Sharon Thesen was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, in 1946. She moved to the British Columbia Interior in 1952 and lived in Prince George and Kamloops before settling in Vancouver in 1966. She is the author of several books of poetry and the former editor of the Capilano Review. She currently teaches English at Capilano College in North Vancouver and writes reviews for the Vancouver Sun.
Sharon Thesen is a poet, editor, and writer who was based in Vancouver, BC, before coming to UBC Okanagan in 2005. She is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent The Good Bacteria (House of Anansi). Her books include a selected poems, News & Smoke, and several titles from the 1980s and '90s from Coach House Press in Toronto.
Sharon has been involved in the Canadian and Vancouver poetry scene for many years. As an editor, she has published two editions of The New Long Poem Anthology, a Governor-General’s Award-winning edition of Phyllis Webb’s poetry (The Vision Tree), and, from 2001 to 2005, the literary and visual arts magazine The Capilano Review. She co-edited, with Ralph Maud, a correspondence between the poet Charles Olson and book designer Frances Boldereff (Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Corresepondence, Wesleyan University Press).
Sharon co-edits, with Nancy Holmes, Lake: a journal of arts and environment, which is housed in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, and continues to be a contributing editor of The Capilano Review.
Her book A Pair of Scissors won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and The Good Bacteria was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award, the ReLit Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Two earlier books also were finalists for the Governor-General’s Award, and in 2002 Sharon was a member of the jury, along with American poet Sharon Olds and Irish poet Michael Longley, for the prestigious Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry.
In addition to teaching literature and creative writing at Capilano College, Sharon has taught poetry workshops at a number of summer writing colonies, including the Banff Writing Studio, Echo Valley and St. Peter’s College, and for many years has informally mentored younger poets and writers. She has given readings at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, the Blue Metropolis Writers’ Festival in Montreal and the New Zealand Writers’ Festival in Wellington, NZ.
Sharon’s research interests are modern, postmodern, and contemporary poetry and poetics, lyric essay and philosophical autobiography, the relationship between poetic imagination and “the real,” and the Canadian long poem. She is also interested in the aesthetics of theological and mystical writings by women, as well as the relationship between psychology and ecology, and eco-poetics. She is married, with one son and one stepson. She lives in Lake Country, BC.
Whether riffing on rush-hour traffic, on walking the dog, or on watching TV, Sharon Thesen's incantatory poems capture elusive, overlooked moments, and together form an incisive and witty portrait collage of our daily lives.In spinning acts of violence into fairytales, mundane anxieties into catchy advertising jingles, and pedestrian scenes into su …
After Completion: The Later Letters between modern American poet Charles Olson and typographer and Joyce scholar Frances Boldereff opens in September 1950, following a crisis that amounted to a “completion” of the major phase of their relationship. The 140 letters in this volume present a passionate relationship realized mostly in correspondenc …
[a letter from Boldereff to Olson, during his years at Black Mountain College]
Brooklyn to Black Mountain
[26 November 1953]
A very nice black special delivery man brought the exquisite package last night—and I stayed up to read it through—It is now before breakfast and I hasten to tell you, though as you can guess, there is very much which I am not sure of at this first reading, that the primary adjective which comes up to me is clean—that in some marvelous transposition the very air of a Gloucesterman's boat has somehow been made to blow—that the pages are intensely clean and male. That they come to me as Ishmael did with a wondrous healing at an hour most needed (I had precisely at five last night a big blow out with my boss). But above all, I want to tell you that this last two weeks I am steeped in Rimbaud's La Chasse Spirituelle which I ordered from France and in the light of all that sacred holy thing discloses of Rimbaud's sufferings (I cannot wait to show and talk to you about it) in that high light--where I was touchy and fussy as a priest in his sanctuary—Maximus seems the next direct step—it comes over big, Olson--clean as clean—and while it requires, as always, very much hard work on my part to decipher in detail--it has already delivered its message to me and I would say comes out as in absolute, direct succession to La Chasse.
I have found a book which you also must see, "The Sacred Tree Script"—explains things in Rimbaud, in Plato and refers in ways I want to discuss with you to your "Gate and the Center"—very wonderful discovery, to me, and I now think--I can practically draw a literal line of exactly how and where the thing has traveled from the beginning of "man's motion"—is not that what you called it?
There were several beautiful things that struck me as I read so hastily—
"In the midst of plenty, walk..."
this whole passage through to the end of this Song is genuine song and I hope will be made a song and sung by someone who feels its music as I do and can hum a tune, as I can not.
It is a strange thing to be a woman—to be as full of your thing you could burst—and yet to have no outlet—I feel my thing growing to a size and a clarity inside me that you'd think it would have to break through in some form—yet I can neither sing, compose, write prose or verse, draw, sculpt or any of all those blood passages--perhaps I can squeeze it out into my house, which I am still determined to build before I die!
One other thing—I have an article from the architect Deitrick, on his terrific State Fair Arena at Raleigh, N.C. Most exciting building of the modern world—go to Raleigh if you possibly can—and see it—as I plan to whenever I can swing the money—Charles—in that building you will find everything which makes genuine polis--one of the great achievements. And the result of what cooperation and creative joint activity. Please hunt up Engineering News Record—February 5 1953 an article "Curved Roof on cables spans big arena" and you will thrill to see proof that Gloucester is now in Raleigh, N.C.
Your loving Frances
I only realized a few days ago that the dwarf letter disturbed you --that was not innuendo, Charles—it was straight child—and referred to physical head only—and my remarks, to trying to delve into cause, why, against the obvious, I felt it to be so physically accurate. It all has to do with a play I saw as a child which has become a kind of legend to Lucinda and means something neither of us can convey but which we are clear about, completely, entre nous.
Loved and admired by readers for the grace of her language and the humanity of her vision, Sharon Thesen is one of Canada’s finest and most respected poets. Thesen’s poems express the pleasure and magic of a language fully transformed into visions of grace.
News & Smoke includes selections from all six of Thesen’s previous books (of which only Aurora remains in print); unpublished poems from the fifteen year period of the late 70s to the mid 90s; as well as some work previously published only in magazines. All of the work is imbued with a spare, meticulous rigour, creating lines of a clear, pale lig …
Shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award
Governor General's Literary Award finalist Sharon Thesen's Oyama Pink Shale is a sly, self-directed, yet joyously emancipatory work. By animating and voicing various moments and selves -- indebted adult friend to artists, cold documentarian of a haunted sanatorium, engaged contemporary ticking off beauties, …
In crisp, intimate, and uncluttered language, award-winning and critically acclaimed poet Sharon Thesen gives us a layered meditation on energy and endings: the irrepressible energy of life; and the end of the natural world, of home, of love, youth, and safety.Thesen's talent is for catching beauty at the periphery of things -- a glimpse of neighbo …
The best books of poetry published in English internationally and in Canada are honoured each year with the Griffin Poetry Prize, one of the world's richest and most prestigious literary prizes. The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology: A Selection of the 2003 Shortlist includes poems from the seven exceptional books shortlisted for the 2003 prize.Select …
The long poem, nowadays, is the talk of various discourses with each other: “A poem is a small painting, a long poem is a mural.”
The second edition of The New Long Poem Anthology is an irreplaceable roadmap of a vital and powerful poetic form, a record of the most seductive and sustained “singing talk” in postmodern Canadian writing. Edited …