The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English

ISBN:  9781988040349
Price: 24.95 (pre-order)




The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English takes the pulse of Canadian poetry with ninety superb poems that have excelled—twice—at the test of “the best.” With poems chosen from the first nine volumes of this landmark series, this special tenth-anniversary edition highlights a vibrant variety of subjects from romance and family to ecology and the economy—not to mention blizzards and bears. Ranging from iconic poets Michael Ondaatje, Anne Carson, George Elliot Clarke, and P.K. Page to notable upstarts, the anthology includes an index for readers, notes from the poets, an illuminating analysis of Canadian poetics by series editor Molly Peacock, and provocative excerpts from past introductions by guest editors Stephanie Bolster, A.F. Moritz, Lorna Crozier, Priscila Uppal, Carmine Starnino, Sue Goyette, Sonnet L’Abbé, Jacob McArthur Mooney, and Helen Humphreys.

For a full list of The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry contributors, visit the Best Canadian Poetry Series site.

“A collection as complex and satisfying as a symphony.” —Publishers Weekly

“A great jumping-off point for readers who might be interested in Canadian poetry but are unsure about where to start.”—Emma Healey, Globe and Mail

“Bits of eternity, arranged alphabetically.”—Merilyn Simonds, Kingston Whig-Standard

“Canada’s most eloquent, profound, humorous and meditative writers, ranging from the seasoned and well known to the new and upcoming.” —Eric Schmaltz, Broken Pencil

“The Best Canadian Poetry series offers an annual sampling of voices and experiences—a little slice of Canadiana that may be appreciated beyond borders as well.” —Lori A. May, Examiner.com

“Buy it, or borrow it, but do read it.”—Paul Tyler, Arc Poetry Magazine

Anita Lahey is a poet, journalist, reviewer, and essayist. She is the author of The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture (Palimpsest Press, 2013) and of two Véhicule Press poetry collections: Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006) and Spinning Side Kick (2011). The former was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award. Anita is a former editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and posts occasionally on her blog, “Henrietta & Me: People and other wonders found in books.”

Molly Peacock is a widely anthologized poet and writer. Her seventh volume of poetry is The Analyst, poems about psychoanalysis, poetry, and painting, from Biblioasis. Her recent book of tiny tales is Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions, with illustrations by Kara Kosaka; she is also the author of a biography, The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, and a memoir, Paradise, Piece by Piece, all from McClelland & Stewart.

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Excerpt from Best Canadian Poetry 2008, “Introduction”

Introduction

As I read 2007’s possible contenders – each on several occasions, to increase a poem’s chances of striking me in a receptive moment – what was I looking for? First: good writing. Awkward or rote syntax; familiar expressions, images and locutions; or random lineation, ruled a poem out. A meaningfully rebellions and distinctive syntax or deliberately dissonant music often riled it in. Second: depth and challenge, be that emotional or intellectual. If additional readings failed to yield new insights and appreciations, but rather, dulled the flash I’d sensed the first time around, the poem lost its Post-it note. Finally, and inseparable from the first two criteria: an interesting, even strange, sensibility or imagination. (As an undergrad, I fumed when one of my instructors remarked that my poems failed to startle. I didn’t want to startle; surely the startle factor was overrated. Only later dud I realize that what I did want to do – to please – doomed my poems to mediocrity.) “Startling” need not imply clatter and flash. I sought poems that excited and surprised me, that felt (boldly or quietly) necessary, often urgent. I sought poems serious and poems frivolous (though seriously frivolous). Those poems that played it safe, that failed to follow through on the risks they initiated, or that took risks apparently for their own sake, without integrity to form content, did not make it into the anthology, though some distinguished themselves enough to appear on the long list. I was without doubt a tougher critic than if I’d been reading fewer poems, but asking myself whether I could confidently put my name behind a particular choice forced me to be discerning.


For more information about The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008 or to purchase the book, please click here.

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The Best Canadian Poetry 2008

The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008
ISBN: 9780978335175
Pub Date: 2008

From a long list of one hundred poems drawn from Canadian literary journals magazines, this year’s guest editor, award winning poet Stephanie Bolster, has chosen fifty of the best Canadian poems published in 2007. With this anthology readers, baffled by proliferating poems and poets, can for the first time tap into the remarkable and vibrant Canadian poetry scene. Readers are invited to explore the currents and cross-currents of poetry in a distinguished volume distilled by a round robin of esteemed editorial taste.

Featuring work from Maleea Acker, James Arthur, Leanne Averbach, Margaret Avison, Ken Babstock, John Wall Barger, Brian Bartlett, John Barton, Yvonne Blomer, Tim Bowling, Heather Cadsby, Anne Compton, Kevin Connolly, Meira Cook, Dani Couture, Sadiqa de Meijer, Barry Dempster, Jeramy Dodds, Jeffery Donaldson, Susan Elmslie, Jason Guriel, Aurian Haller, Jason Heroux, Iain Higgins, Bill Howell, Helen Humphreys, Amanda Lamarche, Tim Lilburn, Michael Lista, Keith Maillard, Don McKay, AF Moritz, Jim Nason, Peter Norman, Alison Pick, E Alex Pierce, Craig Poile, Matt Rader, Michael Eden Reynolds, Shane Rhodes, Joy Russell, Heather Sellers, David Seymour, J Mark Smith, Adam Sol, Carmine Starnino, Anna Swanson, Todd Swift, JR Toriseva, and Leif E Vaage.

Click to read an excerpt from The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008.

Molly Peacock is the author of five volumes of poetry, including Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems. She is the Poetry Editor of the Literary Review of Canada. Before she emigrated to Canada in1992, she was one of the creators of Poetry in Motion in New York City, and she served as an early advisor to Poetry On The Way. Her reviews and essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, and her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and the TLS. She lives in Toronto.

Stephanie Bolster’s first book, White Stone: The Alice Poems, won the Governor General’s Award and the Gerald Lampert Award in 1998. She has also published Two Bowls of Milk, which won the Archibald Lampman Award and was shortlisted for the Trillium Award. Her work has appeared in literary journals internationally and has also garnered her the Bronwen Wallace Award, the Norma Epstein Award, and The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize. Her several chapbooks include, most recently, Biodme and Past the Roman Arena. Raised in Burnaby, B.C., she now lives in Montreal, where she teaches in the creative writing programme at Concordia University.

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