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Poetry Canadian

The Essential Eugene McNamara

by (author) Eugene McNamara

volume editor Phil Hall

Porcupine's Quill
Initial publish date
Nov 2022
Canadian, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price

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In The Essential Eugene McNamara, poetry pushes the barriers of language and grammar, daring to convey raw emotion with disarming empathy.

About the authors

Eugene McNamara is a profound voice in Canadian Literature. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois and immigrated to Canada in 1959. McNamara attended Northwestern University where he received his Ph.D. He taught American literature and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He was the founder and Editor in Chief of University of Windsor’s Windsor Review from 1965 to 1987. He and his wife, Margaret, live in Windsor, Ontario. His stories and poems have been in Best Canadian Stories, Best American Short Stories, Ontario Review, Saturday Night, Malahat Review and Queens Quarterly. He has given frequent readings of his work in Canada, the US and England.

Eugene McNamara's profile page

Phil Hall’s first small book, Eighteen Poems, was published by Cyanamid, the Canadian mining company, in Mexico City, in 1973. Among his many titles are: Old Enemy Juice (1988), The Unsaid (1992), and Hearthedral – A Folk-Hermetic (1996). In the early 80s, Phil was a member of the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union, & also a member of the Vancouver Men Against Rape Collective. He has taught writing at York University, Ryerson University, Seneca College, George Brown College, and is currently the Writer in Residence at Queen's University. He has been poet-in-residence at Sage Hill Writing Experience (Sask.), The Pierre Berton House (Dawson City, Yukon), & elsewhere. In 2007, BookThug published Phil’s long poem, White Porcupine. Also in 2007. he and his wife, Ann, walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, and lives near Perth, Ontario. Recent books include An Oak Hunch and The Little Seamstress. In 2011, he won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Poetry for his most recent collection, Killdeer, a work the jury called “a masterly modulation of the elegiac through poetic time.” Killdeer was also nominated for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize, and won the 2012 Trillium Book Prize.

Phil Hall's profile page

Excerpt: The Essential Eugene McNamara (by (author) Eugene McNamara; volume editor Phil Hall)

Elevating Device Licence

a man looks up at the sky
as if he heard something
faint and pretty like music
in the supermarket or a
weather satellite a plane
an angel shouting now

he looks down nothing up there
at all and down here nothing
but light off car windows a dog
barking its fool head off and
a man standing under empty sky
with his empty hands hanging
down having thought he heard
something like music and he
feels foolish and alone

What Have You Forgotten

something is trying to get
out from under the bed a
dream so sunken you forgot
it when the radio switched
on a new high pressure area
moving in was announced so
your day began on a new high
it became low in the third
hour dark clouds racing it
was colder something was
trying to tell you it was
there still waiting for you
lying in wait a thing so big
it was crowding the bed so
palpable heaving sobs there
pining for you it will shrink
to a ball when you come back
you yawn to sleep falling
ah then it crawls up perches
on your chest a thing with
feathers breathing your name
telling you the deep story
the bloody the skinny dream
then morning the radio says
high or low or rain or sun
it hisses under the bed again
sulking swelling with its
presence all day waiting
what have you forgotten you
wonder in common daylight
you say you sleep with no

Other titles by Eugene McNamara

Other titles by Phil Hall