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In March of last year, the University of Western Ontario hosted a large poetry conference in honor of Frank Davey, poet, essayist, critic, professor, and long-time editor of one of the key journal of poetics from the past 35 years, Open Letter.
My remarks at the conference began somethng like this:
Frank Davey’s work as a poet, critic, editor, publisher and professor exemplifies both the possibility for the poet-critic in contemporary culture and, at the same time, can be read in terms of an activist approach to poetics, a poetics of errancy, in Smaro Kamboureli’s words from her lecture yesterday . I want here to keep in mind, even without directly addressing, his work with Tish, his editing of Open Letter, and, in terms of my own early connection with Frank, his publication of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Volume 4, which great extended and expanded the social address of our magazine in 1981. At the end of this stage in Frank’s academic career, I want to discuss the value of poetry, poets, and poetics in the academy, specifically in terms of the conference’s great theme -- Poetics and Public Culture – by reconsidering the role and value of poetics in North American society, but also, in academic and literary culture. ...
Open Letter has just released issue 12.8, Spring 2006, guest edited by Melina Baum Singer and Lily Cho. This issue brings together papers presented at the Poetics and Public Culture in Canada Conference (
Not since the Longliners Conference, held in 1986 at
In addition to new poetry from Fred Wah, Daphne Marlatt, George Bowering, Larissa Lai and Rita Wong, this issue also includes:
The issue can be ordered from
$10.00 International (US $ checks OK)
[March 9, 2006]