The poems in Irene, written before and after Cooley’s mother’s death, form an elegy to her. In Cooley’s words: “. . . it’s taken on some associations, connections with the Persephone story perhaps most obviously. The book is very personal, very close and emotional to me.”
“. . . [Irene] is dense, emotionally rich and moving.”
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.