Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry is an introduction to the work of eleven poets who have not yet published full collections of their own, but whose poems have been making their way into print in Canada and abroad.
The poems have been hand-picked by editor Robyn Sarah both for their qualities as individual poems and for the ensemble they create. Each selection has been compiled with a view to showing the poet’s range, yet each is also sequenced so that the poems work effectively as a suite.
The contributors’ ages span five decades, bringing to bear the perspectives and concerns of different life stages. This is not the latest crop of MFAs in Creative Writing, but a foraged gathering of eleven strongly individual poets coming from different regions, different backgrounds, and different walks of life. What they have in common is their uncommon ability to explore our shared human condition in words that resonate.
E. Alex Pierce
Jason Ranon Uri Rotstein
About the authors
E. BLAGRAVE lived on air force bases in the prairies, Ontario, and Quebec until her father retired to Victoria when she was twelve. At nineteen she moved to Montreal for a few years, writing poetry and assisting in theatrical productions, before returning to Victoria where she worked for the government and as a sound and lighting technician at the McPherson Playhouse. She began writing again around 2003 and has since
published poems in The Fiddlehead, Arc, CV2, and The New Quarterly, as well as in the Cormorant anthology, Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry.
Is the author of several poetry collections, two collections of short stories, and a book of essays on poetry. Her works have appeared widely in Canada and the United States, in publications that include The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, The Norton Anthology of Poetry, and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times. Widely recognized and anthologized, Robyn Sarah has won awards for each of the genres in which she works, including the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry and the CBC literary competition, also for poetry; a National Magazine Award, and the QSPELL award for the best English-language fiction written by a Quï¿½bec author. She lives in Montrï¿½al.
has worked as a journalist, as a gallery docent and as an English and Latin teacher. Some of her poems appeared in the anthology Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry, edited by Robyn Sarah. She lives in Ottawa. The Half-Life of Oracles is her first collection.
Gabeba Baderoon is a poet and scholar and the author of the poetry collections, The Dream in the Next Body and A Hundred Silences. She received the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and teaches Women's Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University.
Kate Clanchy's three collections Slattern, Samarkand, and Newborn, have recently been gathered into a Selected Poems, published by Picador. She has won the Writer's Guild Award, The VS Prichett Prize, and the BBC National Short Story Award for her prose. Her novel, Meeting the English, was shortlisted for the Costa Prize in 2013.
Carolyn Forché is a poet, translator and essayist, and editor of two best-selling poetry anthologies, Against Forgetting and Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English: 1500-2001 (co-edited with Duncan Wu). Her poetry books include Gathering the Tribes, The Country Between Us, The Angel of History and Blue Hour. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She is a Professor of English at Georgetown University, where she also directs The Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.
Amanda Jernigan is the author of two books of poetry, Groundwork (2011) and All the Daylight Hours (2013). The first was shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Award and included in the National Public Radio's list of best books of the year; the second was named a best book of the year in the National Post. She is the editor of The Essential Richard Outram (2011) and author of a monograph on the poetry of Peter Sanger.
Daniel Karasik is a writer of plays, poetry, and fiction. He is a winner of the CBC Literary Award for Fiction (2012) and the Toronto Arts Foundation's Emerging Artist Award (2013). His plays have been produced across Canada, in the US, and frequently in translation in Germany; The Biographer, produced in Toronto in 2013, garnered a Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination for Outstanding New Play. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Western Magazine Award for his fiction and the National Magazine Award for his poetry, he is the author of two previous books of plays published by Playwrights Canada Press, a poetry collection with Cormorant Books, and a short story collection forthcoming in 2017 from Guernica Editions. His newest plays are in development with Toronto's Tarragon Theatre, where he is an incoming playwright-in-residence, and Whynot Theatre; off-Broadway's The New Group; and the Stratford Festival, from which he holds a commission. He writes about art and politics at www.danielkarasik.com. Connect with Karasik on Twitter @daniel_karasik.
Michael Lithgow’s first collection of poetry, Waking in the Tree House, was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers Federation First Book Award. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous literary and academic journals and in Best Canadian Poetry (2012). Born in Ottawa, he changed cities frequently in his early years and moved to Vancouver in the mid-1980s, working as an activist journalist in community-based media and as a paralegal, before attending graduate school in Montreal and Ottawa to complete a PhD in Communication Studies. He currently lives in Edmonton with his wife and daughter, and teaches at Athabasca University.
Margo Wheaton is the author of The Unlit Path Behind the House, which won the Fred Kerner Book Award from the Canadian Authors Association. She was born in New Brunswick and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Speaking personally, I had this book on my desk a considerable time. The deaths of both parents within a six-month period meant I had to read the book twice, and parts of it, three or four times. The re-reading was worth it. After so much shock and so much grief, it has been indeed life affirming to absorb and re-absorb this collection of insistent, original voices.”