Civil Elegies is Dennis Lee's uncompromising exploration of citizenship, both Canadian and human. Eli Mandel has called Civil Elegies one of the most important contemporary books of poetry in our country. It was the winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry in 1972. This edition features a new introduction by noted academic Nick Mount, who places this important collection in the context of Canadian literature and Lee’s career.
Dennis Lee, who co-founded the House of Anansi in 1967, has written close to forty books of poetry and prose. He was born in Toronto in 1939, won the Governor General’s Award for Civil Elegies and Other Poems in 1972, and published his iconic children’s collection, Alligator Pie, two years later. Since then he has written the song lyrics for Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock, and served as Toronto’s first poet laureate from 2001 to 2004, initiating the Toronto Legacy Project. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and was recently a resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre Company. Lee published his children’s collection Melvis and Elvis in 2015, and Heart Residence: Collected Poems 1967-2017 in 2017. He is married to the novelist Susan Perly, and has three children and two grandchildren.
NICK MOUNT is a professor of English literature at the University of Toronto and an award-winning critic. He regularly gives public talks on the arts in Canada, and has appeared on TVO’s Big Ideas and CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition. In 2011, he was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the country’s highest teaching award. He lives in Toronto.