Submissions open for Al Purdy Tribute Poetry Anthology

Poet Al Purdy 1918-2000

To mark the centenary of the birth of famed Canadian poet Al Purdy, his long-time publisher is calling for submissions for a 2018 anthology of poems written in tribute to the author.

Purdy, who died in 2000, wrote more than three dozen collections of poems, two memoirs, a novel, and a number of anthologies and collections of his correspondence. He twice was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry, and was an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of Ontario. His volume Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1963-1996 was a Canada Reads 2006 selection.

BC-based Harbour Publishing will issue the tribute poetry anthology in fall 2018. Previously published and new poems written in Purdy’s honour are both eligible for consideration. Up to three poems per poet may be submitted; the deadline for submissions is Purdy’s 99th birthday, Dec. 30, 2017.

Poet Al Purdy 1918-2000 (photo by Frank O’Connor)

Along with their poems, poets should include:

  • a short bio (maximum 50 words);
  • a brief statement about what Purdy and/or or his poems have meant to the writer (maximum 200 words); and
  • the name of the original publisher of any previously printed Purdy tribute poems.

Send your submissions to:

purdytribute@harbourpublishing.com

or to:

Attn. Purdy Tribute Anthology
PO Box 219
Madeira Park BC Canada V0N 2H0

(Please note that print submissions will not be returned if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is not included.)

The anthology will be edited by BC author Tom Wayman with the assistance of Harbour Publishing’s Emma Skagen.

Purdy is “the closest thing to a national poet English Canada has produced,” according to Toronto poet, anthologist and critic Dennis Lee. A statue of the poet was erected in Queen’s Park in Toronto in 2008. “Every word of Purdy’s collected poems sings with greatness,” critic Robert Wiersema wrote in the Canadian publishing trade journal Quill & Quire.

Harbour Publishing issued several of Purdy’s books between 1993 and 2014, including Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy in 2000. Harbour Publishing head Howard White echoes Dennis Lee in calling Purdy “Canada’s poet.”

“Anybody can read him, and have a ball doing it,” White said. “I can’t think of a poet that would do all Canadians more good to sit down and read at this point in our history. It might save us yet.”