One Muddy Hand Selected Poems

ISBN-10: 1550173707

ISBN-13: 9781550173703

Edition: 2006 (Unabridged)

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Description: Earle Birney (1904-1995), the father of modern Canadian poetry, was one of Canada's finest writers and the author of "David," arguably the most popular Canadian poem of all time. "One Muddy Hand: Selected Poems" features Birney's best work, spanning his entire writing career from 1926 to 1987. Born in Calgary, Birney grew up in different parts of Alberta before his family settled in Banff. In 1922 he enrolled at the University of British Columbia, where he received his BA in English. He earned his MA and PhD from the University of Toronto and also studied at Berkeley and the University of London. Birney's first and second volumes of poetry, David and Other Poems, and Now is Time, both won the Governor General's Award. In addition to publishing over twenty collections of poems over his lifetime, he published two novels, including Turvey--which won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour in 1949--several plays, three books of criticism and a memoir. Birney was a noted teacher of creative writing and literature, known for inspiring a generation of students to become writers, educators and scholars. He had a distinguished career at UBC, where he founded Canada's first creative writing department in 1963, and he was University of Toronto's first writer-in-residence in 1965. Using Birney's "Ghost in the Wheels: Selected Poems" as a guide, editor Sam Solecki chose the remainder of the poems. Here are Birney's most-loved poems, such as "David," "Bushed," "A walk in Kyoto," "The bear on the Delhi road," "El Greco: Espolio" and "For Wailan," a sequence of love poems that are among the best in the Canadian canon. The only Birney book of poems currently available, "One Muddy Hand"brings a canonical author's poetry back into print and will be an important addition to bookshelves everywhere.

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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Harbour Publishing Company, Limited
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 204
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Earle Birney was born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised in rural Alberta and British Columbia. To earn money for college, Birney held a variety of jobs involving manual labor before enrolling at the University of British Columbia in 1922. Clearly, both his studies and his experience in the labor force gave to his poetry a wide variety of themes and situations. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1938, Birney accepted a position at the University of Toronto, where he worked until he joined the army in 1942. After serving as a personnel officer during the war, he obtained a professorship in medieval literature at the University of British Columbia, a post from which he retired in 1965. Birney's poetry has received recognition both in Canada and abroad. He is credited with introducing into Canadian poetry a metrics based on everyday speech rather than on artificial cadences. His visual poems are considered the forerunners of concrete poetry and his experiments with sound the forerunners of sound poetry in Canada. Since publishing his first book of poems, David and Other Poems, in 1942, Birney has published 15 more volumes of verse, two novels, and several books of critical writing. In The Cow Jumped over the Moon (1972), he describes about the composition of his own poetry. Earle Birney's works include Spreading Time: Remarks on Canadian Writing and Writers, 1904-1949, Last Makings: Poems. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, and One Muddy Hand: Selected Poems. Earle Birney passed away in September 1995 of a heart attack.

Sam Solecki is a Professor in the Department of English, University of Toronto, the author of Prague Blues: The Fiction of Josef Skvoreck� (1988) and the editor of Imagining Canadian Literature: The Selected Letters of Jack McClelland (1998).

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