Ronsdale Press offers a new edition of Steveston, this much loved work by two of Canada's finest poets and photographers. For this edition, Daphne Marlatt has written a new poem, never before published, to offer a postscript from 2001 on the original 1974 undertaking. At the publisher's request, Robert Minden has returned to his photographic archive bringing 9 additional images of Steveston and New Denver to light.In addition, Marlatt and Minden have rethought their decision to interleave poems and photos, and have, instead, created two separate but connected stories - poetry and pictures that evoke their own rhythms and then speak to each other of their connections. For the first time, Minden talks about their joint project of recreating Steveston, in verse and photos, as two overlapping but distinct "folios."For all the newness of this edition, Steveston retains its old magic: with Marlatt's long lines recreating the ebb and flow of the Fraser River, the sense of the twoartists outside the mainly Japanese-Canadian community, but also through their art evoking the multiple layers of community, the traces and erasures of presence. As Marlatt recalls, "There was something in Steveston which drew us, over and over again, and which our work attempted to enunciate - something under the backwater quiet, the river hum of comings and goings, the traffic of work, that was 'shouting' at us to tell it."
Daphne Marlatt was at the centre of the West Coast poetry movement of the 1960s, studying at the University of British Columbia and with many of Donald Allen’s New American Poets, most notably Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan. Her early literary associations with the loosely affiliated TISH group encouraged her nonconformist approach to language and form. Her unique disposition toward language shapes and is shaped by her commitment to exploring and honouring silenced histories and experiences. For her, writing has been a lifelong ethical project, deeply engaged with feminism, immigrant experiences, and ecological issues. Her innovations in the prose poem form have influenced an entire generation (and beyond) of Canadian poets.