKay (This magazine, July 15, 2014)
"The poems in David James Brock's debut collection never rest, ranging in time (1959 through to 2039), place (Toronto, Steubenville, Venus), and subject (pop culture, music, the epic of Gilgamesh). Topics and themes switch a break-neck speed, united only by a sharp eye for dramatic imagery."

Review by William Kemp ((parenthetical), May 21, 2014)
“Seldom have I read, in recent memory, a collection of poetry that is so willing to have fun... Brock’s poetic voice is a much-appreciated, much-welcomed one that is, for the most part, conversational in tone, but still steeped in technique and skill. He shows the reader, without a hint of irony, the strange, quirky beauty in a language often thought of as less refined—and by extension, less beautiful... It’s a great debut from a great poet. Read it.”

Article by Kris Bone (The Town Crier, April 21, 2014)
“An expert combination of smart, snappy phrasing and interesting, offbeat subject matter made his poems exciting to listen to. Brock’s work continues to mutate and evolve, comfortable spanning multiple genres and conceptual divides as he moves into his first full-length publication, with his poetry stronger, stranger, and more fearless than anything we’ve seen from him yet."


Black Metal Melody  (Ferno House, 2011)

Black Metal Melody (Ferno House, 2011)

Black Metal Melody

Black Metal Melody is the kind of chapbook David James Brock would like to read. He loves metal and he likes poetry. The poets he admires seem to write the poems they want to read. Certainly, the bands he likes write music that they want to hear. With this chapbook, Brock hopes metal fans will recognize the content and want to read more poetry, and poets will admire the poems and want to listen to some Enslaved albums.

Buy Black Metal Melody directly from him. He has all the existing copies and can meet up/mail one to you for 15 bucks!

Read an interview with David James Brock in Verbicide Magazine.

Dinosaur Porn  (Ferno House and Emergency Response Unit, 2010)

Dinosaur Porn (Ferno House and Emergency Response Unit, 2010)

Dinosaur Porn: Anthology

Released in 2010 by Ferno House and The Emergency Response Unit,  Dinosaur Porn is a limited-edition, lovingly handcrafted, and perfect-bound collection of poetry and fiction that responds to the outrageous and creative coupling of the terms "dinosaur" and "porn."

Dinosaur Porn includes poetry and fiction by: Louise Bak, Gary Barwin, David James Brock, Andrew Faulkner, Warren Dean Fulton, Spencer Gordon, Corrigan Hammond, Joe Hickey, Penn Kemp, Henry Lee, Christine McNair, D. D. Miller, Nathaniel G. Moore, James Nadel, Leigh Nash, Kenneth Pobo, Shannon Rayne, Carey Toane, Jordan Trethewey, and Sara Wilson.

Buy Dinosaur Porn on the Ferno House website.

Read an interview with Ferno House in Torontoist.

Read an interview with Ferno House and The Emergency Response Unit in Steel Bananas.

Gasmask Summer (Emergency Response Unit, 2009)

Gasmask Summer (Emergency Response Unit, 2009)

Gasmask Summer

Gasmask Summer is David James Brock's first chapbook. It is a series of darkly comic poems exploring summer fashion and its effect on our culture and identity.

Read an interview with David James Brock in Verbicide Magazine.