Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
In “Percy Janes Boarding the Bus” she is in her role as acerbic critic of Newfoundland’s oblivion to its literary heroes. And where will you find a more satisfying brief narrative than “Our Boarder Alfred, He Must Have Been 300 Pounds”? That piece is a tour de force of voice, and so is “I Solemn,” in which a child’s first funeral is recorded in the sort of intimate detail none but a child would notice. Agnes has two books of poems, In the Old Country of My Heart and Going Around With Bachelors. The anthology selection draws from each, and I can’t fault the choices, but there are wonderful poems I miss from each. Open either book and start to read. You could easily lose track of where you are.
Stan Dragland is the founder of Brick Magazine and Brick Books. He is the author of many books, the most recent of which is the novel The Drowned Lands. He lives in St. John's.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Because of the recent national acclaim of some of Newfoundland’s poets, such as Patrick Warner, Sue Sinclair, and Ken Babstock, among others, the island’s poetry has been understandably drifting away from its folkloric roots. Dawe’s inclusion within this collection ensures that readers can better understand the progression of Newfoundland poetry from its original local audience to the national and international. By drawing heavily on Newfoundland’s mythology in addition to his own perspective of growing up in an outport community, Dawe illustrates the foundational strengths of Newfoundland’s poetry.
In his poem “Wild Geese,” Dawe writes a confessional poem about watching two geese fly. While not explicitly stating the poem’s location, Dawe insinuates the poem’s Newfoundland location by situating the speaker on “mounds of turf / warm above wave-lit / over mossy stones.” After the setting is established, Dawe creates a link between the past and the present, juxtaposing his childhood time in this location with his current situation. He forms this link through (you guessed it) observing the flight of a pair of geese. Dawe puts tension between wanting to leave a place and yet being held to it, wanting to move on and yet wanting to stay the same. In this sense, Dawe’s poem functions as a microcosm for the grander march of Newfoundland poetry, of being pulled between history and the future.
The poem concludes with the lines, “They swing westward / where sky meets marsh leaves, / their shadows almost / touching me.” The geese leave; the speaker stays.
Richard Kemick is a currently an MA (Creative Writing) student at the University of New Brunswick. He recently won Grain's Short Grain Prize for Poetry.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Fiddlehead editor Ross Leckie and I reached out to poets across the country to get their perspective on the 11 poets selected. We didn't want an overly complex analysis of the featured work, nor did we want to call into question the editors' selection. We wanted poets simply responding to poets. Appreciations. And the responses—we hope you agree—are thoughtful, generous, and illuminating.
Starting tomorrow and over the next several weeks and months, we'll be posting what came back to us over the electronic transom. On behalf of The Fiddlehead team, we hope you enjoy.
October 24: Richard Kemick on Tom Dawe
October 29: Stan Dragland on Agnes Walsh
November 5: John Steffler on Al Pittman
November 14: Katia Grubisic on Ken Babstock
November 20: Lynn Davies on Mary Dalton
November 26: Susan Gillis on Sue Sinclair
December 3: George Murray on Patrick Warner
December 9: Jeffery Donaldson on Richard Greene
December 16: Shoshanna Wingate on Carmelita McGrath
January 6, 2014: Lorna Crozier on Michael Crummey
January 16, 2014: Vanessa Moeller on John Steffler
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Compton is a two-time winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize for her first two poetry collections, Opening the Island and Processional, the second of which was also the winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. In 2008, she was awarded the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English Language Literary Arts and the National Magazine Award in Poetry. A former teacher and writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick at Saint John, she developed and directed the acclaimed Lorenzo Reading Series.
Her reading will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at 8:00 pm in the East Gallery of Memorial Hall on the UNB Fredericton Campus.
Admission is free and all are welcome to attend!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
|Photo credit Kevin Kelly|
Here's a selection of Canadian media stories about the shortlist, announced yesterday:
Congratulations Craig, and good luck!
Monday, October 7, 2013
Thomas King is also the author of One Good Story, That One, Truth and Bright Water, and A Short History of Indians in Canada, which won the 2006 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award. King’s A Coyote Columbus Story was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 1992, and his Green Grass, Running Water was nominated the following year, and later chosen for inclusion in Canada Reads 2004. King is also known for his work writing and performing on the CBC radio show “Dead Dog Café.” In 2004 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
His reading will be held on Tuesday, October 8 at 8:00 pm in Memorial Hall on the UNB Fredericton Campus. This event is free and open to the public. We suggest coming early, as seats may fill up fast.