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Literary Criticism Canadian

Robert Kroetsch

Essayist, Novelist, Poet

edited by David Staines

contributions by David Eso, Tanja Cvetkovic, Robert David Stacey, Martin Kuester, Albert Braz, Jennifer Baker, Cameron Anstee, Jason Wiens, Dennis Cooley, Nicole Markotic, Laurie Ricou, Wolfgang Klooss, Aritha van Herk, Rudy Wiebe & Phill Hall

University of Ottawa Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2020
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price

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Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet brings together an international cast of critics, scholars, and writers to examine, re-examine, and honour the celebrated author’s immense significance in the twenty-first century, and what it means to be Canadian and part of the country’s literary landscape. Original essays by Dennis Cooley, Phil Hall, Nicole Markotic, Aritha van Herk, and Rudy Wiebe, among others.

The author of nine novels, thirteen books of poetry, and seven non-fiction volumes, Robert Kroetsch (1927-2011) was a major figure in the development and history of literature in Canada. He won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for The Studhorse Man (1969) and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for The Hornbooks of Rita K. (2001). He received honorary degrees from the University of Winnipeg (1983) and the University of Alberta (1997), and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (2004).

Robert Kroetsch stands as a seminal figure in the Canadian literary landscape. In his early fiction he introduced postmodern techniques into the mainstream of Canadian fiction. He then moved on to writing poetry while still writing fiction, and created a new vision for poets across the country, defining the nature of the poetic experience by searching out the roots of his place in the Canadian landscape.

Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet is a timely reminder of the immense significance that Kroetsch holds in the twenty-first-century understanding of what it means to be Canadian and part of the country’s literary landscape.

This book is published in English.


Robert Kroetsch (1927-2011) est une figure majeure de l’histoire et du développement de la littérature au Canada. Son roman intitulé The Studhorse Man (1969) lui a permis de remporter le Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général dans la catégorie roman et nouvelles ; par ailleurs, son recueil de poésie, intitulé The Hornbooks of Rita K. (2001), a figuré sur la liste des finalistes du Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général dans la catégorie poésie. De plus, il s'est vu décerner un doctorat honoris causa par deux universités canadiennes, l’Université de Winnipeg (1983) et l’Université de l’Alberta (1997), et il a été fait officier de l'Ordre du Canada (2004).

Robert Kroetsch est une figure marquante du paysage littéraire canadien. Dans ses premiers ouvrages de fiction, il a introduit des techniques de narration postmodernes dans le courant dominant et jusqu’alors plutôt conventionnel de la fiction canadienne. Il a ensuite entrepris d’écrire de la poésie tout en poursuivant son œuvre romanesque. Ce faisant, il a su créer une nouvelle vision pour les poètes canadiens ; il a, entre autres, défini la nature de l’expérience poétique en se questionnant sur le sens de l’identité canadienne et sur la place qu’il occupait dans le paysage littéraire canadien.

L’ouvrage intitulé Robert Kroetsch : romancier, poète et essayiste constitue un rappel opportun de l’importance considérable de cet auteur majeur, qui nous a permis de mieux comprendre ce que cela signifiait d’être Canadien au XXIe siècle et d’appartenir au paysage littéraire canadien.

Ce livre est publié en anglais.


About the authors

Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, David Staines specializes in medieval literature and culture and Canadian literature and culture. In the former, he has published Tennyson’s Camelot: The Idylls of the King and Its Medieval Sources, and translated The Complete Romances of Chrétien de Troyes; in the latter, he published The Canadian Imagination: Dimensions of a Literary Culture, The Forty-Ninth and Other Parallels: Contemporary Canadian Perspectives, and The Letters of Stephen Leacock. He has also edited volumes on Morley Callaghan, Stephen Leacock and Margaret Laurence, and co-edited volumes of the writings of Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. A long-time friend of Carol Shields, he wrote Carol Shields: Cultural Context, a part of Library and Archives Canada’s Web exhibition Canadian Writers.

David Staines' profile page

David Eso's work as scholar, poet, anthologist, and impresario unites Canadian literary heritage with its impending renaissance. Eso has appeared in Filling Station, CV2, Strangers in Paris, Canadian Literature, Arc, Freefall, Vallum, Under the Mulberry Tree, the Globe and Mail, and on CBC. His chapbooks include Entries from My Affair with an Escape Artist (2003), A Wide Path to the Narrowing Future (2010) and Asiarific (2014). As a familiar face at literary readings across Canada, Charles Noble calls Eso "a force of nature and force of culture." Eso is currently a graduate student at the University of Calgary where he is studying the letters of Robert Kroetsch.

David Eso's profile page

Tanja Cvetkovic's profile page

Robert David Stacey's profile page

Martin Kuester's profile page

Albert Braz is an assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, Religion, and Film/Media Studies at the University of Alberta.

Albert Braz's profile page

Jennifer Baker's profile page

Cameron Anstee is the author of one previous collection of poetry, Book of Annotations, and the editor of The Collected Poems of William Hawkins. He is the editor and publisher of Apt. 9 Press and holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. He lives and writes in Ottawa on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.

Cameron Anstee's profile page

Jason Wiens' profile page

Dennis Cooley grew up in Estevan, Saskatchewan, and attended the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Rochester. He is an active member of the writing community in Winnipeg and teaches at St. John’s College, University of Manitoba. His latest book of poetry is the bentleys (2006).

Nicole Markotić is a poet and critic who teaches at the University of Windsor and edits the chapbook publication Wrinkle Press. She has published two poetry books, Connect the Dots and Minotaurs & Other Alphabets, as well as a fictional biography of Alexander Graham Bell, Yellow Pages. She is currently completing a novel.

Dennis Cooley's profile page

Nicole Markotic is a poet, novelist, and critic. Her poetry books include Bent At the Spine (BookThug), Minotaurs & Other Alphabets, and Connect the Dots (Wolsak & Wynn); her novels are Yellow Pages (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) and Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot (Arsenal Pulp Press). She has edited a collection of poetry by Dennis Cooley, By Word of Mouth, co-edited (with Sally Chivers) an anthology of essays concerning representations of disability, The Problem Body: Projecting Disability on Film, is working on a critical book on disability and literature (McFarland & Co), and has an edited collection of essays on Robert Kroetsch (forthcoming with Guernica). She has published in literary journals in Canada, the USA, Australia, and Europe (including The Capilano Review, CV2, filling Station, New American Writing, Open Letter, Prairie Fire, Rampike, and West Coast Line). She won the bpNichol Poetry Chapbook Award in 1998, and was nominated for the Stephan G. Stephansson Poetry Book of the Year Award and for the Henry Kreisel First Book of the Year Award. She edits the chapbook series, Wrinkle Press (publishing such poets as Robert Kroetsch, Nikki Reimer, and Fred Wah), and has worked as an editor for Red Deer Press and NeWest Press. Currently, Nicole Markotic is Professor of Creative Writing, Children’s Literature, and Disability Studies at the University of Windsor.

Nicole Markotic's profile page

Laurie Ricou is a Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He is a former president of the Western Literature Association, and currently edits Canadian Literature. His previous publications include Vertical Man/Horizontal World: Man and Landscape in Canadian Prairie Fiction (0-7748-0023-2), A Field Guide to “A Guide to Dungeness Spit” (0-88982-165-8), and The Arbutus/Madrone Files: Reading the Pacific Northwest (1-896300-43-X). Ricou currently lives in Vancouver, BC.

Laurie Ricou's profile page

Wolfgang Klooss' profile page

Aritha van Herk teaches Creative Writing, Canadian Literature and Contemporary Narrative. Her novels include Judith, The Tent Peg, No Fixed Address (nominated for the Governor General's Award for fiction), Places Far From Ellesmere (a geografictione) and Restlessness. Her critical works, A Frozen Tongue (ficto-criticism) and In Visible Ink (crypto-frictions) stretch the boundaries of the essay and interrogate questions of reading and writing as aspects of narrative subversion. With Mavericks: an Incorrigible History of Alberta (winner of the Grant MacEwan Author's Award) van Herk ventured into new territory, transforming history into a narratological spectacle. That book frames the new permanent exhibition that opened at the Glenbow Museum in 2007. van Herk is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is active in Canada's literary and cultural life, writing articles and reviews as well as creative work. She has served on many juries, including the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She is well known in the broader community of the city, the province, and the country as a writer and a public intellectual.

Aritha van Herk's profile page

Rudy Wiebe was born near Fairholme, Saskatchewan in 1934. From the University of Alberta, he received a B.A. 1956 and a M.A. in Creative Writing in 1960. He studied under a Rotary International Fellowship at the University of Tuebingen in West Germany, and in 1962 he received a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Mennonite Brethren Bible College. In 1962ᆧ63 he was editor of the Mennonite Brethren Herald, a position which he resigned because of the controversy over his first novel,Peace Shall Destroy Many. From 1967 to 1992 he was Professor of Creative Writing and English at the University of Alberta. Wiebe has published twenty-five books, including nine novels and the non-fiction best-sellerStolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman, co-authored with Yvonne Johnson. He was awarded the Governor General’s Award for fiction forThe Temptations Of Big Bear in 1973, and again in 1994 forA Discovery Of Strangers. He is also the winner of the Lorne Pierce Gold Metal of the Royal Society of Canada for his contribution to Canadian literature ླ87). Wiebe has served as chairman of both the Writer’s Guild of Alberta and the Writers’ Union of Canada. He now lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Rudy Wiebe's profile page

Phill Hall's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Robert Kroetsch: Essayist, Novelist, Poet is the latest in the University of Ottawa’s excellent Reappraisals: Canadian Writers series, “the longest-running book series dedicated to the study of Canadian literary subjects,” each volume (now numbering well over thirty and dating back to 1974) derived from an annual Canadian literature symposium sponsored by the English department. Over the years I’ve attended many of these gatherings, spoken at several, and certainly often saw Bob Kroetsch there. A unique and important institution in Canadian writing, one that needs ever to be noted and celebrated.

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Recognition and Revelation

Short Nonfiction Writings

by (author) Margaret Laurence
edited by Nora Foster Stovel
foreword by David Laurence
afterword by Aritha van Herk


The Poetry of Robert Kroetsch

by (author) Robert Kroetsch
edited by David Eso
afterword by Aritha van Herk


An Anthology of Essays

edited by Rona Altrows & Julie Sedivy
contributions by Samantha Albert, Sharon Butala, Jane Cawthorne, Weyman Chan, Rebecca Danos, Patti Edgar, Leslie Greentree, John Graham-Pole, Edythe Hanen, Vivian Hansen, Jane Harris, Richard Harrison, Lee Kvern, Elizabeth Haynes, Anne Lévesque, Margaret Macpherson, Alice Major, Wendy McGrath, Stuart McKay, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Susan Olding, Roberta Rees, Kathy Seifert, Cora Siré, Steven Smith, Anne Sorbie, Glen Sorestad, Kelly Thompson, Robin Eck & Aritha van Herk

The Frontier of Patriotism

Alberta and the First World War

edited by Adriana A. Davies & Jeff Keshen
contributions by David Borys, Juliette Champagne, Brett Clifton, Catherine C. Cole, Rory Cory, Duff Crerar, Michael Dawe, L. James Dempsey, Antonella Fanella, Alvin Finkel, Ryan Flavelle, David Gallant, Stephen Greenhalgh, Jarett Henderson, Mark Osborne Humphries, Chris Hyland, Kathryn Ivany, Allan Kerr, Norman Knowles, J. Whitney Lackenbauer, Robert Lampard, Michale Lang, Kassandra Luciuk, Rod McLeod, John Matthews, Peter McKenzie-Brown, Sean Moir, Patricia Myers, Allan Rowe, Robert Rutherdale, Amy Shaw, Donald J. Smith, Paul Stortz, Doug Styles, Ken Tingley, Aritha van Herk, Donald G. Wetherell & Anthony Worman

Stampede and the Westness of West

by (author) Aritha van Herk

Prairie Gothic

Photographs by George Webber

photographs by George Webber
text by Aritha van Herk

In This Place

Calgary 2004-2011

by (author) George Webber & Aritha van Herk

Not Drowning But Waving

Women, Feminism, and the Liberal Arts

edited by Susan Brown, Jeanne Perreault, Jo-Ann Wallace & Heather Zwicker
contributions by Katherine Binhammer, Christine Bold, Patricia Clements, Amber Dean, Cecily Devereux, Len Findlay, Louise Forsyth, Lise Gotell, Elizabeth Groeneveld, Isobel Grundy, Tessa Jordan, Philomena Okeke-Ihejirika, Christine Overall, Heather Murray, Donna Pennee, Julie Rak, Ann Shteir, Aruna Srivastava, Marjorie Stone, Aritha van Herk, Ann Wilson & Erin Wunker


by (author) Marian Engel
afterword by Aritha van Herk

One West, Two Myths II

Essays on Comparison

contributions by C.L. Higham, Robert Thacker, R. Douglas Francis, Brain W. Dippie, William H. Katerberg, Sarah Carter, Roger L. Nichols, David L. Williams, Lee Clark Mitchell, Aritha van Herk, Frederick Jackson Turner & J.M.S. Careless

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