Don McKay

Don McKay is a poet, teacher and editor. He has published about a dozen books in a career that spans four decades. He has twice won the Governor General’s Literary Awards for poetry and the Griffin Poetry Prize for Strike/Slip in 2007. His previous essay collections include the GG-shortlisted Vis à Vis: Field Notes on Poetry & Wilderness and Deactivated West 100. McKay lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.



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The Shell of the Tortoise: Four Essays & an Assemblage
Don McKay

2011 / Books & Reading / $25.95
9781554471089 / Trade paper / 160 pp


Don McKay is back from another geopoetic field season and has typed up his notes. The resulting essays continue his investigation into the relationship between poetry and wilderness, particularly into the characteristics of metaphor as a tool. "Art occurs whenever a tool attempts to metamorphose into an animal" asserts McKay in an essay on the myth of Hermes and his tortoise-shell lyre. He also takes us to the fossil beds of Newfoundland’s Mistaken Point to consider the fault line between scientific rigour and the poetic capacity for astonishment; over a buggy, boggy portage with Duncan Campbell Scott, surveying Canadian poetry's complex relationship with wilderness; to the imagined film set of From Here to Infinity to reflect on metaphor’s success in communicating the vastness of deep time, vastness which raw data fails to transmit; and into the Muskwa Assemblage, a poetic landscape which models his assertion that "In poetry, there is no 'been there, done that'; everything is wilderness."



Other Books by this Author

The Muskwa Assemblage
Don McKay

2009 / Poetry / $49.95 CAN / $49.95 US
9781554470655 / Trade paper
Deactivated West 100
Don McKay

2005 / Books & Reading / $59.95 CAN / $59.95 US
9781554470099 / Fine
Deactivated West 100
Don McKay

2005 / Books & Reading / $25.95 CAN / $25.95 US
9781554470082 / Trade paper
Vis a Vis: Fieldnotes on Poetry & Wilderness
Don McKay

2001 / Books & reading / $49.95 CAN / $49.95 US
9781894031516 / Fine
Vis a Vis: Fieldnotes on Poetry & Wilderness
Don McKay

2001 / Books & reading / $14.95 CAN / $14.95 US
9781894031509 / Trade paper

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