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).
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.
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.
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.
"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
Other titles by Robin McGrath
Alone on the Trail
Life on the Mista Shipu
Dispatches from Labrador
The Illustrated 'Ode to Labrador'
Birchy Maid, The
Hammered by the Waves
A Young Frenchman's Sojourn in Newfoundland in 1882-83
All In Together
Rhymes, Ditties and Jingles of Newfoundland and Labrador
Saltfish and Shmattes
A History of the Jews in NL