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Alden Nowlan

Alden Nowlan

Essays on His Works

By Gregory M. Cook

Alden Nowlan, born near Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1933, was a poet, journalist, novelist, and playwright who overcame the disadvantages of poverty and a mere four grades of education, to publish more than twenty books and three plays in his fifty years. His writing earned him two honorary degrees, a Guggenheim fellowship and Canada's prestigious Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1968. That same year he was appointed writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, a position he held until his death in 1983. This book examines Nowlan's bravery in accepting the limitations of his class and his art, as well as the myopia of the critical milieu in which his work was measured. Here is a glimpse of his Künstlerroman - the elements of his art and his humanity, which sees his reputation steadily developing internationally. Robert Bly says, "Alden Nowlan is the greatest Canadian poet of the twentieth century." Contributors include Geoffrey Cook, John Metcalfe, Paul Milton, Thomas R. Smith, David Adams Richards and Gregory M. Cook.


Guernica Editions (Writers Series)


144 pages |

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Alden Nowlan: Essays on his Works offers a confident yet narrow view of a poet whose innovative style effortlessly affected the ways in which writers in Canada and beyond negotiate issues of voice and authenticity.

Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review

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About the author

Gregory M. Cook's latest book is Songs of the Wounded: New and Selected Poems (Black Moss, 2004). He resides in Saint John, New Brunswick.