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Poetry Canadian

Always Now

by (author) Margaret Avison

Publisher
Porcupine's Quill
Initial publish date
May 2003
Category
Canadian, General, Inspirational & Religious
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889842625
    Publish Date
    May 2003
    List Price
    $19.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889842557
    Publish Date
    Oct 2004
    List Price
    $19.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889842618
    Publish Date
    Mar 2005
    List Price
    $19.95

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Description

Always Now, Collected Poems of Margaret Avison, encompasses in three volumes all of the published books, from Winter Sun (1960) to Concrete and Wild Carrot (2002), and is framed by a gathering of uncollected and new poems respectively. When complete, Always Now will present all of the poems, up to 2002, that Margaret Avison wishes to preserve. Volume One extends from the uncollected poems to Avison's translations of Hungarian poems, and includes Winter Sun and The Dumbfounding. Besides the uncollected surprises, two of them dating to high school days and first published in Hermes, Toronto's Humberside Collegiate literary magazine, there are the loved and familiar early poems, just as fresh now as they were then, from which certain wonderful lines still jump out: 'Nobody stuffs the world in at your eyes./ The optic heart must venture'; 'In the mathematics of God/ there are percentages beyond one hundred.' Margaret Avison's poems have warmed the hearts and enlarged the thinking of two generations of Canadian readers.

About the author

One of Canada's most respected poets, Margaret Avison was born in Galt, Ontario, lived in Western Canada in her childhood, and then in Toronto. In a productive career that stretched back to the 1940s, she produced seven books of poems, including her first collection, Winter Sun (1960), which she assembled in Chicago while she was there on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and which won the Governor General's Award. No Time (Lancelot Press), a work that focussed on her interest in spiritual discovery and moral and religious values, also won the Governor General's Award for 1990. Avison's published poetry up to 2002 was gathered into Always Now: the Collected Poems (Porcupine's Quill, 2003), including Concrete and Wild Carrot which won the 2003 Griffin Prize. Her most recent book, Listening, Last Poems, was published in 2009 by McClelland & Stewart.

Margaret Avison was the recipient of many awards including the Order of Canada and three honorary doctorates.

Margaret Avison's profile page

Editorial Reviews

'The poetic genius of cold weather is Toronto poet Margaret Avison, whose work hooked me in my thirties and has never let go. Poems like Snow, New Year's Poem, Thaw, Banff and Death, which first appeared in Winter Sun (University of Toronto Press, 1960), have now happily reappeared in Always Now, the first volume of her collected poems (Porcupine's Quill, 2003).

'Avison gives us the full array of physical and spiritual possibilities from lock-up to thaw. The feast and famine that ruled John Hornby's life has echoes in her poetry, where tiny physical phenomena are seen with the ''hallucinatory intensity'' of a last meal. On a window ledge lies a lost pearl in ''the suety, snow-luminous plainness / of morning.'' At the end of the day, under a snow-laden sky, ''Madame night'' appears in ''prune and mottled plumes.''

'George Whalley wrote about the unknowable in human and natural form, Margaret Avison writes about the unknowable in all its forms. In her poetry, weather is a portent, a visible sign of the invisible, evidence of God made flesh. Our lives, she suggests, are held by the weather, penetrated by ''precious terrible coldness'' and enlarged by looking upward. When ''the soul's gates'' unseal, snow turns into ''asters of tumbled quietness.'' '

Globe & Mail

'It is instructive again to see in the arc of Avison's career how we move from the crystal clarities of wintry seeing to spiritual revelations beyond seasonal flux, from a plain winter sun to an otherworldly dumbfounding. If it is true that major poets revolve around a single idea as around a multi-faceted crystal, then Avison would qualify for the honour. Consider a survey of recurrent motifs in this volume: snow, sun, magic, the inner eye, the shielded interior space, and particularly, I noticed this time through, the waterdrop. These latter two recall our hortus conclusus theme, the minutest of gardens, the mind's eye as a clear, globed, magnifying refraction of light that contains all space within it (look closely at the beautiful colour photograph and you'll get the idea).'

UofT Quarterly

'The design and layout of this work is up to the usual high standards of The Porcupine's Quill. Margaret Avison deserves no less for her beautifully crafted and profound work. Her artistic integrity and spiritual depth are everywhere apparent in her poetry.'

Canadian Book Review Annual

'It is Avison's unique accomplishment to write, in and for a secular world, about faith and God, with intelligence and without becoming either sentimental or preachy. Her faith is foundational to her writing. In speaking about the forces that shaped her earlier writing, she relates how she resisted commitment to Christianity because she feared it would mean an end to writing poetry. As it turned out, ''new surges of vitality came with new Christian faith, and poetry lost its status as my first priority''.'

Prairie Fire

'Margaret Avison is a national treasure. For many decades she has forged a way to write, against the grain, some of the most humane, sweet and profound poetry of our time.'

Griffin Prize Judges' Citation

Other titles by Margaret Avison

The Research Compendium

Review and Abstracts of Graduate Research, 1942-1962

edited by Margaret Avison, Albert Rose & Florence Strakhovsky

The Research Compendium

Review and Abstracts of Graduate Research, 1942-1962

edited by Margaret Avison, Albert Rose & Florence Strakhovsky

The Essential Margaret Avison

by (author) Margaret Avison

A Kind of Perseverance

by (author) Margaret Avison

I Am Here and Not Not-There

by (author) Margaret Avison

More Joy in Heaven

by (author) Morley Callaghan
afterword by Margaret Avison

Listening

The Last Poems of Margaret Avison

by (author) Margaret Avison

Writing the Terrain

Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets

contributions by Ian Adam, Robert Stamp, Tammy Armstrong, Margaret Avison, Douglas Barbour, John O. Barton, Doug Beardsley, Bonnie Bishop, E.D. Blodgett, Robert Boates, George Bowering, Tim Bowling, Jan Boydol, Gordon Burles, Murdoch Burnett, Anne Campbell, Weyman Chan, Leonard Cohen, Dennis Cooley, Joan Crate, Michael Cullen, Cyril Dabydeen, Lorne Daniel, Alexa DeWiel, Jason Dewinetz, ryan fitzpatrick, Cecelia Frey, Gary Geddes, Gail Ghai, Deborah Godin, Jim Green, Leslie Greentree, Vivian Hansen, Tom Henihan, Michael Henry, Walter Hildebrandt, Gerald Hill, Robert Hilles, Nancy Holmes, Richard Hornsey, Tom Howe, Aislinn Hunter, Bruce Hunter, Laurence Hutchman, Sally Ito, Pauline Johnson, Aleksei Kazuk, Robert Kroetsch, Fiona Lam, William Latta, Tim Lilburn, Alice Major, Kim Maltman, Miriam Mandel, Sid Marty, David McFadden, Barry McKinnon, Erin Michie, Deborah Miller, Anna Mioduchowska, James M. Moir, Colin Morton, Erin Moure, Charles Noble, P.K. Page, Rajinderpal Pal, Ruth Roach Pierson, Joseph Pivato, Roberta Rees, D.C. Reid, Monty Reid, R. rickey, Ken Rivard, Stephen Scobie, Allan Serafino, Joan Shillington, Greg Simison, Carol Ann Sokoloff, Karen Solie, Stephan Stephansson, Peter Stevens, Ivan Sundal, Anne Swannell, Vanna Tessier, Colleen Thibadeau, John O. Thompson, James M. Thurgood, Eva Tihanyi, Yvonne Trainer, Aritha van Herk, Rosalee van Stelten, Miriam Waddington, James Wreford Watson, Wilfred Watson, Tom Wayman, Phyllis Webb, Jon Whyte, Christine Wiesenthal, Sheri-D Wilson, Christopher Wiseman, Stacie Wolfer, Rita Wong, Richard Woollatt & Jan Zwicky

Concrete and Wild Carrot

by (author) Margaret Avison

Not Yet but Still

by (author) Margaret Avison

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