…this first for Sznn, and a few others that have been asking me what is going on, unaware of the GG controversy– you can read about it here, and here, and over here, and here, and you can listen to it here on the Tues. Nov. 25 broadcast. I must admit, on one hand, I’m more saddened by the fact that so many people keep saying, albeit humorously, it’s those poets at it again, and on the other hand, I’m disappointed by the whole thing.


That said, I’m moving back to a topic that still interests me a great deal, that of prairie writing and writers, and more closely, the prairie poet. Today, as I was snagging a few copies of Writing Saskatchewan: 20 Critical Essays, from the editor himself Kenneth G. Probert (who is a most gracious supporter of the arts, and also the graduate chair for the University of Regina English Department), I also snagged an advance copy of West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature, edited by Sue Sorensen.  I had met the charming, witty, and terrifically smart Sorensen this summer through my wonderful part-time employment as colony coordinator. Her introduction to the essays of such prairie scholars as Warren Cariou, Dennis Cooley, Alison Calder, Pamela Banting, Brenda Beckman-Long, and others, is a fabulous look at the history, the inclusiveness, exclusiveness, the environment, and the language of prairie writing, and well worth the read. If the rest of the essays are as stimulating as Sorensen’s, then the advance copy is worth the price, er, not that I paid anything, but I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “what goes around, comes around,” so one day, most likely, there will be a price.  I usually pay.

6 thoughts on “POETRY AND PRAIRIE

  1. One never knows what the mail truck will carry in the month of December as it travels through the great plains to its destination of a small, but vital (not to mention extremely seductive in both landscape and people) northern mining town…

  2. Hey, here’s a new link for you, all you folks thinking about prairie writing and writers, to encourage you and yours to head to Winnipeg to study writing. The School of Writing at CMU this year has David Bergen, Myrna Kostash, Barbara Nickel, David Elias, Joanne Klassen and Eleanor Chornoboy teaching (May 4-8, 2009).

  3. maybe I’m a heretic, but this country may be too small (in all senses of the word) for awards… I mean, how big is the poetry constituency anyway?

    I thought about maybe it could work if there were judges from other countries but then the cultural context would be missing… having said that, a prairie aesthetic is totally different from a Nfld. or Quebec or British Columbia…

    or how about this for true heresy and not have poets judge at all?!!

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