"Struggling with ill-health, one thing I have found myself looking forward to is my morning writing hours, writing with as much excitement and wonder as ever. Poetry is both a faith and a physical need. Even a death sentence wants to be shapely, clear-headed and full of beauty. I'd heard stories of writers who didn't live long enough to finish a project. I thought to myself, All you have to do is keep up with the moment, one more letter, one more strand of music, one more line overflowing into the next. Writing is a valid, courageous way of being. The hours bury me with their sums, but the moments keep dropping me back to zero."
Barry Dempster is an award-winning poet, author, editor and mentor. He lives in Holland Landing, Ontario.
OTHER PUBLISHED WORKS
Fables for Isolated Men (Guernica Editions, Montreal, 1982) Shortlisted for the Governor General's Award
Globe Doubts (Quarry Press, Kingston, 1983)
Positions To Pray (Guernica Editions, Montreal, 1989)
The Unavoidable Man (Quarry Press, Kingston, 1990)
Letters from a Long Illness with the World, the D.H. Lawrence Poems (Brick Books, London, Ontario, 1993)
Fire and Brimstone (Empyreal Press, Montreal, 1997)
The Salvation of Desire (St. Thomas Press, Toronto, 2000)
The Words Wanting Out, Selected & New Poems (Nightwood Editions, Roberts Creek, 2003)
The Burning Alphabet (Brick Books, London, Ontario, 2005) Shortlisted for the Governor General's Award
Love Outlandish (Brick Books, London, Ontario, 2009)
Ivan's Birches (Pedlar Press, Toronto, 2009)
Blue Wherever (Signature Editions, 2010)
Dying a Little (Wolsak and Wynn, 2011)
Invisible Dogs (Brick Books, 2013)
Real Places and Imaginary Men (Oberon Press, Ottawa, 1984)
Writing Home (Oberon Press, Ottawa, 1989)
The Ascension of Jesse Rapture (Quarry Press, Kingston, 1993)
Don McKay has published numerous books of poetry, including Birding, or desire (1983), Night Field (1991), Apparatus (1997), Another Gravity (2000), Strike/Slip (2006), The Muskwa Assemblage (2008), and Paradoxides (2012). He won the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2007, two Governor General's Awards for Poetry (in 1991 and 2000), a National Magazine Award in 1991, the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for Poetry (in 1983 and 2013), and the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award in 2013. His books have also appeared on the shortlists for the Governor General's Award for Non-fiction (in 2002), the Governor General's Award for Poetry (in 1983 and 1997), and the Griffin Poetry Prize (in 2001 and 2005). He was named to the Order of Canada in 2009
McKay is also a respected editor, teacher, and scholar. He has taught at the University of Western Ontario, the University of New Brunswick, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Sage Hill Writing Experience. He has served as editor and co-publisher of Brick Books since 1975, and from 1991 to 1996, he edited The Fiddlehead. He presently lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Few if any poets encompass the range, the dynamism, and the spectrum of emotional colours Barry Dempster does. --Canadian Authors' Association Chalmers Award Jury Citation
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