Jim McLean's new poetry collection, Nineteen Fifty-Seven, is much more than a look at Prairie life after World War II - with sections on Women, Family, Memories, Work, Writing and Music - these poems are an exploration on what makes life worth living. In plain language, McLean weaves fascinating, sentimental images of Moose Jaw and the Prairie landscape, as well as stories of workers and the railroads. At the same time, McLean creates a separate persona to move in an out of darker poems on death, suicide, alcoholism and voyeurism. Through poems such as "my brother, who I looked out for when we were kids", "aurora borealis, southern Saskatchewan, 1972" and "about MacKay", McLean delves into the heart of humanity: what keeps us alive, and what shapes our past, present, and future.
Jim McLean had a long career with Canadian Pacific Railway and with Transport Canada, living and working in various Canadian locations. He is an original member of the Moose Jaw Movement poetry group, and his work has appeared in magazines and anthologies and on CBC Radio. He is the author of The Secret Life of Railroaders and co-author of Wildflowers Across the Prairies. His illustrations have appeared on book covers and in several literary and scientific publications. Coteau Books will publish his poetry manuscript tentatively titled 1957, in early 2017.