Atlantic Canada is enjoying a renaissance unknown since the days of Alden Nowlan, Milton Acorn, and John Thompson. Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada features work by 60 of the region's finest poets in a volume that will whet appetites for more. The earlier poetry renaissance began in 1945, with the establishment of The Fiddlehead magazine. In this new volume, the present Fiddlehead editor Ross Leckie, and his collaborators Ann Compton, Laurence Hutchman, and Robin McGrath, showcase the lasting effects of that earlier renaissance and confidently forecast that the newest generation of Atlantic poets will help to make poetry a pre-eminent literary form in Canada once again.
Coastlines provides expansive reading pleasure because of the astonishing range of poetic intelligences it represents and the myriad ways poets find to work and rework the topography of Atlantic culture and landscape. The earliest poems in the anthology were written in the 1950s by the acknowledged greats — Acorn, Nowlan, and Thompson — and by Alfred Bailey, Elizabeth Bishop, and Charles Bruce. The collection also features work by senior poets such as Kay Smith, M. Travis Lane, Fred Cogswell, and Douglas Lochhead, and mid-career poets such as Elisabeth Harvor, Harry Thurston, and John Steffler. Poets of the post-1995 renaissance include Anne Simpson, Sue Sinclair, Michael Crummey, and George Elliott Clarke, who won the 2001 Governor General's Award; Lynn Davies, Sue Goyette, and Carole Langille have all been recent finalists, and both Brian Bartlett and matt robinson have won the Petra Kenney Memorial International Poetry Prize. The newest voices in Coastlines belong to Tammy Armstrong and Geoff Cook, whose work was selected from manuscripts published in 2002.
Ross Leckie was born in Lachine, Quebec, and has lived in Montreal, Toronto and Prince George. He is currently Director of Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Leckie’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Landmarks (2001) and Why I Sing the Blues (2001). He is the author of three collections of poetry: Gravity's Plumb Line (GP, 2005), The Authority of Roses (1997) and A Slow Light (1983).
Anne Compton teaches at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John. She is the editor of The Edge of Home, Milton Acorn's poems about Prince Edward Island and the author of a poetry collection entitled Opening the Island.
Laurence Hutchman teaches Canadian literature at the Université de Moncton, Edmundston. His most recent book is Beyond Borders.
Robin McGrath lives in Beachy Cove, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, and is the author of the poetry collection, Donovan's Station.
Jeanette Lynes is the author of six collections of poetry, including Archive of the Undressed, which was shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her first novel, The Factory Voice, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Jeanette directs the M.F.A. in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.
Fred Cogswell (d. 2004) was a poet, UNB professor, editor, translator, and mentor to many aspiring writers. A long-serving editor of The Fiddlehead and founder of Fiddlehead Poetry Books, he was the author of more than twenty books of verse. With Jo-Anne Elder, he translated Climats and Conversations by Herménégilde Chiasson and edited and translated Rêves inachevés / Unfinished Dreams (Goose Lane, 1990), an anthology of contemporary Acadian poets.
"Wonderful. .. an enormously valuable resource for readers and teachers of Canadian poetry. .. A balanced roster of established and emerging poetic voices that reflects both the diversity and the intensity of the region's poetry. .. Instructive and exciting. .. Coastlines is a book that will foster much pleasure and a deeper understanding of Canadian poetry for many years to come. "
"Page after page of. .. splendid poetry. "
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