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list price: $39.95
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published: Jun 2014
ISBN:9781550176100

We Go Far Back in Time

The Letters of Earle Birney and Al Purdy, 1947-1984

edited by Nicholas Bradley, text by Al Purdy & Earle Birney

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canadian, letters, poetry
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $39.95
edition:Hardcover
published: Jun 2014
ISBN:9781550176100
Description

Tell me, how do I write better poetry? You can't? I'm not surprised. You can write it yourself but damned if you can tell someone else how, your classes to the contrary.
—Al Purdy

The truth is none of us who write poetry should allow ourselves to make public critiques of the others, not in a small country like this where we know each other too well.
—Earle Birney

This collection of letters illustrates the long friendship between two of Canada's most highly regarded poets, Earle Birney and Al Purdy. Beginning with Purdy's lauding of, and jabbing at, a poet he admired but had never met, it captures the changing relationship between the writers, each of whom was fiercely committed to the other's work. The letters are full of mutual praise and stern criticism, as Purdy and Birney, relentless in their pursuit of poetic success, look to each other for advice and share their many dissatisfactions with the literary life. We Go Far Back in Time is an intimate look into the lives of two great poets who found common ground in their writing and in the changing fortunes of their literary careers.

About the Authors
Nicholas Bradley is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria. He is the editor of We Go Far Back in Time: The Letters of Earle Birney and Al Purdy, 1947–1987 (2014) and the author of Rain Shadow (2018). He is also an associate editor of the journal Canadian Literature.
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Al Purdy’s down-to-earth voice populates thirty-three books, including The Cariboo Horses (1965), North of Summer (1967), Sex & Death (1973), and Piling Blood (1984). The two major collections of his work are The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (1986) and Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (2000). Purdy died in Sidney, BC, on April 21, 2000.

Author profile page >

Al Purdy’s down-to-earth voice populates thirty-three books, including The Cariboo Horses (1965), North of Summer (1967), Sex & Death (1973), and Piling Blood (1984). The two major collections of his work are The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (1986) and Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy (2000). Purdy died in Sidney, BC, on April 21, 2000.

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