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Literary Criticism Poetry

Everybody’s Martyrology

by (author) Frank Davey

Publisher
ECW Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Category
Poetry, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781770415775
    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
    $28.95

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Description

 

Everybody’s Martyrology provides commentary and analysis for almost every page of bpNichol’s meandering nine-volume lifelong poem, The Martyrology — a poetic pondering of the inevitable extinction of the human species. Taken together, it became one of the five longest canonical poems in English. Like Caroll Terrell’s A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound or George Butterick’s A Guide to The Maximus Poems of Charles Olson, Everybody’s Martyrology will attract students seeking information about particular passages, scholars interested in coherent readings of the overall work, and poetry readers fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of individual volumes.

Davey brings to the book not only his own experience as a much-published poet and expert in Canadian avant-garde writers of the 1960–2000 period, but also his close friendship and collaborations with Nichol. Davey was often the first to hear a new passage of The Martyrology when Nichol dropped by his house to read and discuss it. He remembers.

 

About the author

Born in Vancouver, Frank Davey was Carl F. Klinck Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Western Ontario. Upon his retirement in 2005, the conference “Poetics and Public Culture in Canada” was held in his honour. Davey attended the University of British Columbia where he was a co-founder of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH. Since 1963, he has been the editor-publisher of the poetics journal Open Letter. With fellow TISH poet Fred Wah, Davey founded the world’s first on-line literary magazine, SwiftCurrent in 1984.

A prolific and highly-esteemed author of numerous books and scholarly articles on Canadian literary criticism and poetry, Davey writes with a unique panache as he examines with humour and irony the ambiguous play of signs in contemporary culture, the popular stories that lie behind it, and the struggles between different identity-based groups in our globalizing society—racial, regional, gender-based, ethnic, economic—that drive this play.

Frank Davey's profile page

Excerpt: Everybody’s Martyrology (by (author) Frank Davey)

 

Everybody's Martyrology provides commentary and analysis for almost every page of bpNichol's meandering nine-volume lifelong poem, The Martyrology - a poem that ponders with both humour and anguish the inevitable extinction of the human species. By Nichol's death in 1988, that poem had become one of the five longest canonical poems in English - arguably the longest since Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Oueene. Like Caroll Terrell's A Companion to the Cantos of Ezra Pound or George Butterick's A Guide to the Maxim us Poems of Charles Olson, Everybody's Martyrology serves students seeking information about particular passages, scholars interested in coherent readings of the overall work, and poetry readers fascinated by the idiosyncrasies of individual volumes.

Davey brings to the book not only his own experience as a much-published poet and expert in Canadian avant-garde writers of the 1960-2000 period, but also his close friendship and collaborations with Nichol. Davey was often the first to hear a new passage of The Martyrology when Nichol dropped by his house to read and discuss it. He remembers.

Frank Davey was the managing editor and co-founder of TISH ( 1961-1963), the legendary poetry newsletter that began 1960s counterculture publishing in Canada. He has published two literary magazines and 46 books, most recently aka bpNichol, a biography, and Poems Suitable to Current Material Conditions. He lives in Strathroy, Ontario.

 

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