Seed Catalogue is an autobiographical long poem by Canadian prairie poet Robert Kroetsch, This new limited edition is illustrated with wood engravings by Jim Westergard.
First published in the 1970s, Seed Catalogue is the seminal work of poetry that first gave voice to the long root in Prairie writings of the metaphor of the seed catalogue. The poem explores the actual world of history transformed into the mythical world of poetry, where what we remember about the past may be more real than history tells us.
About the authors
Robert Kroetsch was a teacher, editor and award-winning writer. Born in Heisler, Alberta, in 1927, Kroetsch grew up on his parents' farm and studied at the University of Alberta and the University of Iowa. He taught at the State University of New York, Binghamton, until the late 1970s and then returned to Canada, where he taught at the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba from the 1970s through the 1990s. Kroetsch also spent time at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts and many writer-in-residencies, where he powerfully influenced recent writing on the Canadian prairies and elsewhere. His generosity of spirit and openness to the new showed many authors new ways to pursue their own kinds of writing. In honour of both his writing and his contributions to Canadian culture in general, Kroetsch was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004. In 2011 he received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award. Robert Kroetsch died in a car accident outside of Edmonton, Alberta, in 2011.
Jim Westergard was born in Ogden, Utah in 1939. He was educated at a variety of colleges and universities in California, Arizona and Utah where he completed his BFA and MFA at Utah State. Westergard taught at Metropolitan State College and Northern Illinois University before moving to Alberta in 1975, where he taught at Red Deer College until his retirement in 1999. He became a Canadian citizen in 1980.
Jim Westergard has been creating prints from wood engravings since university days in the late 60s, but had never completed a book-length collection until the original limited letterpress edition of Mother Goose Eggs. The first engraving for this project was finished in 1999. Then, after a four-year struggle which included an unexpected hernia operation and reprinting the press-sheets a second time with helpful hints from Crispin Elsted of the Barbarian Press (Mission, BC), Mother Goose Eggs was finally bound and released in a deluxe edition of eighty copies in 2003.
Westergard continues to create wood engravings on his cantankerous old VanderCook SP-15 proof press which he has affectionately named the 'Spanish Fly'. His recent titles include Oddballs (Porcupine's Quill, 2015) and See What I'm Saying? (Porcupine's Quill, 2018).
Other titles by Robert Kroetsch
The Poetry of Robert Kroetsch
An Illustrated Tribute
Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait
The Man from the Creeks
An Anthology of New Poetry
Writing the Terrain
Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets