With the disappearance of the family farm, rural life has changed dramatically in Canada and the U.S. John B. Lee, who grew up on a southwestern Ontario sheep farm, returns to his roots to write about the hired hand, the lambing season, driving a tractor through the rutted flat fields, and bringing in the fall harvest. His poems are stories about real people who worked the land, saved every penny they earned, and dressed up on Sundays to pray and sing in the United Church in town. These are narratives by John B. Lee, the poet laureate of Brantford and Norfolk County, speak of that time in the 1950s in the midst of a recession, but also of the 1960s when this boy on the farm looked at a way to leave rural life to become a teacher and a writer. Although he made his exit, and turned his back on the farm, he never forgot those roots. This is his journey back to that time.
About the author
In 2005 John B. Lee was inducted as Poet Laureate of Brantford in perpetuity. In 2011 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Norfolk County (2011-14) and in 2015 Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life and in 2017 he received a Canada 150 Medal from the Federal Government of Canada for “his outstanding contribution to literary development both at home and abroad.” A recipient of over eighty prestigious international awards for his writing, he is winner of the $10,000 CBC Literary Award for Poetry, the only two time recipient of the People’s Poetry Award, and 2006 winner of the inaugural Souwesto Orison Writing Award (University of Windsor). He has well-over seventy books published to date and is the editor of seven anthologies including two best-selling works: That Sign of Perfection: poems and stories on the game of hockey; and Smaller Than God: words of spiritual longing. His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications, and has been translated into French, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. He has read his work in nations all over the world including South Africa, France, Korea, Cuba, Canada and the United States. He has received letters of praise from Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Australian Poet, Les Murray, and Senator Romeo Dallaire. Called “the greatest living poet in English,” by poet George Whipple, he lives in Port Dover, Ontario where he works as a full time author.
Other titles by John B. Lee
… be quiet, sit down, you are drunk and this is the edge of the roof …
Moths That Drink the Tears of Sleeping Birds
Selected Poems 2001-2018
Because We Have Lived Here
The Widow's Land
Superstition and farming... a madness of daughters
The Full Measure
Building Bicycles in the Dark
A Practical Guide on How to Write