It's a matter of knowing winter. Snowbird travels south, seeks warmth, and begins waiting. Robert Kroetsch's new collection, The Snowbird Poems, is a brilliant flight of departure. Beached where he watches a drowning horizon, teased by romance, Snowbird lets his responses become a message in a bottle to the lost and for the found. Appearing at first wearing bifocals and drinking from a fake coconut, Snowbird goes on to retrieve the footprint of story from the ocean of memory.
About the author
Robert Kroetsch was a teacher, editor and award-winning writer. Born in Heisler, Alberta, in 1927, Kroetsch grew up on his parents' farm and studied at the University of Alberta and the University of Iowa. He taught at the State University of New York, Binghamton, until the late 1970s and then returned to Canada, where he taught at the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba from the 1970s through the 1990s. Kroetsch also spent time at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts and many writer-in-residencies, where he powerfully influenced recent writing on the Canadian prairies and elsewhere. His generosity of spirit and openness to the new showed many authors new ways to pursue their own kinds of writing. In honour of both his writing and his contributions to Canadian culture in general, Kroetsch was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004. In 2011 he received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award. Robert Kroetsch died in a car accident outside of Edmonton, Alberta, in 2011.
"These are dangling conversations, hints, and mere footprints in the sand of an endless shoreline. This is, in some sense, a collection of allusions." Anne Burke, Prairie Journal Trust, July 14, 2005
"A glance through The Snowbird Poems.shows that Kroetsch is still in fine form when it comes to the long poem: the 107-page book is essentially four individual poems broken (and melded) into their components, iterative and process-oriented, and lays strong claim to continuing his earlier work." Matthew Holmes, Arc (Canada's National Poetry Magazine), Summer 2005
"The lovely thing about Kroetsch's "lifetime achievement" is that it's nowhere near finished. His masterful new book of poetry, The Snowbird Poems, his 13th, resonates within and extends his earlier writing..There are new timbres in the wry, sad voice we have encountered elsewhere in Kroetsch's poetry, as well as mingling layers of mythic allusion." Chris Wiebe, VUE Weekly, Dec 16-22
"The Snowbird Poems is an impressive anthology of the poetry of Canadian literary icon Robert Kroetsch." Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch, June 2005
"As the title suggests, these are holiday poems of a sort, or poems of refreshing, voluntary exile from oneself. We have every variety of prosaic spread and lyrical condensation, melancholic nostalgia and beach-ball whimsy." Jeffrey Davidson, The University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 75, Number 1, Winter 2006.
".the series succeeds in conveying the mixed blessing of an urban tropical vacation, [in a].not-quite-serious tone.Snowbird speaks with a poet's romanticism.Poems from This Part of the Country mark Kroetsch as part of that school of prairie writers who gift us with their mindfulness of place." Sonnet L'Abbe, The Globe & Mail
"Snowbird's self-deprecating and self-deconstructing observations are vintage Kroetsch..The long "Poem for My Dead Sister" manages to be deeply elegiac and deeply committed to wordplay and rhyme." Bert Almon, Canadian Book Review Annual, 2005.
"It is a resonant moment when postmodern techniques are used to transcend, rather than revel in, the limits of language. This collection stands with the best of Kroetsch's impressive body of work." Adam Sol, Quill & Quire August 2004
Other titles by Robert Kroetsch
The Poetry of Robert Kroetsch
An Illustrated Tribute
Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait
The Man from the Creeks
An Anthology of New Poetry
Writing the Terrain
Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets