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On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of The St. Thomas Poetry Series (1988-2013), a pamphlet of unpublished poems by 15 poets who have published in the series was produced.
John Terpstra, Grasshopping
Hannah Main-van der Kamp, Seven Feet
Richard Greene, Ignatius
Alice Major, Day’s Eye
John Reibetanz, Shared Accommodations
Suzanne Collins, Thousands of Years
Barry Dempster, The Same Grip
Philip Gardner, Offcomers, North Yorkshire
Susan McCaslin, The Possibilities of the Empty Page
George Whipple, St. Francis Danced
Margo Swiss, Stillborn
Leif Vaage, The Violence of Love
Bernadette Rule, No Time
W. J. Keith, Don Coles
Mia Anderson, Poem
Seven poets were present and read:
Suzanne Collins hails from Iowa where she received her Ph. D. in Medieval literature. She formerly taught at York University in the Divison of Humanities. Wonders at the Corner was published in The St. Thomas Poetry Series in 2003. In 2012 she published her second volume of poetry, Skinny Dipping (Palimpsest).
Philip Gardner, born in Liverpool, taught at Memorial University for nearly 40 years. In addition to several collections of poetry, he has published widely on such moderns as A. E. Housman, E.. M. Forster, and William Empson. His Gifts with No Recipient: Selected Poems 1991-2004 was published in The St. Thomas Poetry Series in 2006.
Richard Greene (English and Director of the MA in Creative Writing, Univ. of Toronto) received the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2010 for Boxing the Compass (Signal Editions) and published Dante’s House (2013) from the same publisher. Crossing the Straits was published in The St. Thomas Poetry Series in 2004.
John Reibetanz (English and Creative Writing, Univ. of Toronto) was born in New York and received the first Victoria University Teaching Award. He has published 8 collections of poetry, the most recent being Afloat (Brick, 2012). His Near Finesterre was among the first three books in The St. Thomas Poetry Series. He also appeared in Poetry as Liturgy: An Anthology by Canadian Poets, ed. Margo Swiss, published in The St. Thomas Poetry Series in 2007.
Bernadette Rule formerly taught at Mohawk College in Hamilton and has published six collections of poetry, including The Weight of Flames in The St. Thomas Poetry Series (1998). She edited a collection of historical fiction, In the Wings: Stories of Forgotten Women (Serphim, 2012).
Margo Swiss teaches English and creative writing at York University. In additional to academic publications and two books in The St. Thomas Poetry Series, she has recently published The Hatching of the Heart in the Cascade Poetry series (2015, Wipf and Stock, Portland, Oregon).
John Terpstra is a carpenter and writer from Hamilton, ON. Besides three major works of nonfiction, he launched his ninth book of poetry, Brilliant Falls (Gaspereau), here at St. Thomas’s in May 2013. His Devil’s Punchbowl appeared in The St. Thomas Poetry Series in 1998, and he also contributed to Poetry and Spiritual Practice: Selections from Contemporary Canadian Poets, ed. Susan McCaslin (2002) and Poetry as Liturgy (2007), anthologies in the series.
L to R: Bernadette Rule, Richard Greene, Margo Swiss, John Reibetanz; Suzanne Collins, front.
L to R: Bernadette Rule, Philip Gardner, John Reibetanz, David Kent, Margo Swiss, Richard Greene, John Reibetanz; Suzanne Collins, front.
Philip Gardner with Betty Anne and Hugh Anson-Cartwright
Bernadette Rule with Alan Briesmaster (right); Mary Terpstra on left.
John Terpstra, Philip Gardner, David Kent
Richard Greene & William Blissett
Introducing the reading
Photos courtesy of David O’Rourke, Port Hope, Ont.