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Poetry Canadian

Stilt Jack

by (author) John Thompson

introduction by Rob Winger

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Apr 2019
Canadian, Middle Eastern
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price

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The much-loved, yet undervalued, final book of poems by British-Canadian poet John Thompson, is reissued in a handsome edition, featuring a new introduction by Rob Winger.

Originally published in 1978, Stilt Jack is a series of powerful soliloquies on the complexity of love and the process of living. These are made immediate through Thompson’s command of metaphor, his eye for the New Brunswick landscape, his intense, often elliptical way of transfiguring everyday things into shorthand symbols of reality. This remarkable sequence of poems is based on the ghazal, an ancient Persian poetic form which is discussed in Thompson’s introduction to the original edition of the book.

These poems more than fulfill the promise of Thompson’s first collection, At the Edge of the Chopping There Are No Secrets. Stilt Jack is the last testament of a major poet at the pinnacle of his craft.

About the authors

Born in Manchester, England, John Thompson (1938-1976) moved to the United States in 1960. For his PhD thesis, Thompson translated the poetry of the French surrealist René Char. He moved to New Brunswick in 1966 to teach English at Mount Allison University. Stilt Jack (1978) consists of thirty-eight ghazals and Thompson's working of the form has been a major influence on Canadian poetry. In 1991 Anansi Press published I Dream Myself Into Being: Collected Poems, and in 1995 Peter Sanger edited John Thompson: Collected Poems & Translations.

John Thompson's profile page

Rob Winger grew up country in small-town Ontario before graduating to post-punk and new wave. His first book, Muybridge's Horse, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book for 2007, and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award, Ottawa Book Award and Trillium Book Award for Poetry. An active editor and teacher, Rob recently completed a PhD in literature and cultural studies in Ottawa. He and his family live in the folk-rock hills northeast of Toronto. His second collection of poetry is The Chimney Stone (2010). Visit Rob's website at

Rob Winger's profile page

Other titles by John Thompson

Other titles by Rob Winger