Thursday, July 04, 2013

New American Writing: Canadian section

Ten Canadian Poets


edited by rob mclennan

: Rob Budde
: Stephen Cain
: Margaret Christakos
: Trisia Eddy
: Jon Paul Fiorentino
: Phil Hall
: Marilyn Irwin
: Meredith Quartermain
: Nicole Markotić
: Andy Weaver

The thirty-first volume of the poetry annual New American Writing is now available, with a section of “Ten Canadian Poets” edited by yours truly, following on the heels of other selections of Canadian poetry I’ve attempted to showcase outside our borders, including the Canadian issue of Swiss online pdf journal dusie, or the three sections I edited for Jacket magazine (on Douglas Barbour, on George Bowering and on new Canadian poetries), as well as a thread that exists in the midst of the new “Tuesday poem” feature I’ve been curating, over at the dusie blog. I’ve actually been wanting to edit an anthology of twenty-four Canadian poets for a non-Canadian publisher for years, but haven’t yet managed to convince a publisher.

When soliciting for this small section of “New Canadian Writing,” I attempted a cross-section of some of the writers I’ve been keeping my eye on, the ones from various corners of the country that excite me. They range from the well-established to the other end of emerging; they range from the experimental to the more lyric narrative. The differences between our two countries are small, stark, obvious, nebulous and often impossible to articulate. There is no single difference. We look and sound like you, but after a while, subtle difference come up, that you hadn’t quite noticed before.

There have certainly been improvements over the past decade, but on the whole, writing doesn’t cross the Canadian/American border easily, and most international publishers that produce poetry works don’t often publish the works of Canadians, leaving us aware of works by American, British and other international writers, but predominantly as a one-way system. Online journals such as Jacket magazine, Jacket2 and Lemonhound have certainly worked to improve the conversations between countries, as well as the Canadian poets now with author pages on the American Electronic Poetry Center website, but there is always room for improvement. I hope that this small engagement might provide some further interest in what some truly amazing Canadian poets have been up to, lately.

Thanks so much to Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff for allowing me this space in their journal.

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