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Poetry Canadian

The Oysters I Bring to Banquets

by (author) Gary Geddes

Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Canadian, Nature, Family
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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Gary Geddes’s new collection of lyrics and poem-sequences ranges from whimsical poems about the building of a greenhouse to the struggle of characters in classical legends to cope with the interference of close relatives and extended family, the gods. And poems about Yukon adventures and the wonders and plight of monarch butterflies in Mexican highlands. It’s also a diverse gathering of elegies for friends, literary luminaries, creatures and natural habitats in a world under siege, but also a series of hymns to art, beauty, human dignity and endurance.

About the author

Gary Geddes was born in Vancouver and raised mostly on the west coast, where he gill netted, loaded boxcars at BC Sugar Refinery, stocked shelves at Woodwards, worked as a fishing guide at Whytecliffe, taught on Texada Island, and drove water-taxi. After doing graduate studies at Reading University in England and at the University of Toronto, he embarked on a varied career as a writer, teacher, editor, and publisher. Gary taught for twenty years at Concordia University in Montreal before returning to the west coast, where he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University (1998-2001) and served as writer-in-residence at Green College (UBC), and the Vancouver Public Library. He has written and edited more than thirty-five books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation and anthologies, including 20th Century Poetry & Poetics and 15 Canadian Poets Times 3. His literary awards include the E.J. Pratt Medal and Prize (1970), the National Poetry Prize (1981), the Americas Best Book Award in the 1985 Commonwealth Poetry Competition, National Magazine Gold Award (1987), the Writers Choice Award (1988), Archibald Lampman Prize (1990 and 1996), the Poetry Book Society Recommendation (1996) and the Gabriela Mistral Prize (1996), which he shared with Nobel laureates Octavio Paz and Vaclav Havel and with Rafael Alberti, Ernesto Cardenal, and Mario Benedetti. Gary Geddes lives on Vancouver Island, where he divides his time between Victoria and French Beach.

Gary Geddes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

No detail escapes this poet’s attention. And yet his subtle superb craftsmanship, polished after decades of experience and reading, is delicately concealed. His poetry liberates the ordinary; he is a word-carpenter in whose hands each poem does its own dance of discovery. His carefully considered word choice revives the language in new ways ... The poems of Gary Geddes are the oysters he brings to our banquet table; they are aphrodisiacs, high in protein, full of flavour. These are poems you cannot do without. They’ll knock you off your feet.

Doug Beardsley, The British Columbia Review

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