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Where the Nights Are Twice as Long
Where the Nights Are Twice as Long

Where the Nights Are Twice as Long

Under the covers of Where the Nights Are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, David Eso and Jeanette Lynes collect letters and epistolary poems from more than 120 Canadian poets, including Pauline Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Louis Riel, Alden Nowlan, Anne Szumigalski , Leonard Cohen, John Barton, and Di Brandt, and many others, encompassing the breadth of this country's English literary history.

Presented in order not of the chronology of composition, but according to the poets' ages at the time of writing, the poems in the book comprise a single lifeline. The reader follows an amalgam of the Poet from the passionate intensity of youth, through the regrets and satisfactions of adulthood and middle age, and into the reflective wisdom of old age.

All the writings are about love, but love in a dizzying array of colours, shapes, and sizes. Deep, enduring love, unrequited love, passionate love, violent love. Here are odes and lyric ecstasies, tirades and tantrums, pastoral comforts and abject horrors — all delivered with the vibrancy, wit, and erudition of our finest poets. Where the Nights Are Twice as Long is more than an anthology: it is an unforgettable journey into the long night of love.


David Eso's work as scholar, poet, anthologist, and impresario unites Canadian literary heritage with its impending renaissance. Eso has appeared in Filling Station, CV2, Strangers in Paris, Canadian Literature, Arc, Freefall, Vallum, Under the Mulberry Tree, the Globe and Mail, and on CBC. His chapbooks include Entries from My Affair with an Escape Artist (2003), A Wide Path to the Narrowing Future (2010) and Asiarific (2014). As a familiar face at literary readings across Canada, Charles Noble calls Eso "a force of nature and force of culture." Eso is currently a graduate student at the University of Calgary where he is studying the letters of Robert Kroetsch.

Jeanette Lynes is the author of six collections of poetry. Her most recent book of poems, Archive of the Undressed (2012), was shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her previous poetry received the Bliss Carman Award and The New Quarterly's Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Award. Lynes' seventh book of poems, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems is forthcoming from Wolsak and Wynn in 2015 under its Buckrider Books Imprint. Her first novel, The Factory Voice (2009) was long-listed for The Scotia Bank Giller Prize and a ReLit Award. She is the inaugural Coordinator of the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.

"At times beautiful, at times rueful, Where the Nights Are Twice as Long is a collection of letters written by Canadian poets to those they loved. The result is a diverse portrait of the life cycle of a romantic relationship, from the first infatuation to I-still-can't-forget-you melancholy." — CBC Books

"The love letter is not dead, just different, a new book proves." — The Star Phoenix

"The editors of Where the Nights Are Twice as Long have organized the letters (and occasional love poems) according to the writer's age at the time of composition. The results reveal much about the evolution (and disintegration) of our passions as they are worn down or deepened over time.#&34; — Toronto Star

"[T]he new book proves that while some things change — using email to send letters rather than paper — the joy, and sometimes pain, of love is constant." — On Campus News

With obvious diligence, the editors have solicited, collected, or dug up love letters by 129 English Canadian poets." — Quill & Quire

" As the letters, poems, emails and texts in this collection are grouped according to the age of the poets at the time of writing, poets and their eras collide. And what grand collisions they are. The book is rich in loss and endings, longevity and, no matter what the age, erotic and sometimes erratic explorations in the realm of love." — Vancouver Sun

"Part of the appeal of Eso's and Lynes's anthology is that the lover's discourse is revealed as tricky and duplicitous. At once mythic and collective, it is also intimate and particular, directed not to an imaginary world of readers and writers but to a certain somebody, an often unnamed but nevertheless profoundly known beloved." — Literary Review of Canada

"Here is a wild map, from incandescent sparks to considered glow, of love's landscape in Canadian poetry. David Eso and Jeanette Lynes have put together something outside the ordinary." — Daphne Marlatt

"an amayzing galaktik compilaysyun all brillyant poets all brillyant passyuns evree nuans evree change n trope uv all th loves ium sew happee a b in ths byond brillyant book." — Bill Bissett

"This is a Canada we haven't seen before. Romantic, intimate, a valentine shaped like a maple leaf designed for lovers of Canadian literature and its oh-so-human practitioners." — Lorna Crozier

430 pages
Pub date: February 3, 2015