The publication of Sticks & Stones, George Bowering’s first book of poems, has been one of Canada’s great literary mysteries for almost three decades. Rumoured to have been published by the Rattlesnake Press in 1962, yet only ever found in the darkened vaults of secretive bibliophiles in the form of imperfectly collated, incomplete press proofs, sans cover, several poems and original drawings by Gordon Payne, this book has remained hidden from public view while Bowering’s literary career blossomed. Here, for the first time, is the complete unabridged publication of Sticks & Stones, including all the poems, with the original drawings by Gordon Payne and the preface by Robert Creeley in place. Roy Miki, author of the definitive critical bibliography of George Bowering, A Record of Writing, has provided an endnote which takes the reader through the literary detective work that resulted in the strange circumstance of the publication of this first edition. This first official publication of Sticks & Stones, 27 years after the fact, is a celebration of a writer at the height of his career, and a tribute to the enduring quality of his work.
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