John Reibetanz captures the ordinary details of life — family and friendship, birth and death — and transforms them into the extraordinary. His seventh book of poetry is a masterful collection, finely crafted with wit, warmth and affection.
Transformations is divided into four parts, each providing a different perspective on the main theme. Choosing not to confront but to explore, he allows for subtle revelations of a deeper truth which hover just beneath the surface, turning the world upside down and right side up again with his poetic "transformations." The result is nothing short of magical.
John Reibetanz was born in New York City, and grew up in the eastern United States and Canada. He put himself through university by working at numerous non-poetic jobs, and is probably the only member of the League of Canadian Poets to have belonged to the Amalgamated Meatcutters Union. A finalist for both the National Magazine Awards (Canada) and the National Poetry Competition (United States), he has given readings of his poetry in most major cities in North America. His poems have appeared in such magazines as Poetry (Chicago), the Paris Review, Canadian Literature, the Malahat Review, the Fiddlehead, the Southern Review, and Quarry. His fifth collection, Mining for Sun (Brick Books, 2000), was shortlisted for the ReLit Poetry Award; his sixth, Near Relations, was published by McClelland and Stewart in 2005. In 2003 he was awarded First Prize in the international Petra Kenney Poetry Competition. John Reibetanz lives in Toronto with his wife and three children, and he teaches at Victoria College, University of Toronto, where he received the first Victoria University Teaching Award. In addition to poetry, he has written essays on Elizabethan drama and on modern and contemporary poetry, as well as a book on King Lear and a book of translations of modern German poetry. When he is not writing or teaching, he bicycles, kayaks, reads local history, and listens passionately to 1930s jazz.
"A beautiful example of mature poetic power filtered through quiet reflections and subtle humour." — Globe and Mail
Pub date: October 13, 2006