Alden Nowlan (1933-83) is Canada's most popular modern poet, a figure comparable in the public's affections to Stevie Smith or Betjeman in Britain. This first UK edition of his work is published in response to many requests from readers of Staying Alive for a full selection of his heart-warming, plain-speaking poems. Born in the Nova Scotia backwoods, Alden Nowlan left school at 12 and worked in a sawmill before becoming a local newspaper reporter. His early poems bear witness to the harshness and hypocrisy of lives brutalised by poverty and ignorance in a remote Canadian backwater. But as Nowlan finds love and lifelong friendship, so his work achieves authority and lasting warmth. Nowlan's poetry was his way of 'reaching out in fear and gentleness', and he writes of violence, loneliness and despair with great compassion, restoring dignity to people as he celebrates their lives. His poems present universal portrayals of human life: teasingly ironic, wryly humorous, sympathetic, quizzical and morally astute.
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