Excerpt from George Fetherling and His Work, “Introduction”

The witness, an Introduction

George Fetherling is what Robin Skelton used to call a “scribbler”: someone such as himself whose compulsive writing is faster than sound. Sound is a problem. Fetherling, the poet/novelist/artist/cultural journalist who has mastered the silent word, switching genres with a click of his many-coloured pen, was born with a speech handicap. He has, in the jargon of the differently abled, compensated, the way stutterers are known to sing or recite poetry fluently even though speech is difficult. In book after book of articulate prose and poetry, Fetherling (the last name is an anglicized spelling of an old Dutch word for scribe or scrivener) sings like a bird with a thorn in its chest. Like children born with learning disabilities who often develop prodigious oral and artistic skills, he proves the adaptability of human beings.


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George Featherling and His Work | Ed. Linda Rogers

George Fetherling, edited by Linda RogersISBN-10: 0973864516
ISBN-13: 9780973864519
Price: $14.95
Pub Date: 2005

For nearly forty years George Fetherling has been the professional outsider who is nevertheless at the centre of things, a cyclone of activity in the arts generally and a supportive presence for those who labour there alongside him.

His more then fifty books, including Selected Poems and Travels by Night, form a persuasive argument for a distinct Canadian brand of humanism, rooted in our own time and place but honouring the past while acknowledging the cosmopolitan character of Canadian cities.

In George Fetherling and His Work, Linda Rogers brings together a range of critics, academics and fellow poets from across the country to discuss various aspects of his life and ideas. Readers who know Fetherling’s writing in a variety of genres will gain fresh insight from this retrospective collection. Those coming to Fetherling for the first time will find the book a useful introduction.

Featuring work from Linda Rogers, Eric Marks, George Fetherling, John Burns, WH New, George Elliott Clarke, John Clement Ball, Brian Busby, Jennifer Toews, and Rhonda Batchelor.

Click to read an excerpt from George Fetherling and His Work.

George Fetherling was born in 1949. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Toronto Star has called George Fetherling the poet, novelist and cultural commentator, a “legendary” figure in Canadian writing.

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