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Literary Criticism Canadian

Public Poetics

Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics

edited by Bart Vautour, Christl Verduyn, Erin Wunker & Travis V. Mason

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
May 2015
Canadian, Poetry
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    Publish Date
    Jun 2015
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    Publish Date
    May 2015
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Public Poetics is a collection of essays and poems that address some of the most pressing issues of the discipline in the twenty-first century. The collection brings together fifteen original essays addressing “publics,” “poetry,” and “poetics” from the situated space of Canada while simultaneously troubling the notion of the nation as a stable term. It asks hard questions about who and what count as “publics” in Canada. Critical essays stand alongside poetry as visual and editorial reminders of the cross-pollination required in thinking through both poetry and poetics.
Public Poetics is divided into three thematic sections. The first contains essays surveying poetics in the present moment through the lens of the public/private divide, systematic racism in Canada, the counterpublic, feminist poetics, and Canadian innovations on postmodern poetics. The second section contains author-specific studies of public poets. The final section contains essays that use innovative renderings of “poetics” as a means of articulating alternative communities and practices. Each section is paired with a collection of original poetry by ten contemporary Canadian poets.
This collection attends to the changing landscape of critical discourse around poetry and poetics in Canada, and will be of use to teachers and students of poetry and poetics.

About the authors

Bart Vautour is Assistant Professor of English at Dalhousie University. He is a scholar of Canadian literature, with a particular interest in the interplay between the history of transnational Canadian cultural production and its contemporary publics. He is co-editor, with Erin Wunker, Travis V. Mason, and Christl Verduyn, of Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics. His is currently completing a monograph project, The Deed Becomes the Word: Canadian Media and Writing on the Spanish Civil War.

Bart Vautour's profile page

Christl Verduyn is the author, editor, or co-editor of over a dozen volumes in the areas of Canadian and Québécois literatures, women’s writing and criticism, “multicultural” and life writing, and Canadian Studies. Before joining the faculty at Mount Allison University, where she is now Professor Emerita of English and Canadian Studies, Dr. Verduyn taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she chaired the Canadian Studies Program, and at Trent University, where she was Chair of Women’s Studies (1987-90) and Chair of Canadian Studies (1993-99). A past editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies, recipient of the Governor General’s International Award for Canadian Studies and of the Order of Canada (CM), she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) and a 3M National Teaching Fellow.

Christl Verduyn's profile page

Erin Wunker is Chair of the Board of the national non-profit organization Canadian Women in the Literary Arts ( and co-founder, writer, and managing editor of the feminist academic blog Hook & Eye: Fast Feminism, Slow Academe. She teaches courses in Canadian literature and cultural production with a special focus on cultural production by women. She lives in Halifax with her partner, their daughter, and Marley the dog. Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life, forthcoming from BookThug in the fall of 2016, is Wunker's first book.

Erin Wunker's profile page

Travis V. Mason teaches English and Canadian studies at Dalhousie and Mount St. Vincent Universities. After completing his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, he studied ecopoetry in South Africa as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow before moving to Halifax to study Canadian literary responses to science with a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship. His articles have appeared in books and journals, including Canadian Literature, Studies in Canadian Literature, The Dalhousie Review, Kunapipi, and Mosaic.

Travis V. Mason's profile page

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