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Poetry Canadian

Selected Poems

by (author) Tim Bowling

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2013
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2013
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With Selected Poems, Tim Bowling has gathered together his finest poems over a twenty-year period, a selection including work from his widely celebrated debut collection, Low Water Slack, in 1995, to his tenth collection, Tenderman, in 2011. Always a poet of intense emotion and surprising metaphor whose lyric-narrative voice ranges in tone from romantic to humorous to coldly tragic and unrelievedly dark, Bowling's integrity has never wavered, nor has his commitment to celebrating poetic tradition and the land and waterscapes of his cherished West Coast.

Selected Poems is unabashedly musical, image-rich and ambitious; poems of the natural world, childhood, family, death, and the pleasures and rigours of art lead into ever-deeper explorations of history, society and middle age, but the faith in the power of language to convey something essential about life remains consistent. This is a book whose pages are viscerally alive with concrete, physical sensations; you can hear the seagulls, smell the wet cedar and brine, and see the sun sink on the great salmon runs with "the clunk of a cue ball." Bowling's particular ability to make his place come alive and to transfer that vitality into a variety of other subjects, from book collecting to beekeeping, has been celebrated throughout his career.

Many of the poems gathered here have won significant honours, both in and outside Canada, from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Bridport Prize Foundation in England, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in the United States. His Selected Poems is a landmark publication in Canadian literature.

About the author

Tim Bowling has published numerous poetry collections, including Low Water Slack; Dying Scarlet (winner of the 1998 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for poetry); Darkness and Silence (winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry); The Witness Ghost; and The Memory Orchard (both nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award). He is also the author of three novels, Downriver Drift (Harbour), The Paperboy's Winter (Penguin) and The Bone Sharps (Gaspereau Press). His first book of non-fiction, The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory and the Death of Wild Culture (Nightwood Editions), was shortlisted for three literary awards: The Writers' Trust Nereus Non-Fiction Award, the BC Book Prizes' Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Alberta Literary Awards' Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction. The Lost Coast was also chosen as a 2008 Kiriyama Prize "Notable Book." Bowling is the recipient of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize, the National Poetry Award and the Orillia International Poetry Prize. Bowling was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. A native of the West Coast, he now lives in Edmonton Alberta. His latest collection of poetry is Tenderman (Nightwood), due out in fall 2011.

Tim Bowling's profile page


  • Short-listed, Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry
  • Winner, Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize

Editorial Reviews

Although it is almost too soon for a Selected Poems from a poet not yet 50, Bowling arrived fully formed, his mature voice has never wavered...Bowling is as authentic as it gets, a poet whose work has always excited me. This Selected Poems will be an excellent introduction to anyone unfamiliar with Bowling. For the rest of us, a reminder of the power Bowling controls with such grace. This very human poetry retains the lyric beauty of poetry, carries the emotional weight of history.

--Michael Dennis, Michael Dennis Blog

Twenty years of work, of focus comes to light. Selected Poems is a collection of poetry from Tim Bowling who shares what he holds as some of his best work from throughout his career and his unique style and view of the world. For those who want a sampler of the best of Bowling's work, Selected Poems more than earns its place in any contemporary poetry collection. "Edwardian Street": A boarder coughs in an attic room,/a child's fever breaks, dark branches gull/the glass of an upstairs window, and someone reaches for the Seneca on the shelf.//Old houses.//Something is happening at the end of their long hallways:/the heart of the past is foreclosing on itself.

--John Taylor, Midwest Book Review

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