York’s first librarian to publish his latest poetry book this spring

Love on the Marsh, a new book by York’s first librarian, Douglas Lochhead, an award-winning poet and a member of the York Founders’ Society, will be launched this spring.

A poem in 100 stanzas, Love on the Marsh (Sybertooth Inc., 2008) is a companion to Lochhead’s previous work, High Marsh Road (Anson-Cartwright Editions, 1980), which was short listed for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1981 and won the Carlo Betocchi International Poetry Prize in 2005 after it was published in Italian as La Strada di Tantramar (Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2004). Lochhead also received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English-language Literary Arts.

Right: Douglas Lochhead

Lochhead was one of York’s first facutly appointments in January 1960 and was appointed as York’s first librarian in July of that year. Since then he has gone on to publish over 25 poetry collections, including Tiger in the Skull: New and Selected Poems (Goose Lane Editions, 1986), Millwood Road Poems (Harrier Editions, 1998), The Lucretius Poems (Harrier Editions, 1998), Orkeny: October Diary (Gaspereau Press, 2002) and Midgic (Gaspereau Press, 2003).

Lochhead describes Love on the Marsh as "an extension of High Marsh Road", a "brother and sister to it". The work is earthy and ethereal, a pilgrimage through a landscape of grass and sky and tumultuous emotions. It’s entries are diary-like and can be compared to his work in The Panic Field: Prose Poems (Fiddlehead Poetry Books/Goose Lane Editions, 1984).

Born in Guelph, Ont., in 1922, Lochhead served as a World War II infantry officer in the Canadian Army and is a life member of the League of Canadian Poets. In addition to being York’s librarian, Lochhead served as librarian at universities in British Columbia, New York and Nova Scotia. From 1967 to 1971 he was vice-chairman of the League of Canadian Poets and from 1989 to 1997 he was president of Goose Lane Editions in Fredericton, NB.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada: Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, Lochhead is a professor emeritus at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, where he was the first writer-in-residence and the director of Canadian studies. He retired from the university in 1991, but continues to live in Sackville, NB.

Click here for a video clip of Lochhead reading a sample of Love on the Marsh.