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Poetry Canadian


The Poetry of Atlantic Canada

edited by Ross Leckie, Anne Compton, Laurence Hutchman & Robin McGrath

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Jan 2002
Canadian, Anthologies (multiple authors)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2002
    List Price

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Atlantic Canada is enjoying a renaissance unknown since the days of Alden Nowlan, Milton Acorn, and John Thompson. Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada features work by 60 of the region's finest poets in a volume that will whet appetites for more. The earlier poetry renaissance began in 1945, with the establishment of The Fiddlehead magazine. In this new volume, the present Fiddlehead editor Ross Leckie, and his collaborators Ann Compton, Laurence Hutchman, and Robin McGrath, showcase the lasting effects of that earlier renaissance and confidently forecast that the newest generation of Atlantic poets will help to make poetry a pre-eminent literary form in Canada once again.

Coastlines provides expansive reading pleasure because of the astonishing range of poetic intelligences it represents and the myriad ways poets find to work and rework the topography of Atlantic culture and landscape. The earliest poems in the anthology were written in the 1950s by the acknowledged greats — Acorn, Nowlan, and Thompson — and by Alfred Bailey, Elizabeth Bishop, and Charles Bruce. The collection also features work by senior poets such as Kay Smith, M. Travis Lane, Fred Cogswell, and Douglas Lochhead, and mid-career poets such as Elisabeth Harvor, Harry Thurston, and John Steffler. Poets of the post-1995 renaissance include Anne Simpson, Sue Sinclair, Michael Crummey, and George Elliott Clarke, who won the 2001 Governor General's Award; Lynn Davies, Sue Goyette, and Carole Langille have all been recent finalists, and both Brian Bartlett and matt robinson have won the Petra Kenney Memorial International Poetry Prize. The newest voices in Coastlines belong to Tammy Armstrong and Geoff Cook, whose work was selected from manuscripts published in 2002.

About the authors

Ross Leckie was born in Lachine, Quebec, and has lived in Montreal, Toronto and Prince George. He is currently Director of Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Leckie’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Landmarks (2001) and Why I Sing the Blues (2001). He is the author of three collections of poetry: Gravity's Plumb Line (GP, 2005), The Authority of Roses (1997) and A Slow Light (1983).

Ross Leckie's profile page

Anne Compton
Is a two-time winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize and winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry for her second collection, Processional. In 2008, she was awarded the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English Language Literary Arts. A former teacher and writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick at Saint John, she developed and directed the acclaimed Lorenzo Reading Series.

"[Compton's] poems and prose-poems provoke and stimulate thinking about where the boundaries between experience, observation, perception, expression, and communication might lie."
PN Review

"Her writing points to a persistent, saving grace, a lyric remainder — given 'the small manoeuvres left us now' — that can still find its way somehow into these moving, finely made poems.

Anne Compton's profile page

Laurence Hutchman was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Toronto. He received his PhD from the Université de Montreal and has taught at a number of universities. For twenty-three years he was a professor of English literature at the Université de Moncton at the Edmundston Campus. Hutchman has published 13 books of poetry, including Foreign National, Beyond Borders, Reading the Water, Personal Encounters, Two Maps of Emery, The House of Shifting Time, Fire and Water (in collaboration with Eva Kolacz) and Swimming Toward Sun Collected Poems: 1968-2020. He has also co-edited the anthology Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada and edited In the Writers’ Words.

His poetry has received many grants and awards, including the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence and has been translated into numerous languages. In 2017 he was named poet laureate of Emery, north Toronto. He lives with his wife, the artist and poet, Eva Kolacz in Oakville, Ontario.


Laurence Hutchman's profile page

Robin McGrath is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Trouble and Desire (1995), Escaped Domestics (1998), Hoist Your Sails and Run (1999), Donovan's Station (2002),Covenant of Salt (2005), and Livyers World(2007).  She has published over two hundred pieces in magazines such as Beaver, Inuit Art Quarterly, Parchment, TickleAce, Fiddlehead and Room of One's Own


She is an occasional contributer to CBC Radio, has written and narrated three video scripts, had her first play staged in 2002, and is currently the non-fiction columnist for the St. John's newspaper The Telegram.


Robin was born in Newfoundland and lives in Labrador with her husband, provincial court judge, John Joy.  She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Letterset Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Robin McGrath's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Page after page of... splendid poetry."

<i>Quill & Quire</i>

"Wonderful... an enormously valuable resource for readers and teachers of Canadian poetry... A balanced roster of established and emerging poetic voices that reflects both the diversity and the intensity of the region's poetry... Instructive and exciting... Coastlines is a book that will foster much pleasure and a deeper understanding of Canadian poetry for many years to come."

<i>University of Toronto Quarterly</i>

Other titles by Ross Leckie

Other titles by Anne Compton

Other titles by Laurence Hutchman

In the Writers' Words

Conversations with Twelve Canadian Poets, Volume II

edited by Laurence Hutchman

Swimming Towards the Sun

Collected Poems 1968-2020

by (author) Laurence Hutchman

Fire and Water

by (author) Laurence Hutchman & Eva Kolacz

The House of Shifting Time

by (author) Laurence Hutchman

Two Maps of Emery

by (author) Laurence Hutchman

Personal Encounters

by (author) Laurence Hutchman

Reading the Water

by (author) Laurence Hutchman

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


by (author) Laurence Hutchman

Other titles by Robin McGrath

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