University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: December 2002
Series: cuRRents
Keywords: Literature;Poetry
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian, Literature;Poetry, Literature, Poetry
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Dennis Cooley. dennis cooley was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan. He later moved to Manitoba, where he helped to start the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and was a founding member of Turnstone Press. He taught Canadian literature, poetry, creative writing, and literary theory at the University of Manitoba. He has published widely, including well over a dozen volumes of poetry, notably Bloody Jack (2002), and the bentleys (2006). A recipient of the Manitoba Writers' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, dennis cooley lives in Winnipeg.

Douglas Barbour. Douglas Barbour lives in Edmonton. The author of several books of poetry and criticism, he was inducted into the City of Edmonton Arts & Culture Hall of Fame in 2003.

"Rowdy and raunchy, tender and beseeching, philosophic and colloquial, inviting and dangerous-Bloody Jack is packed full of everything. And then for good measure Dennis Cooley adds a knowledge of poetic forms that is equally a catalogue of surprises and revelations. The poem as love lyric. The poem as murder mystery. The poem as treasure-trove. Bloody Jack makes you, in all kinds of wonderful ways, catch your breath." -Robert Kroetsch


"Dennis Cooley's Bloody Jack is a huge Rabelaisian romp through western Canadian culture, an endless proliferation of language and image, a story too big to fit into a book, so that it explodes our notions of genre and poetics. It is comic, philosophical, tender, violent, elegant, vernacular and above all entertaining. When the first edition came out some critics were outraged by its aesthetics of excess, but it soon became one of the key texts in prairie writing. It's back again, bigger, bolder, sweeter and even more outrageous." -david arnason


"Dennis Cooley's Bloody Jack uses the story of Manitoba outlaw John Krafchenko as the launching pad for a playful and seemingly lawless exploration of poetry and language. First published in 1984, the book was an important part of the development of Canadian postmodern poetics.... A brief, lucid introduction by Douglas Barbour places the book in context.... The new text contains changes and additions.... This injection of new blood makes the volume less a 'republication' than the rebirth of a living and important piece of work." Harry Vandervlist, Quill & Quire starred review


"Bloody Jack is a collection of free-verse poetry by Canadian poet Dennis Cooley and is loosely based upon the life of John Krafchenko, a notorious Manitoban outlaw. Ranging the gamut from love lyrics, to a 'murder whodunit,' to philosophical conundrums, to the humdrum daily life, the unusual spacing of lines adds a distinctive flavor to the evocative and captivating verses." The Midwest Book Review


"The original version of Bloody Jack was released in 1984 by Turnstone Press. For this newer version Cooley has updated and expanded the work, adding dozens of new poems, dropping some, and changing numerous others. Interestingly, this turns the work into an almost continuous project, not unlike Whitman's Leaves of Grass perhaps.. Many of the poems in this work have a beauty and honesty to them that is breathtaking, and even those that seem to defy easy interpretation reveal a command of language that any writer would envy." (Complete review: http://www.prairiefire.mb.ca/reviews/cooley_d.html) Lorne Roberts, Prairie Fire Review of Books


"Based loosely on the infamous Manitoban outlaw John 'Jack' Krafchenko, Bloody Jack employs a Rabelaisian verve to explore and explode the notions of history, poetry, story, language, author and reader. As it vaguely but insistently charts western Canadian culture, it becomes a catalogue of literary parodies, of (cunning) linguistic possibilities, brimming over with poetic extravaganza....In relation to the original 1984 publication, this revised, expanded edition pushes the sense of playfulness even further: film scripts, synoptical prose pieces, and reflections on the status as a new edition (in its 'late teens') add more dimensions to the text-as-process....Bloody Jack (2002)-bigger, bolder, more self-reflexive-has yet increased its value, through its many expansions (more than twenty new pieces) and through Canadian poet and critic Douglas Barbour's ingenious introduction, a poetic analysis and contextualisation of Cooley's major achievement. This beautiful reissue will (again) earn the book the status of a prairie literature classic. It will cement, once and for all, the standing of Cooley-that body vernacular incarnate who has published a dozen books of poetry...as one of Canada's leading poets." Markus M. Muller, Germany, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol.17, No. 1, 2004


"Based loosely on the infamous Manitoban outlaw John 'Jack' Krafchenko, Bloody Jack employs a Rabelaisian verve to explore and explode the notions of history, poetry, story, language, author and reader. As it vaguely but insistently charts western Canadian culture, it becomes a catalogue of literary parodies, of (cunning) linguistic possibilities, brimming over with poetic extravaganza....In relation to the original 1984 publication, this revised, expanded edition pushes the sense of playfulness even further: film scripts, synoptical prose pieces, and reflections on the status as a new edition (in its 'late teens') add more dimensions to the text-as-process....Bloody Jack (2002)-bigger, bolder, more self-reflexive-has yet increased its value, through its many expansions (more than twenty new pieces) and through Canadian poet and critic Douglas Barbour's ingenious introduction, a poetic analysis and contextualisation of Cooley's major achievement. This beautiful reissue will (again) earn the book the status of a prairie literature classic. It will cement, once and for all, the standing of Cooley-that body vernacular incarnate who has published a dozen books of poetry...as one of Canada's leading poets." Markus M. Muller, Germany, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol.17, No. 1, 2004


"Based loosely on the infamous Manitoban outlaw John 'Jack' Krafchenko, Bloody Jack employs a Rabelaisian verve to explore and explode the notions of history, poetry, story, language, author and reader. As it vaguely but insistently charts western Canadian culture, it becomes a catalogue of literary parodies, of (cunning) linguistic possibilities, brimming over with poetic extravaganza....In relation to the original 1984 publication, this revised, expanded edition pushes the sense of playfulness even further: film scripts, synoptical prose pieces, and reflections on the status as a new edition (in its 'late teens') add more dimensions to the text-as-process....Bloody Jack (2002)-bigger, bolder, more self-reflexive-has yet increased its value, through its many expansions (more than twenty new pieces) and through Canadian poet and critic Douglas Barbour's ingenious introduction, a poetic analysis and contextualisation of Cooley's major achievement. This beautiful reissue will (again) earn the book the status of a prairie literature classic. It will cement, once and for all, the standing of Cooley-that body vernacular incarnate who has published a dozen books of poetry...as one of Canada's leading poets." Markus M. Muller, Germany, British Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol.17, No. 1, 2004


Alberta Book Awards - Book Design of the Year (Silver)

2003
ISBNs: 9780888643919 978-0-88864-391-9 Title: bloody jack