All These Roads
The Poetry of Louis Dudek
Publication Year: 2008
A passionate believer in the power of art—and especially poetry—to influence and critique contemporary culture, Louis Dudek devoted much of his life to shaping the Canadian literary scene through his meditative and experimental poems as well as his work in publishing and teaching. All These Roads: The Poetry of Louis Dudek brings together thirty-five of Dudek’s poems written over the course of his sixty-year career.
Much of Dudek’s poetry is about the practice of art, with comment on the way the craft of poetry is mediated by such factors as university classes, public readings, reviews, commercial presses, and academic conferences. The poems in this selection—witty satires, short lyrics, and long sequences—reflect self-consciously on the relationship between art and life and will draw readers into the dramatic mid-century literary and cultural debates in which Dudek was an important participant.
Karis Shearer’s introduction provides an overview of Dudek’s prolific career as poet, professor, editor, publisher, and critic, and considers the ways in which Dudek’s functional poems help, both formally and thematically, to carry out the tasks associated with those roles. Comparing Dudek’s reception to that of NourbeSe Philip, Marilyn Dumont, and Roy Miki, Frank Davey’s afterword locates Dudek in a pre-1980s version of multiculturalism that is more complex than many critics would have it. According to Davey, Dudek broadened the limits on the possible range and type of poetry for subsequent generations of Canadian writers.
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Series: Laurier Poetry
Title Page, Copyright Page
Table of Contents
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, poetry in Canada—writing and publishing it, reading and thinking about it—finds itself in a strangely conflicted place.We have many strong poets continuing to produce exciting new work, and there is still a small audience for poetry; ...
As a poet, editor, anthologist, publisher, critic, translator, and professor, Louis Dudek was one of Canada’s most important and influential cultural workers. Dudek was born in Montreal, February 6, 1918. He graduated from McGill University with a BA in English and History and, after working briefly as an advertising copywriter ...
A major figure in Canadian modernism, Louis Dudek began his poetic career experimenting with the shorter imagist poem before producing what Robin Blaser has called “some of the most extraordinary long poems in the modern canon” (7). It was long poems like Europe (1954), ...
Part One: On Poetry and Profession
Advice to a Young Poet
Your genius is hidden from you. You belch, you fart, you utter stupidities: gradually you eliminate these as not relevant to what you have to do. Discover where your real power lies. It is yours. Slowly you must bring out the hidden character of your work and discover yourself. ...
Part Two: Dedications and Intertexts
If you think homosexuality is a perversion, an abnormality in nature, then you will have very great difficulty in acknowledging some great artists as representatives of humanity: Leonardo daVinci,Michelangelo, Shakespeare, ...
Part Three: Long Poems
All these roads”—the phrase not only accurately notes the numerous journeys any editor of Louis Dudek’s poetry must undertake but also the persistently divergent and intertextual quality of both Dudek’s writings and literary life.When Dudek encountered roads that diverged—in woods of any colour— it did not occur to him that one road necessarily could be not taken. In his writing generally, ...