The Townhouse is very pleased to welcome local writer Janette Fecteau and nominees for the 2012 Atlantic Poetry Prize: Sue Goyette, Warren Heiti, and Anne Simpson. The poets will read from their latest works this Saturday afternoon, and we expect a lively discussion to follow! See article in The Casket here.
JANETTE FECTEAU lives in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, and teaches Fine Art at St Francis Xavier University. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including most recently Room (forthcoming), The Dalhousie Review, Carousel, Our Times, Event, and The Antigonish Review. She is a graduate of UBC’s Optional-Residency MFA program in Creative Writing, and winner of third prize for poetry in the 2009 Atlantic Writing Competition.
2012 Atlantic Poetry Prize Nominees
outskirts, Sue Goyette
Hydrologos, Warren Heiti
Is, Anne Simpson
McClelland & Stewart
SUE GOYETTE lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has published three books of poems, The True Names of Birds, Undone and outskirts (Brick Books) and a novel, Lures (HarperCollins, 2002). Her fourth collection of poems, Ocean, is forthcoming from Gaspereau Press in 2013. She's been nominated for several awards including the Governor General's Award for Poetry, the Pat Lowther Award, the Gerald Lampert Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and won the 2008 CBC Literary Prize for Poetry, the 2010 Earle Birney Prize and the 2011 Bliss Carman Award. Her poetry has appeared on the Toronto subway system, in wedding vows and spray-painted on a sidewalk somewhere in St. John, New Brunswick. Sue currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University, is faculty for the Banff Wired Writing Studio and works part-time at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.
Sue Goyette’s outskirts is a tour de force. Its originality lies in Goyette’s refusal of despair, her conviction that the connections among people, their conversation, curiosity, empathy and awe, can help us see a way forward. Her aim is to find energy in human love, a way to walk the darkness rather than hide from it. This book will name you, and frighten you; make you laugh, and arm you for what is to come.
“One of the best poets writing today in Canada, Susan Goyette proves herself at the height of her powers in outskirts. In these magnificent multi-part poems, she fuses genealogical time with geological time and revels in paradoxes. Ranging from the dynamics of families, to bad guests at dinner parties, to lovers and loved ones, and on to deeply moving and terrifying images of erosion and clear cutting, Goyette harnesses the expected to the absurd. As she creates synapses from the personal to the global, Canada itself becomes a character with a voice. With its zesty wordplay and its wrenching of the “eco” from the “logical,” outskirts is both a book and a reckoning. Goyette is candid, clairvoyant, and rescuing in her vision.” – Molly Peacock
WARREN HEITI currently teaches in the Philosophy Department at Dalhousie University in Halifax. His graduate studies were undertaken at the University of Victoria, BC, where he was supported and influenced by Jan Zwicky, Tim Lilburn, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier and Derk Wynand, among others.
Hydrologos is one long poem composed in five suites and a coda, and spoken through masks. It is a poem about a specific passion, the one that always follows love: sorrow. What happens to a human being under the geologic pressure of this passion? — One calls out, and the world’s response is silence. The work of sorrowing, one learns, is the work — the endless work — of listening, by which the listener is changed. At the poem’s centre is the original lyric elegy, the myth of Orpheus, but reimagined from the perspective of Eurydike, who makes her own descent into the underworld, to rescue Death. The poem spirals out from this centre, ranging widely across literary eras and genres, engaging with ancient Greek mythtellers and philosophers; with Polish painters and Russian filmmakers; with German Romantic and contemporary Canadian poets.
ANNE SIMPSON is the author of three previous books of poetry: Light Falls Through You, winner of the Gerald Lampert Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize; Loop, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize; and Quick, winner of the Pat Lowther Award. She is the author of two novels, Canterbury Beach and Falling, longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award and winner of the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. She has also written essays on poetry and art – The Marram Grass: Poetry and Otherness. Simpson has worked as a Writer-in-Residence at universities and libraries across the country, and she has been a faculty member at the Banff Centre. She lives and works in Antigonish.
A cell is a world within a world within a world. In this remarkable new collection, Anne Simpson finds form and inspiration in the cell – as it divides and multiplies, expanding beyond its borders. As these poems journey from the creation of the world emerging out of chaos to the slow unravelling of a life that is revealed in a poem that twists like a double helix, Simpson illuminates what it means to be alive, here and now. Rich with the muscular craft, vibrant imagery, and exquisite musicality for which her poetry is widely acclaimed, this collection sees Simpson continuing to “negotiate an ever-changing path between language and structure” (Vancouver Sun) – with astonishing results. It is a work of great vision from one of our most compelling poetic voices.
“With the experimentalism of Anne Carson and the imagism of Anne Michaels, Anne Simpson explores the globe of the heart.” — Halifax Chronicle-Herald
“Anne Simpson's voice is instantly recognizable. . . . [She writes] poems of extraordinary range, intelligence and empathy.” — Jury citation, Pat Lowther Memorial Award
“Simpson turns our attention to the sharp edges of life, and she does it with language that juxtaposes beauty with death, creating internal tension in the poems. Simpson looks at death and loss with an unsentimental eye.” — Canadian Literature