Book details

Publication date: March 2016
Features: Bibliography, notes, index
Keywords: Literary Criticism/Poetry/Place
Subject(s): LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, Literary Criticism/Poetry/Place, Canadian Literature, Poetry, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Canadian, POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Places, Anthologies: general, Literary Criticism/Poetry/Place
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.

"Cooley makes important use of the evolution of some of the major poems by reference to the manuscripts and typescripts of drafts and makes an especially fruitful case for Seed Catalogue."

Anne Burke, Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature

"...[The Home Place] builds a magnificent bridge across the coulee between writer and reader... Comprehensive and intense, The Home Place unpacks Kroetsch's long poems The Ledger, Seed Catalogue and The Sad Phoenician. It dives into the very marrow of those works and accomplishes brilliant and suggestive explorations of the feints and allusions that make them great... Cooley and Kroetsch partner one another, dance with the words they both love and respect."

Aritha van Herk, Alberta Views

'"Dennis Cooley has written a remarkable monograph on Robert Kroetsch that focuses primarily on a handful of his books of long poems.Cooley weaves an astute criticism of Kroetsch’s writing with details of Kroetsch’s private life, with an enquiry into being a writer, and with covering (and responding to) a great deal of previous Kroetsch scholarship....making for an acute study that covers an enormous critical range." [Full review at]

Nicole Markotić, Prairie Fire

"Cooley paints Kroetsch (1927–2011) as a Canadian Weldon Kees, as a man well known in certain circles as a celebrated writer, effuse in his friendships yet wandering much of his life and, like Odysseus, never quite sure of home.... Kroetsch had a passion for lists, for cataloging, his language catapulting emotion like the language of Gertrude Stein. One can read into his work the influence of Walt Whitman and Mark Twain, language without sentiment, crisp lines without meandering. Kroetsch’s language pulls readers into his world, where the heroes spend their time alone, repeating words, creating new meanings. Cooley’s collection reflects on the enigma of Kroetsch and the life of a poet in the 20th century. Recommended."

K. Gale, Choice Magazine

"Cooley reads with a scrupulous, tactful, alert sense of his own vocabulary, of his subject’s languaging... [P]age after page I found Cooley riddling nuance and gap to surprise me with a meaning I’d never contemplated, a measured un-meaning. He embraces Kroetsch’s 'grammatical twiddling' with affectionate care. He patiently engages Kroetsch’s lingo and its talky syntax... The poet-critic makes for good reading. His vocabulary provokes and amuses... Reading The Home Place, we believe we know more about writer and writing—and about the home place." [Full review at]

Laurie Ricou, Canadian Literature

Acknowledgements xi
one Getting There 1
The Long Road Home
two Or So It Has Been Alleged 49
The Ledger
three Hearing Voices 87
Seed Catalogue
four What It Was 151
Seed Catalogue
five It’s a Lover’s Question 199
Staging Romance in The Sad Phoenician
six Noted & Quoted 253
Kroetsch in Conversation and at the Podium
Notes 303
Bibliography 335
Permissions 349
Index 351

ISBNs: 9781772121193 978-1-77212-119-3 Title: the home place ISBNs: 9781772121483 978-1-77212-148-3 Title: the home place