Wislawa Szymborksa’s poems in translation — both ones I first read about 20 years ago and ones recently new to me — have been satisfying me at deep levels with their mixes of the everyday and the surreally fanciful, the grieving and the humorous, the raw and the powerfully shaped. Last month I read a few of the poems to my brother-in-law in a hospital during his final week of life. After poring over the selection Miracle Fair, I was glad yesterday to find and buy the recent Collected and Last Poems, such a wealth of poetry for future reading — though monetary metaphors of investment seem way too cold for such writing.
Brian Bartlett has published seven collections and four chapbooks of poems, as well as Wanting the Day: Selected Poems, which was published internationally (by Peterloo Poets of Cornwall, England, and Goose Lane Editions in Canada) and won the 2004 Atlantic Poetry Prize. His other honours have inclued two Malahat Review Long Poem Prizes, first prize in the Petra Kenney poetry awards, and the 2009 Acorn-Plantos Award for People's Poetry. In 2014 Fitzhenry & Whiteside published his first book of prose, Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar (a 366-paragraph book of days going from April 1st to the following March 31st). He works and lives in Halifax.