Saturday Apr 13

hoppenthaler Other than Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, maybe Christian Bök or, yes, Leonard Cohen, our neighbor poets to the north are not so well known in the U.S.A. Our U.S.A.-centric tendencies aside, to be fair, with so may phenomenal poets from the United States to discover and of whom to keep track, it's hard to do much else. Yet, there are many wonderful Canadian poets, and I've been trying to feature these writers as I myself become aware of them. Looking to past episodes of A Poetry Congeries, I've been lucky enough to present to our readers such talents as Sue Goyette,  John B. Lee, Patrick Lane, Nick Thran, Mary Dalton, and Dennis Cooley.

Last month, at a conference at Bridgewater University in western Virginia, I was lucky enough to meet one of the fine young poets writing in Canada today, Jenna Butler. You'll tell, from the interview, that she is smart, engaged, and able to articulate her aesthetic vividly; you will find, in her poems, a voice that is both traditional and fresh, and deeply at home in the Canadian plains. She has agreed to guest-edit a feature of Canadian poets for us in the future, and we are thrilled about it and look forward to making more discoveries among the poets beyond the border. There's more up there of value to us than oil sands.