The Words Wanting Out

By (author): Barry Dempster

The Words Wanting Out is the first selection from one of Canada’s most respected poets. In 1982 Barry Dempster landed on the short list for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his very first book, and has since published seven more collections to high praise.Over this time, Dempster has chosen to keep a relatively low profile, relocating from Toronto to the small town of Holland Landing, Ontario, and only publishing his work at small literary presses. Many of his collections are either out of print or not widely distributed, making all of his titles highly sought after by poetry readers across Canada who have discovered his poignant writing by reputation, word-of-mouth, literary journals or by his contributions to our cultural landscape as an editor, instructor and critic. The Words Wanting Out collects the best poems of Dempster’s varied and dynamic output, including those from his 2003 collection Living Well (available in limited edition only from Poppy Press).

AUTHOR

Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster was born in Toronto, Ontario, and educated in child psychology. He is the author of a novel, children’s literature and over a dozen collections of poetry. His work has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award twice and won the Canadian Authors Association Chalmers Award for poetry. From 1990 to 1997, he was the Poetry and Reviews Editor for Poetry Canada. He is currently the senior editor with Brick Books. He has been on the faculty at The Banff Centre as mentor for the Writing Studio, Wired Writing and Writing with Style programs, has conducted two master classes and has been the Writer-in-Residence at the Richmond Hill Public Library twice.


Reviews

“Here in the span of 150-plus pages, Dempster spins a series of observations and musings that both come straight from his unconscious and the meditating of the corrosiveness of our society. For these poems speak of the beauty and solace in the everyday, the tiny antidotes to our daily grinds. It’s a remarkable collection, bare as bone and delicate as marrow. . . . disarmingly uncalculated and refeshingly cathartic. . . . a lovely engaging collection.”-Chris DeVito, CO-OP/CiTR/CJSF Radio
– CD Syndicated

“Let’s not mince words: the poetry in this collection is as good as it gets in this country. . . The man doesn’t make a false step for 168 pages! . . . Barry Dempster is a magician, and this is one of the finest books of poetry I’ve read this year. I say give the guy the damn prize: he’s more than earned it.”-Richard Stevenson, League of Canadian Poets
– League of Canadian Poets

“I read Fire and Brimstone with great pleasure. I especially liked the quick apt metaphors catching a situation or a mood exactly . . . the combination of dark wit and child’s-eye renderings of experience.”-Don McKay”Dempster’s vaulting imagination and skill with metaphors links them all, drawing the reader into a vivid world . . . [he brings] to his poetry an ironic eye finely taking in and detailing the quirks of human nature.”-Blaine Marchand, Arc”. . . very astute, poignant documents which uncover history in a way an academic never could. [Letters from a Long Illness with the World takes] the artistic, creative view of an artist’s life and work and give[s] us fresh perspective and new insight.”-Kathleen McHale, Poetry Canada Review”Steeped in both the spiritual and the sensual, Dempster’s poems delight with their fiery, original images . . . Be prepared to be challenged, but best of all, be prepared to be moved poem after poem.” -Robert Hilles”Barry Dempster’s poetic recollections of Scarborough are a welcome addition to the Canadian literary landscape.”-Ronald Charles Epstein, The Canadian Book Review Annual”Barry Dempster uses his precise command of metaphysical turns of phrase and vivid imagery to explore the nature of belief in the twentieth century, whether he turns his attentions to the iconoclasm of D.H. Lawrence or to the hypocrisies and naïveté of suburban religious fundamentalism. In the process, he articulates a human-scale cosmology well outside the church-going conventions of the mainstream. For Dempster it is the life force itself – in its unconditional inclusiveness – that is the Divine, and the joyous mystery.”-John Barton
– Praise for Dempster’s Poetry

“The Words Wanting Out is a representative sampling of the last 30 years of Dempster’s work, in a beautiful single volume. . . . Dempster is here successful in invoking the strange borderlands that exist between the youthfully troubled worlds of suburban Canada and the mystical mindset of the religious family.”George Murray, Globe & Mail
– Globe and Mail

“Barry Dempster grounds his poems in the specifics of people, animals, and the landscape. . . . Dempster’s characters speak the unexpected. . . . The poet moves easily between pop culture, religion, and the Canadian landscape, each time offering something startling and new, as in “Lucky Pigs,” in which the epigraph reads, ‘a pig’s orgasm lasts thirty minutes.’ Dempster observes, ‘Ten minutes and his ears are undulating, / his eyeballs squirming in their sockets. / He isn’t really a pig anymore, / but an avalanche.’ Try getting that image out of your mind. But then, pigs in ecstasy make a fitting metaphor for what the finest poems in these collections do: express a passionate, deeply felt response, that, when you encounter it, is impossible to ignore.”-Camille-Yvette Welsch, ForeWord Magazine
– Foreword Magazine

“His writing style is forceful, declarative, seemingly autobiographical, often employing the first person in the narrative. “A Million Words” could be Dempster’s ars poetica as well as hisars vita…The words are ‘wanting out’ not only as artistic expression but also as a kind of exorcism, a cleansing of the spirit.”-Barbara Myers, ARC
– ARC

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The Words Wanting Out is the first selection from one of Canada’s most respected poets. In 1982 Barry Dempster landed on the short list for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his very first book, and has since published seven more collections to high praise.Over this time, Dempster has chosen to keep a relatively low profile, relocating from Toronto to the small town of Holland Landing, Ontario, and only publishing his work at small literary presses. Many of his collections are either out of print or not widely distributed, making all of his titles highly sought after by poetry readers across Canada who have discovered his poignant writing by reputation, word-of-mouth, literary journals or by his contributions to our cultural landscape as an editor, instructor and critic. The Words Wanting Out collects the best poems of Dempster’s varied and dynamic output, including those from his 2003 collection Living Well (available in limited edition only from Poppy Press).

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

160 Pages
8.5in * 5.75in * 0.75in
0.84lb

Published:

October 21, 2003

Publisher:

Nightwood Editions

ISBN:

9780889711921

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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