Luke Kennard is a poet and writer of fiction who was born in Kingston Upon Thames in 1981 and grew up in Luton. He won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2005 and his first collection of prose poems The Solex Brothers was published later that year by Stride. His second collection The Harbour Beyond the Movie was published by Salt in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, making him the youngest writer ever to be shortlisted.
He has a PhD in English from the University of Exeter and lectures at the University of Birmingham. In 2014 he was named one of the Next Generation Poets by the Poetry Book Society in their once per-decade list. His fifth collection of poems, Cain, was published by Penned in the Margins in 2016 and selected as a book of the year by The Guardian and The Sunday Times and shortlisted for the 2017 International Dylan Thomas Prize.
His first novel, The Transition, was published by 4th Estate in January 2017 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott First Novel Award.
Long listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize
A Radio 4 Book at Bedtime
What’s standing between you and success?
What do you do with a generation who’ve had everything, but still can’t grow up?
Welcome to The Transition.
While taking part in The Transition you and your partner will spend six months living under the supervision of your mentors, two successful adults of a slightly older generation. Freed from your financial responsibilities, you will be coached through the key areas of the scheme – Employment, Nutrition, Responsibility, Relationship, Finances and Self-Respect – until you are ready to be reintegrated into adult society.
At the end of your six months – who knows what discoveries you’ll have made about yourself? The ‘friends’ you no longer need. The talents you’ll have found time to nurture. The business you might have kick-started.
Who knows where you’ll be?
Praise for The Transition
‘The sort of book that cuts you off from your family and has you walking blindly through seven lanes of traffic with your face pressed obliviously to the page’ The Times
‘Richly enjoyable . . . what really makes this novel stand out is not the Black Mirror-style black comedy but the tenderly devastating portrait of mental illness. The dystopia turns out to be a love story after all’ Guardian
'To read Luke Kennard is to experience the gleeful rush that comes with encountering a writer who has an uncanny ability to scoop the contents of your head directly onto the page’ Shortlist
‘Uncomfortably familiar . . . gripping’ Financial Times
Praise for Caine
'Endlessly inventive, bruisingly direct, and rich with a desperate, defensive humour. A stunning achievement.' Joe Dunthorne
Guardian Best Books of 2016
Guardian Best Books for Summer 2016
Observer Best Holiday Reads 2016
Poetry School Books of the Year 2016