Indie Rock candidly focuses on a queer poet/musician’s life in Newfoundland and his personal struggles with addiction, OCD, and trauma. This intelligent and punchy collection is steeped in musicality and the geographies and cadences of Newfoundland. With an astute attention to form, rhythm, and aesthetics, Joe Bishop tells an honest and contemporary coming-of-age story about an artist alienated from, but fascinated by, the world he inhabits. Readers dealing with grief and living through recovery will find solace in these poems, as will those conflicted by faith, curious about the rigid confines of masculinity, or yearning to hear a voice like theirs in verse. At its core, Indie Rock is about keeping records, an artist’s compulsion to make art, and the power of love and imagination to overcome death.
About the author
Joe Bishop is the author of the chapbook Dissociative Songs. His work has appeared in literary journals across Canada and abroad. He has a BA in English from Memorial University. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Bishop's lyrics chronicle sexual exploration amidst Newfoundland music and folklore. Indie Rock has the volume jacked, and these poems pulsate and blister long after the show's over." Aidan Chafe, author of Gospel Drunk
"Joe Bishop’s poetry comes with its own musical accompaniment. You feel his rich, rhythmic poems as much as you read them. All of life is there, manifested in a musicality of language that’s as bewitching as it is transcendent. I defy you to pick up this stunning collection and resist turning each page until you’ve read all the way through." Joanna Lilley, author of Endlings
"Indie Rock is a significant contribution to the poetry of contemporary Newfoundland and Labrador—an edge-y book, one to place on your shelf alongside Joel Hynes and Megan Gail Coles. Moving between hard-driving staccato rhythms and more meditative cadences, these poems reflect the struggles and highs of a gay musician making his way in downtown St. John’s. In the process Bishop takes a good smack at many of the cultural stereotypes manifested in our writing and our music; many of the pieces have a bracingly sardonic tone. As well the book brings into itself the brutal energies of seascape and landscape. Here is a strong and highly distinctive debut." Mary Dalton, author of Red Ledger and Merrybegot