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published: Oct 2006
ISBN:9781554470303

A Ragged Pen

Essays on Poetry & Memory

by Robert Finley; Patrick Friesen; Aislinn Hunter; Anne Simpson & Jan Zwicky

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list price: $22.95
edition:Paperback
published: Oct 2006
ISBN:9781554470303
Description

A Ragged Pen brings to the page five essays on memory. First delivered in Vancouver in the spring of 2005, these talks?by Robert Finley, Patrick Friesen, Aislinn Hunter, Anne Simpson and Jan Zwicky?examine the narrative challenges, lyric energy and questions of verity that surround the subject of memory in a creative context.

Finley’s essay searches out appropriate, genuine voices for memories. Comparing photo narrative projects, his own and a friend’s, he proposes a form of storytelling that incorporates both memory and creation, a dialogue that speaks to, rather than for, the past. Within the discussion of narrative Zwicky posits a distinction between lyric and narrative treatments of memories, what each accepts about and tries to do with what memory delivers, and whether a difference in the degree of verity is part of this distinction. Hunter picks up the thread of verity and examines the discrepancy between seeing and imagining, the notion of “real” and the power of memory, drawing on the work of Borges, Seamus Heaney and recent science that calls into question commonly held perceptions of truth. Friesen begins with a childhood memory he suspects may be an invention, and opens onto the role of longing in memory and in poetry, challenging the assumption of past experience in longing, arguing for a note of loss in every new experience, a longing for what has never been. Simpson uses a myth of longing, that of Orpheus and Eurydice, to dig beneath metaphor, bringing new ideas and influences to the role of metaphor in social interactions and artistic endeavours.

Together these essays make fascinating crossovers and offer fresh insight on memory and art. A Ragged Pen is a valuable new contribution to the study of poetics and narrative philosophy.

About the Authors
Robert Finley is coordinator of Memorial University's Creative Writing Diploma Program where he teaches literature and creative nonfiction. His books, translations and collaborations include The Accidental Indies, A Ragged Pen, and K.L.Reich.
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Patrick Friesen, a resident of Winnipeg for thirty years, now lives in Vancouver, teaching at Kwantlen University College. He has written numerous books of poetry and has also worked on translations of Danish poets, including A Sudden Sky (2001), a collaborative translation with Per Brask of selected poems by Ulrikka S. Gernes. Friesen has also written several stage and radio plays, and has collaborated with choreographers, dancers, musicians and composers. His books have been shortlisted for the BC Book Prize and the Governor General's Award.

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Aislinn Hunter is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of six books, including the novel The World Before Us, which won the Ethel Wilson Prize. She lives in British Columbia.

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Anne Simpson has published five collections of poetry, one of which, Loop, won the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her prose publications include The Marram Grass: Poetry & Otherness (2009) and three novels, most recently Speechless. Her mentorship of other writers has taken her to libraries and universities across Canada. She lives on an estuary in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, sharing space with ravens, herons, and bald eagles.

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Anne Simpson has published five collections of poetry, one of which, Loop, won the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her prose publications include The Marram Grass: Poetry & Otherness (2009) and three novels, most recently Speechless. Her mentorship of other writers has taken her to libraries and universities across Canada. She lives on an estuary in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, sharing space with ravens, herons, and bald eagles.

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