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Poetry Canadian

The Sentinel

by (author) A.F. Moritz

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Apr 2008
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2008
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2008
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Mortality, Love, Ethics, Civilization, Divine Presence, Human Body, Modernity, The Natural World, and Constructed Spaces. The Sentinel watches and reports back to us in a voice that is timeless and worthy of trust. Whether describing renewal and regeneration, the despair brought on by global capitalism, or a place where decay and loss meet their antithesis, A. F. Moritz's magisterial voice, rare insight, and supple craft are on impressive display.

About the author

George Fetherling has been writing and publishing for more than forty-five years. One of his most popular works is Travels by Night: A Memoir, which recreates leading personalities and events in the fabled Canadian cultural renaissance of 1965–75. His most recent books are The Sylvia Hotel Poems and the novel Walt Whitman’s Secret, both published in 2010. Fetherling is also a visual artist.

A.F. Moritz has published more than twenty collections of poetry as well as important works of literary history and numerous translations of Latin American verse. A leading figure in the literary life of Canada, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a major award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Two of his most recent works have reaffirmed his reputation: Night Street Repairs (2004) received the ReLit Award and The Sentinel (2008) won both the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine and the Griffin Poetry Prize. He teaches at the University of Toronto.

A.F. Moritz's profile page


  • Winner, Griffin Poetry Prize
  • Commended, Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards: Poetry

Editorial Reviews

Al Moritz is a poet of high seriousness - rare in this quick and confessional age. And so, all the more to be valued.

P.K. Page

Moritz is at his best when he combines his poetic sensibility-his ear for rhythm, precise phrasing, nuanced shifts in tone and register, and lyrical imagery-with his knowledge of mythic and literary conventions and his cogent political and philosophical observations

Canadian Literature

...A.F. Moritz's work leaves me reassured about the potential efficacy of poetry, of mind engaged with world on all fronts - politically, mythically, philosophically.

Don McKay

...praise is justified...Moritz's sensibility is unique: melancholic, intellectual, comic, erotic, pitying...Moritz is a difficult, often obscure poet, whose works can defy paraphrase. With images culled from dreams, he constructs allegories of love and oppression that communicate by strange association and mysterious overtones and vague or mysterious words...the emotional content of Moritz's work is so abundant and accessible that the reader is never lost. The Sentinel is a good place to become acquainted with Moritz's work...a masterpiece...Moritz's free verse takes on a classical quality...The Sentinel is an exploration of the possibilities of hope...[Moritz is a] rare poet...

National Post

The Sentinel is filled with moments like this: graceful, adroit, surprising. There is something reassuring in art of this calibre; it reminds us how things matter. Moritz's voice is unmistakable. His readers, his admiring peers and his reviewers have long felt this, but it has become so obvious that it must finally be said: A.F. Moritz is one of the true master poets of his generation.

Globe and Mail

An ancient voice, mournful like the wind, speaks to itself yet means to be overheard in A.F. Moritz's amazing poems...We seem to hear shattered echoes from the Bible, Dante, Petrarch, or Sceve bound up in Maldoror's cruel eloquence.

John Ashbery

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