Atlantic Canada is enjoying a renaissance unknown since the days of Alden Nowlan, Milton Acorn, and John Thompson. Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada features work by 60 of the region's finest poets in a volume that will whet appetites for more. The earlier poetry renaissance began in 1945, with the establishment of The Fiddlehead magazine. In this new volume, the present Fiddlehead editor Ross Leckie, and his collaborators Ann Compton, Laurence Hutchman, and Robin McGrath, showcase the lasting effects of that earlier renaissance and confidently forecast that the newest generation of Atlantic poets will help to make poetry a pre-eminent literary form in Canada once again.
Coastlines provides expansive reading pleasure because of the astonishing range of poetic intelligences it represents and the myriad ways poets find to work and rework the topography of Atlantic culture and landscape. The earliest poems in the anthology were written in the 1950s by the acknowledged greats — Acorn, Nowlan, and Thompson — and by Alfred Bailey, Elizabeth Bishop, and Charles Bruce. The collection also features work by senior poets such as Kay Smith, M. Travis Lane, Fred Cogswell, and Douglas Lochhead, and mid-career poets such as Elisabeth Harvor, Harry Thurston, and John Steffler. Poets of the post-1995 renaissance include Anne Simpson, Sue Sinclair, Michael Crummey, and George Elliott Clarke, who won the 2001 Governor General's Award; Lynn Davies, Sue Goyette, and Carole Langille have all been recent finalists, and both Brian Bartlett and matt robinson have won the Petra Kenney Memorial International Poetry Prize. The newest voices in Coastlines belong to Tammy Armstrong and Geoff Cook, whose work was selected from manuscripts published in 2002.
Anne Compton teaches at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John. She is the editor of The Edge of Home, Milton Acorn's poems about Prince Edward Island and the author of a poetry collection entitled Opening the Island.
Laurence Hutchman teaches Canadian literature at the Université de Moncton, Edmundston. His most recent book is Beyond Borders.
Robin McGrath lives in Beachy Cove, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, and is the author of the poetry collection, Donovan's Station.
"Wonderful... an enormously valuable resource for readers and teachers of Canadian poetry... A balanced roster of established and emerging poetic voices that reflects both the diversity and the intensity of the region's poetry... Instructive and exciting... Coastlines is a book that will foster much pleasure and a deeper understanding of Canadian poetry for many years to come." — University of Toronto Quarterly
Pub date: January 1, 2002