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The Stunted Strong

The Stunted Strong

The Stunted Strong is a new edition of the first book published by Fiddlehead Poetry Books, the company that became Goose Lane Editions. Fred Cogswell, its author, was also the company's founder.

The Stunted Strong is a sixteen-sonnet chapbook. The first and last poems create a context for the fourteen inner sonnets, each of which is a vivid sketch of an inhabitant of a rural community in the St. John River valley. The sequence portrays country people confined by frustration, obsession, and small victories, and it expresses in their characters the illimitable dreams and thwarting limitations of the human condition.

The publication of the second edition of The Stunted Strong marks Goose Lane's 50th anniversary and commemorates Fred Cogswell's lifelong devotion to poetry. The text is introduced by Robert Gibbs, Cogswell's friend, colleague, and fellow poet. Designed and printed by Gaspereau Press, the new edition of The Stunted Strong is a work of art in its own right.


Of both French and English ancestry, Fred Cogswell (1917) grew up on a farm in Carleton County, NB. He is widely known as a former editor of the Fiddlehead and publisher of Fiddlehead Poetry Books. He edited the two-volume The Atlantic Anthology (1985) and, with Jo-Anne Elder, translated and edited Unfinished Dreams: Contemporary Poetry of Acadie (1990). He is the editor and translator of The Poetry of Modern Quebec (1976). In 1995 he received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in Literary Arts.

24 pages
Pub date: January 4, 2005