"the language of the waterway / the name / the train's route through bliss / to" When the poet and novelist David Helwig - a recipient of the Matt Cohen Prize for lifetime achievement and a member of the Order of Canada - died in October 2018, he left behind a substantial catalogue of unpublished work. A House in Memory, a selection of Helwig's last poems, was assembled by his daughter, Maggie. It shows an author still at the height of his powers, creating work in complex formal structures, contemplating mortality, memory, and the landscape of his adopted home of Prince Edward Island, and paying tribute to his literary predecessors. The collection also includes unpublished poems from earlier in Helwig's career. Ranging widely through time, space, and literary tradition, A House in Memory features some deeply personal poems. As Maggie Helwig says of her father, "he could not cease to be a poet as long as he had breath in this world.
David Helwig (1938-2018) was the author of nearly fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. A longtime resident of Kingston, he spent his final years in Belfast, Prince Edward Island.
"Some yearn to be writers; others have no choice but to write. No one who knew David Helwig, or who read his work, could ever doubt what sort of writer he was. A House in Memory confirms what his readers have long known: that he was not only a compulsive poet but also one of tremendous range, depth, and eloquence." Steven Heighton, Governor General's Poetry Award winner for The Waking Comes Late
"This collection of last poems by the inimitable David Helwig is not so much an elegy as an exaltation of all that makes up a richly creative and compassionate life. David, we will always miss you - but oh, you've left us so much. Thank you." Diane Schoem