Mark Anthony Bourdeau releases first book: Cocktail Cantos: a Poet Looks at the World

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Mark Anthony Bourdeau is a writer, a poet and a self-made, self-reliant roadhouse scholar and philosopher.

Bourdeau has just released a book of poetry entitled Cocktail Cantos. He offers no “liner notes” and says simply that the collection is “a raucous meditation on the state of poetry…a pageant of simultaneous landscapes where the past, present and future continually encounter each other . . . delivered with light-hearted erudition and a mock-heroic tone.”

Bourdeau wants us to think for ourselves; and for the purposes of his role as a digital-age poet/priest, he wants us to form our own conclusions about the nature of his work – and where it might take our collective imaginations. He is unquestionably an independent thinker and an astute observer of the human condition; and he is, most definitely, a man who views the world around him through his own singular lens.

Bourdeau has a penchant for light, humorous – and sometimes bawdy – self-deprecation. In Canto 9 (there are 24 Cantos in this collection), he says this of himself and his craft: “Never embrace poets or vampires after dark/Impecunious drunks prone to outbursts/And sloppy kisses/Only their mothers and biographers love them.”

He exhibits this sharp wit and broad perspective throughout Cocktail Cantos. He writes of “My God, who reigns above centuries/And bitch-slaps obdurate nations/Later they recover and carefully apply stimulus/To wounded markets and failed marriages.” And there is light-heartedness about the booze-fuelled poet’s own manner of social observation: “It doesn’t matter you think I have Cohen’s voice/Everyone sounds the same after midnight.”

Cocktail Cantos is at once sharp, precise and concise, with a provocative clarity of style and perspective that pushes and challenges the reader. It is a collection that speaks eloquently – and sometimes a bit brusquely – to the state of poetry and the role of the poet in this new, modern, Internet-propelled age. And it is a work that will be enjoyed, a challenging blend of style, substance and sharp social observation.


Cocktail Cantos is available at,,, and Bourdeau’s next work, a fictional piece entitled Look for Me in Cuba, will be published in spring 2013. More information may be found at

Cocktail Cantos
by Mark Anthony Bourdeau
ISBN: 9780988034303

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