The Vernacular Muse tackles conservative Canadian critical theory and practice head-on. Personal and provocative, Cooley’s lucid essays in The Vernacular Muse range from the vernacular in Prairie poetry, the poetics of the line break, and the poetry of eye versus ear to substantial readings of texts by Dorothy Livesay, Margaret Laurence, Michael Ondaatje, Sinclair Ross and Robert Duncan. The first collection of critical essays from a central figure in the making and recognition of prairie writing.
Recipient of the 2015 League of Canadian Poets’ lifetime member award and the 2013 Manitoba Writers’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, Dennis Cooley has been a key figure in Winnipeg’s literary community for over 30 years. He has written extensively on Canadian literature, published 20 books of poetry, and edited numerous others. For years a CanLit professor at the University of Manitoba, Dennis Cooley, now retired, lives and writes in Winnipeg.