Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan Edited by Brian Bartlett

The following is from a Goose Lane news release and is provided for informational purposes.

A major publication celebrating the work of one of Canada’s most renowned poets.
Alden Nowlan (1933-1983) once wrote of a desire to leave behind “one poem, one story / that will tell what it was like / to be alive.” In an abundance of memorable poems, he fulfilled this desire with candour and subtlety, emotion and humour, sympathy and truth-telling. Plainspoken yet profound, Nowlan has long been one of Canada’s most beloved poets, but only now is the true range of his poetic achievement is finally available between two covers, with the publication of Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan.

The long-awaited Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan enables readers to experience his poetic genius in its fullness and uniqueness.

A poet of contrasts, Nowlan brings opposing language, tone, theme, and imagery together, giving each poem a weight and significance beyond the simplicity at its surface. Nowlan takes us from nightmarish precincts of fear and solitude to the embrace of friendship and family. Delving into experiences of violence and gentleness, of alienation and love, his poetry reveals our shared humanity as well as our perplexing and sometimes entertaining differences.

Nowlan’s varied use of the poetic line – his handling of line-lengths and –breaks, stanzas, and pauses – show him to be a writer who skillfully used the page to suggest and embody rhythms of speech. An essential poetry collection that speaks to the ear and soul, the long-awaited Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan enables readers to experience his poetic genius in its fullness and uniqueness.

About the Author:

ALDEN NOWLAN is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant and accessible voices to emerge in Canadian poetry. Born in Nova Scotia in 1933, Nowlan moved to Hartland, New Brunswick, when he was nineteen, where he was a reporter, editor, and general facilitator of the Hartland Observer. In 1963 Nowlan went to the Telegraph Journal where he worked as a reporter, night news editor, and subsequently a weekly columnist. Publishing his first book of poetry, The Rose and the Puritan, in 1958, with Fiddlehead Poetry Books (the precursor to Goose Lane Editions), he went on to write poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and stage and television plays. He was Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick from 1968 until his death in June 1983. Over his lifetime he won numerous awards and accolades including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry (Bread, Wine and Salt), a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two honorary degrees.

About the Editor:

Brian Bartlett has published many books of poetry and non-fiction, including The Watchmaker’s Table, Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar, and Wanting the Day: Selected Poems. He teaches creative writing at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS.

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