About the Author

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer was born in Toronto in 1957 and has lived in Toronto, Hamilton, London, Dublin, and Windsor. Hereceived his B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Toronto. After completing his Masters, he lived in England where traveled and interviewed British poets in preparation for his doctoral thesis. He received his Ph.D. at McMaster University. From 1988 to 1990, he held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Canadian and Modern British Literature at McMaster University. He has taught at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, the University of Windsor, Seneca College at York, Seneca College, Skidmore College, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, and was Visiting Writer/Writer-in-Residence at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2003 when he made the decision to return to his first love, teaching, he has taught the Great Books in his current work as professor of English in the Laurentian University B.A. Program at Georgian College in Barrie and Orillia, and as a professor of Continuing Education at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.

            From 1996 to 2003, he was Director of the Writing and Literature Program at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies where he created and managed programs in Creative Writing, Professional Writing and Literary Studies. In 2000, he gave the annual Whidden Lecture at McMaster University, a distinction previously bestowed on Robert J. Oppenheimer, Hans Selye, Tom Stoppoard and Bruno Bettelheim. He is currently Artistic Director of the annual Leacock Summer Festival of Canadian Literature in Orillia, Ontario. A frequent broadcaster on CBC Radio One, his conversations, The Great Books (three volumes), A Novel Idea, andGreat Poetry: Poetry is Life and Vice Versa with Michael Enright are the network’s best-selling audiocassette and cd spoken word series. He has also been a regular literary personality on TV Ontario’s More to Life.

            In addition to his teaching and broadcasting activities, Meyer has published twenty-seven books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, textbooks and anthologies, and critical monographs. His poetry collections are The Open Room (1989), Radio Silence (1991), The Presence (1996), Anywhere (2000), The Spirit Bride (2002), Oceans (2004), and As Yet, Untitled…(2006), and he has published three poetry chapbooks, The Tongues Between Us (1981), The Aging of America (1982), and with James Deahl and Gilda Mekler, Steel Valley (1984). He has published two collections of short fiction: Goodbye Mr. Spalding (1996) and Flights (2005). With Barry Callaghan, he co-edited The Selected Poems of Frank Prewett (1997 and 2001), and the first anthology of World War One Canadian writing to be published since 1918, We Wasn’t Pals: Canadian Poetry and Prose of the First World War (2001). With Jonathan Barron, he co-edited The Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 282: The New Formalism (2005), and with Carolyn Meyer he co-edited The Reader: Contemporary Essays and Essay Strategies (2004) and Separate Islands: Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (1988). His other works include two volumes of interviews with Canadian writers co-authored with Brian O’Riordan, In Their Words: Interviews with Fourteen Canadian Writers (1985) and Lives and Works: Canadian Authors in Conversation (1991).  With James Deahl, he co-edited the first edition of Poetry Markets for Canadians  (1984). His other works include Arrivals: Canadian Poetry (1986), The Bae Sah Moh Anthology: Young Korean Canadian Writers (2007), and an edition of James Hanley’s The German Prisoner (2007).

            He has contributed to numerous scholarly reference volumes including The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature (1983, 1997), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry (1996), Contemporary Poets (1993), Literature in English (1996), and Poetry for Students (1997, 1998, 1999). He has worked as an editor for Descant, Quarry, Cross-Canada Writers’ Quarterly, Poetry Canada Review, Argo (UK), The Greenfield Review (US), Edge City Review (US), The University of Toronto Review, and Acta Victoriana.

            Meyer has won several prizes for his writing including the E.J. Pratt Gold Medal and Prize for Poetry (1980, 1981), the Alta Lind Cook Award for Writing (1981, 1982), the Ruth Cable Memorial Prize (1996), the Word Press Prize (2004), the Daesan Foundation International Prize for Translation (2006) and was a finalist for the Bridport Prize (2005), the Gerald Lampert Award (1989) and the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry (2000). His work as bibliographer for the website for the CBC’s Canada: A People’s History was part of the Baedeck Award-winning package for the best educational website. He was recipient of a Toronto Arts Council Award (2006) and an Ontario Arts Council Works-in-Progress Grant (2005), as well as numerous Ontario Arts Council Writers’ Reserve Grants. During his doctoral work he was a recipient of the Ontario Graduate Fellowship, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, the McMaster University Graduate Fellowship, and the McMaster University Graduate Travel Fellowship. He is one of only two living Torontonians to be quoted on a Heritage Toronto marker, that to mark the site of the city’s first baseball stadium, Sunlight Park. In 1997, he received an honorary lifetime donor’s pass to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

            He lives in Toronto with his wife Kerry and daughter Katie.

Books by this Author
Alphabestiary

Alphabestiary

A Poetry?Emblem Book
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Arrow of Time

Arrow of Time

edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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Heroes

Heroes

edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Oceans

edition:Paperback
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Portraits of Canadian Writers
Excerpt

The odd thing about author interviews is that authors always manage to reinvent themselves as they wish to be seen no matter how hard we worked to phrase our questions to reveal something other than the self-aware persona that emerges from the printed page. If an author, such as Al Purdy, expressed both raucousness and profound spirituality in his poetry, the persona he presented to us during the interview only reinforced that perception. What struck me each time we sat down with a writer to discuss his or her work was that they were assured about who they were and how they wanted to present themselves. They were image-conscious, but at the same time disarmingly unaware?if they could be that?of the extent to which they were living the idea of themselves they created to create the work. In some cases, that self-perception was far different from the writer's day-to-day life. What I learned is that it is hard, if not impossible, to separate the author from the author's persona. That persona, the voice in the work and the voice behind the work, was more than an expression of a person writing about what they knew. It was the presence of a personality on the page and in the room in front of us that continually sounded its unique qualities. I soon realized that my duty as a photographer?not just an interviewer, critic, or reader?was to articulate that voice that I was hearing in their answers. After each interview I would ask the writer to take me to the place where they felt comfortable and where their imaginative work took shape. Some simply stood still. Others would lead O'Riordan and I to a study or to a back porch or a bay window. That is where these photographs were taken.

Listening to the authors was essential. When I looked through the view-finder of my single-lens reflex or scanned a contact sheet with a slide magnifier (I worked, and still work in black and white, with film, 400 ASA, all natural light, no flash permitted), I realized that what I had to do was more than record the personality I heard or even capture the likeness of the person. I wanted to understand how the words, the personality, and the appearance all fit together like pieces in an elaborate puzzle. Authors are the sum of all these elements and something more that I cannot name but I always sensed was there. Perhaps it was the sense of self-integration that enabled them to do one of the hardest things possible for a human being: to imagine themselves. I realized I had to see them as more than just faces or I would be doing them and their works a terrible disservice. I wanted my portraits of them to be memorable and in order to understand what makes a portrait memorable, I began a study of portraiture.

I realized that portrait is, arguably, the hardest of all the visual arts to learn. This fact struck me when I poured over the works of such contemporary literary photographers as Jill Kremitz (the wife of Kurt Vonnegut), Christopher Barker (the son of Elizabeth Smart and the English poet George Barker), and earlier portrait photographers who had chosen writers as their subjects: Julia Margaret Cameron, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Yusef Karsh, John Reeves, Arnaud Maggs, and the great Nineteenth century French photo-biographer, Nadar. What struck me was that their images were not just snapshots of the person, but serious extensions and reinventions of the art of portraiture, and critiques and interpretations of the authors' works. That's a tall order.

(... Continued in Portraits of Canadian Writers)

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Pressing Matters

Black Moss Press 50th Anniversary Book
edition:Paperback
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The Arrow of Time

The Arrow of Time

edition:eBook
tagged : canadian
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The First Taste

New and Selected Poems
edition:Paperback
tagged : canadian
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The Seasons
Excerpt

The Change

Tourists come from all over the world
to celebrate the vibrant death of nature.

They point their cameras as if to write haiku
and attempt to make beauty a souvenir.

But the colour always dies in its own brilliance.
It is never as real as when it is real, never

as beautiful as when I see you emerging
from a gathering of bright golden birches

with one last flower in your hand that frost
overlooked as it flowed through our sleep.

The cold rock I rest against is foreboding.
It knows its cooled igneous will triumph.

In the meantime, purple aster clings to you,
draws life from you the way a bee drinks nectar.

Words

Leaves that crunch beneath our footsteps
are words that have fallen in the silences

between us. They are brightly coloured,
yellow, red, soft gold, and sunset orange.

They are words that form clever disguises,
covering the place where even shadows fade.

They keep their secrets. They mask our trails.
Listen. The wind is moving through thin arms

that rise and try to touch the sky with need.
They are hands that long for other hands,

fingers curling around the dwindling light.
So many words seem to have died in silence.

So many brightly coloured hopes lie scattered.
Watch where you walk. There is life in them still.

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Time of the Last Goal

Time of the Last Goal

Why Hockey Is Our Game
edition:Paperback
tagged : hockey, canadian
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CLI-FI

CLI-FI

Canadian Tales of Climate Change; The Exile Book of Anthology Series, Number Fourteen
edited by Bruce Meyer
afterword by Dan Bloom
edition:Paperback
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That Dammed Beaver

That Dammed Beaver

Canadian Humour, Laughs and Gaffs
edited by Bruce Meyer
edition:Paperback
tagged : humorous
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The White Collar Book

poetry and prose of Canadian business Life
edition:Paperback
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We Wasn't Pals

We Wasn't Pals

Canadian Poetry and Prose of the First World War
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged : canadian
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