Peter Sanger

Peter Sanger is a poet and essayist, widely known for his critical writings on poets John Thompson, Douglas Lochhead, and Richard Outram. His recent books include Lightfield: The Photography of Thaddeus Holownia and Odysseus Asleep: Uncollected Sequences, 1994–2019. He lives in Truro, NS.

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Through Darkling Air: The Poetry of Richard Outram
Peter Sanger

2010 / Biography / $65.95
9781554470617 / Hardcover / 512 pp

Through Darkling Air is an extensive study of the life and work of Canadian poet Richard Outram (1930–2005) in which Peter Sanger provides detailed analysis of Outram’s poetry, his influences and allusions, and of his collaboration with his wife, visual artist Barbara Howard. Through wide-reading of both the Western literary canon and of Outram’s own oeuvre, Sanger situates Outram in the literary tradition while introducing readers to Outram’s life, ideas and work. In the process, Sanger demonstrates a style of reading and discussing poetry which is uncommon in contemporary criticism, working methodically through Outram’s catalogue in order to arrive at a panoramic perspective that is at once telescopic and microscopic.

As well as chronicling Outram’s accomplishments as a poet, mapping the many interconnections between his poems and their outward influences, Through Darkling Air celebrates Outram’s partnership with Barbara Howard, in particular their collaboration on the limited edition broadsides and handmade books issued from their Gauntlet Press imprint between 1960 and 2001. This book includes over 75 colour and black & white reproductions depicting Outram and Howard’s most noteworthy productions. It also includes many key poems from Outram’s more scarce collections reproduced in their entirety.

Sanger first discovered Outram’s work in 1995: “My eye was drawn by the spare beauty of two chapbooks. When I read the books I found I did not always understand them. Sometimes it was as if I were coping with another language. But I had no trouble seeing and hearing the dance of Outram’s intelligence, his wit, his underdrifts of understated grief, his companion, his occasional prophetic anger directed at cant, opportunism and human predation, especially of the natural world. I knew immediately that I had encountered a poet whose work I would read for the rest of my life. Through Darkling Air is an attempt to honour a principle Outram shared and lived with his late wife, the painter, wood-engraver and book designer, Barbara Howard: love and imagination are synonymous and eternal, and the fool is wise who knows that much.”

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Other Books by this Author

Sea Run: Notes on John Thompson’s Stilt Jack
Peter Sanger

2023 / Literary Criticism Canadian Poetry / $28.95 CAN
9781554472581 / Trade paper / 144 pp
Biorachan Road
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2022 / Essay / $150.00 CAN
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Odysseus Asleep: Uncollected Sequences, 1994-2019
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2019 / Canadian Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554472048 / Trade paper / 128 pp
Lightfield: The Photography of Thaddeus Holownia
Peter Sanger

2018 / Photography, Essays, Canadian Art / $24.95 CAN
9781554471775 / Trade paper / 112 pp
Of Things Unknown: Critical Essays, 1978–2005
Peter Sanger

2015 / Literary Criticism / $34.95 CAN
9781554471508 / Trade paper / 368 pp
Peter Sanger

2014 / Essay / $9.95 CAN
9781554471256 / Pamphlet / 16 pp
Fireship: Early Poems, 1965–1991
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2013 / Poetry / $25.95 CAN
9781554471218 / Trade paper / 192 pp
John Stokes’ Horse
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2012 / Poetry / $21.95 CAN
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The Stone Canoe: Two Lost Mi’kmaq Texts
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2007 / Literary Criticism / $29.95 CAN
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2006 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN
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Aiken Drum
Peter Sanger

2006 / Poetry / $49.95 CAN
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White Salt Mountain: Words in Time
Peter Sanger

2005 / Books & reading / $59.95 CAN
9781554470037 / Fine / 240 pp
White Salt Mountain: Words in Time
Peter Sanger

2005 / Books & reading / $27.95 CAN
9781554470044 / Trade paper / 240 pp
Spar: Words in Place
Peter Sanger

2002 / Books & reading / $21.95 CAN
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Spar: Words in Place
Peter Sanger

2002 / Books & reading / $49.95 CAN
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Divisions of the Heart: Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Memory and Place
Sandra Barry, Peter Sanger, Gwendolyn Davies

2001 / Essays / $32.95 CAN
9781894031318 / Trade paper / 336 pp
Peter Sanger

2001 / Poetry / $4.95 CAN
9781894031530 / Pamphlet / 24 pp

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