Acadie is a country which exists in the imagination and words of its people. Its literature is young; its poetry has emerged from sheer experimentation with language — both in its form and its content. But the poetry of Acadie is more than simply experimentation: it is also a political expression, an insistence on the very existence of an imaginative country. This is the first anthology of this type ever to be published in English.
About the authors
Jo-Anne Elder was a member of the Romance Languages Department in 1990-1991. Since then, she has taught French part-time and more recently has taught in the Gender Studies Program. Active as a writer, translator, and editor, she wrote Postcards from Ex-Lovers (Broken Jaw Press, 2005) and has translated many works from French into English. Three of her translations — a novel (Tales from Dog Island: St. Pierre et Miquelon, Killick, 2002) and two books of poems (Beatitudes, Goose Lane, 2007, and One, Goose Lane, 2009) — were shortlisted for Governor General's Awards. She is editor of la revue ellipse magazine, a journal devoted to Canadian literature in translation.
Fred Cogswell (1917-2004) grew up in the farming community of East Centreville, New Brunswick, started teaching school when he was sixteen, and served overseas in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. After earning his BA and MA from the University of New Brunswick and his PhD from the University of Edinburgh, he became a professor of English at the University of New Brunswick. In 1954, Cogswell and others involved with the literary journal The Fiddlehead founded Fiddlehead Poetry Books. In 1957, Cogswell became the sole publisher, and by 1958 The Stunted Strong had been followed by two more volumes, one of which was Emu, Remember, by Al Purdy. One of only a few poetry publishers in Canada, Cogswell eventually published books by more than 300 poets. As well as devoting himself to poetry by others, Fred Cogswell left a large body of his own poetry. In his lifetime, he published more than 30 collections, and en route to the hospital just before he died, he and his daughter dropped his final manuscript in the mail. As well, in the 1970s, Cogswell pioneered translating French Canadian poetry into English, and in the 1980s, he began his landmark translations of Acadian poetry, often in collaboration with Jo-Anne Elder.