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Literary Collections Letters

Where the Nights Are Twice as Long

Love Letters of Canadian Poets

edited by David Eso & Jeanette Lynes

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Feb 2015
Letters, Literary, Love & Romance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price

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Under the covers of Where the Nights Are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, David Eso and Jeanette Lynes collect letters and epistolary poems from more than 120 Canadian poets, including Pauline Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Louis Riel, Alden Nowlan, Anne Szumigalski, Leonard Cohen, John Barton, and Di Brandt, and many others, encompassing the breadth of this country's English literary history.

Presented in order not of the chronology of composition, but according to the poets' ages at the time of writing, the poems in the book comprise a single lifeline. The reader follows an amalgam of the Poet from the passionate intensity of youth, through the regrets and satisfactions of adulthood and middle age, and into the reflective wisdom of old age.

All the writings are about love, but love in a dizzying array of colours, shapes, and sizes. Deep, enduring love, unrequited love, passionate love, violent love. Here are odes and lyric ecstasies, tirades and tantrums, pastoral comforts and abject horrors — all delivered with the vibrancy, wit, and erudition of our finest poets. Where the Nights Are Twice as Long is more than an anthology: it is an unforgettable journey into the long night of love.

About the authors

David Eso's work as scholar, poet, anthologist, and impresario unites Canadian literary heritage with its impending renaissance. Eso has appeared in Filling Station, CV2, Strangers in Paris, Canadian Literature, Arc, Freefall, Vallum, Under the Mulberry Tree, the Globe and Mail, and on CBC. His chapbooks include Entries from My Affair with an Escape Artist (2003), A Wide Path to the Narrowing Future (2010) and Asiarific (2014). As a familiar face at literary readings across Canada, Charles Noble calls Eso "a force of nature and force of culture." Eso is currently a graduate student at the University of Calgary where he is studying the letters of Robert Kroetsch.

David Eso's profile page

It's Hard Being Queen: The Dusty Springfield Poems is Jeanette Lynes` fourth collection of poetry. Her previous collections are Left Fields (Wolsak and Wynn, 2003, shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award), The Aging Cheerleader’s Alphabet (Mansfield Press, 2003), and A Woman Alone on the Atikokan Highway (Wolsak and Wynn, 1999). Her awards include the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, the Bliss Carman Award, and first prize in the Grain Postcard Story Competition. She has been a visiting artist / writer-in-residence at Queen’s University, Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, and the Saskatoon Public Library, as well as a faculty member of Francis Xavier University and the Sage Hill Writing Experience. She is currently co-editor of The Antigonish Review.Jeanette Lynes grew up on a farm in Alice Munro country while "Son of a Preacher Man" played on transistor radios everywhere.

Jeanette Lynes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"At times beautiful, at times rueful, Where the Nights Are Twice as Long is a collection of letters written by Canadian poets to those they loved. The result is a diverse portrait of the life cycle of a romantic relationship, from the first infatuation to I-still-can't-forget-you melancholy."

<i>CBC Books</i>

"This is a Canada we haven't seen before. Romantic, intimate, a valentine shaped like a maple leaf designed for lovers of Canadian literature and its oh-so-human practitioners."

Lorna Crozier

" As the letters, poems, emails and texts in this collection are grouped according to the age of the poets at the time of writing, poets and their eras collide. And what grand collisions they are. The book is rich in loss and endings, longevity and, no matter what the age, erotic and sometimes erratic explorations in the realm of love."

<i>Vancouver Sun</i>

"Part of the appeal of Eso's and Lynes's anthology is that the lover's discourse is revealed as tricky and duplicitous. At once mythic and collective, it is also intimate and particular, directed not to an imaginary world of readers and writers but to a certain somebody, an often unnamed but nevertheless profoundly known beloved."

<i>Literary Review of Canada</i>

"[T]he new book proves that while some things change — using email to send letters rather than paper — the joy, and sometimes pain, of love is constant."

<i>On Campus News</i>

"an amayzing galaktik compilaysyun all brillyant poets all brillyant passyuns evree nuans evree change n trope uv all th loves ium sew happee a b in ths byond brillyant book."

Bill Bissett

"The editors of Where the Nights Are Twice as Long have organized the letters (and occasional love poems) according to the writer's age at the time of composition. The results reveal much about the evolution (and disintegration) of our passions as they are worn down or deepened over time.#&34;

<i>Toronto Star</i>

With obvious diligence, the editors have solicited, collected, or dug up love letters by 129 English Canadian poets."

<i>Quill & Quire</i>

"The love letter is not dead, just different, a new book proves."

<i>Star Phoenix</i>

"Here is a wild map, from incandescent sparks to considered glow, of love's landscape in Canadian poetry. David Eso and Jeanette Lynes have put together something outside the ordinary."

Daphne Marlatt

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