Monday Jul 22

ButlerJenna It’s been a true privilege to assemble this feature on Canadian poets for Connotation Press. Included here are eleven extraordinary poets from north of the border, representing a broad sampling of the writing happening now in Canada. Showcasing both established voices and exciting newcomers, this feature brings together a constellation of voices from the many different regions of Canada.

My featured poet is Douglas Barbour, whose latest book Continuations 2 (together with Arizona poet Sheila E. Murphy) was recently published by the University of Alberta Press. It’s a pleasure to offer a series of his ekphrastic poems here, along with an engaging and down-to-earth interview with the writer himself.

Following Barbour, you’ll find work by Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Catherine Owen,and Yvonne Blomer,bringing a gorgeous blending of styles and subjects from opposite ends of the country, united in the fact that they are three of Canada’s truly fine lyric wordsmiths.

Next, you’ll find rob mclennan, Gregory Betts, and Erín Moure, all canny masters of form and translation/transliteration, all deeply engaged in the way in which existing texts dialogue with each other.

Four innovative poems by Manitoba’s well-known Dennis Cooley follow close on their heels; next, you’ll find a series from Cloud Assassins by the highly regarded poet-turned-playwright Marita Dachsel. I conclude this feature with a set of incisive captures by Toronto poet and artist Claire Sharpe, and a selection of new work by one of Saskatchewan’s finest writers, former Poet Laureate Glen Sorestad.

I am grateful indeed to all the fine poets who worked with me to assemble this feature and bring the words of some of Canada’s strongest contemporary writers south of the border. They are all writers I have admired for years; their generosity in working with me, and their support during the creation of this feature, has been extraordinary. I’ll let the words speak for themselves, and turn you to their poems.

Jenna Butler is the author of three trade books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road (NeWest Press, 2013), Wells (U of Alberta P, 2012), and Aphelion (NeWest Press, 2010), in addition to ten short collections with small presses in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her work has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the International Salt Prizes, and the Stephansson Award, and received the 2010 Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award. Butler teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Grant MacEwan University in Alberta during the school year. In the summer, she and her husband live with three resident moose and a den of coyotes on a small organic farm in Canada's north country. Her book of essays on small farm life in northern Canada, On the Grizzly Trail, is forthcoming in 2015 from Wolsak & Wynn. Visit her online here.