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edition:Paperback
category: Nature
published: Nov 2011
ISBN:9781554471089

The Shell of the Tortoise

Four Essays & an Assemblage

by Don McKay

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essays
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list price: $25.95
edition:Paperback
category: Nature
published: Nov 2011
ISBN:9781554471089
Description

Don McKay is back from another geopoetic field season and has typed up his notes. The resulting essays continue his investigation into the relationship between poetry and wilderness, particularly into the characteristics of metaphor as a tool. “Art occurs whenever a tool attempts to metamorphose into an animal” asserts McKay in an essay on the myth of Hermes and his tortoise-shell lyre. He also takes us to the fossil beds of Newfoundland’s Mistaken Point to consider the fault line between scientific rigour and the poetic capacity for astonishment; over a buggy, boggy portage with Duncan Campbell Scott, surveying Canadian poetry’s complex relationship with wilderness; to the imagined film set of From Here to Infinity to reflect on metaphor’s success in communicating the vastness of deep time, vastness which raw data fails to transmit; and into the Muskwa Assemblage, a poetic landscape which models his assertion that “In poetry, there is no ‘been there, done that’; everything is wilderness.”

 

About the Author
Don McKay, poet, editor, essayist, teacher. Raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Don McKay split his post-secondary studies between BISHOP'S UNIVERSITY in Québec and the UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO (MA 1966). He pursued a doctorate at Swansea University College, Wales (PhD 1971), where he studied Dylan Thomas's poetry. Afterward, McKay began teaching English and creative writing at the University of Western Ontario. In 1975 he and Stan DRAGLAND started Brick Books, a small press that publishes Canadian poetry. McKay continues to edit numerous volumes of poetry each year for Brick Books and other presses. His editing and teaching led McKay, in 1990, to the UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK's creative writing program, where he taught and edited The Fiddlehead, a literary magazine, for 5 years. In 1996 McKay retired from teaching to focus on writing full-time
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