Measures of Astonishment
Poets on Poetry
ISBN: 978-0-88977-371-4
Series: Oskana Poetry & Poetics 0
Year: 2016
Pages: 250
Binding: Paperback

"A society without poetry and the other arts would have broken its mirror and cut out its heart." - Margaret Atwood

So boldly insists one of our greatest writers in Measures of Astonishment, a refreshing and eclectic mix of deeply personal and formal essays that offer a glimpse into the minds of some of Canada's most influential poets. 

In addition to Atwood, the contributors to this volume include a who's who of the country's literary elite: Anne Carson, George Elliott Clarke, Anne Simpson, Tim Lilburn, A.F. Moritz, Marilyn Bowering, Mark Abley, Glen Sorestad, Robert Currie, Don McKay, Lillian Allen and Gregory Scofield.

Measures of Astonishment  shines a northern light on poetry, offering unique perspectives as to what it is, what it does, and why it matters. 

Table of Contents


Glen Sorestad


Dymphny Dronyk, President, League of Canadian Poets

“Poetry’s Practice of Philosophy” 2002

Tim Lilburn

“Every Exit is an Entrance (A Praise of Sleep)” 2004

Anne Carson

“Frederick Ward: Writing as Jazz” 2005

George Elliott Clarke

“Why Poetry?” 2006

Margaret Atwood

“The Angel of the Big Muddy” 2007

Mark Abley

“Ediocaran and Anthropocene—poetry as a reader of deep time” 2008

Don McKay

“Re-Discovering Ancient Springs: a consideration of metaphorical space” 2009

Marilyn Bowering

“Poetry and Community” 2010

Anne Simpson

“Pristine and Startled: Ways of Seeing” 2011

Glen Sorestad

“Coming (back) to Poetry” 2012

Robert Currie

“A Garden Is Not a Place: Poetry and Beauty” 2013

A. F. Moritz

"Black Voice: Context and Subtext" 2014

Lillian Allen

"Conversation with the Poet / Who didn't know my aunty" 2015

League of Canadian Poets

The League of Canadian Poets was founded in 1966 to nurture the advancement of poetry in Canada. This collection is based on its Anne Szumigalski Lecture Series.
The Creative Industries Transition Fund is made possible through funding that was provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.