Stone . . . hewn by nature and the hand of man. It shelters us, records our grief, provides hope, joy, and a window into the past. Dennis Cooley’s latest collection of poetry, the stones, brings his trademark playfulness and wit to the very foundations of the earth. He stretches his prairie eyes far across the ocean to the cathedrals and monuments of Europe and connects our curling rinks and skipping stones to places rich in history.
"Writing his way down to basic elements, Cooley has been methodically working through the development of language and writing, various ancient histories and prairie landscapes, and books and writers he has read and admired over the years," - rob mclennan, Jacket2
Dennis Cooley’s poetic meditation on “stones” is an expansive collage of locating the self in the diaspora of mythology, history, geography, and literature. Because this is a long poem of contemplation, Cooley’s locus mundi performs the outstanding range of skill and practice he is able to bring from a life of writing and attention. He is a master of poetry as technique and here shows us how such art can really “make the stone stony.”
—Fred Wah, author of is a door
Look what a long poem can do, when it pursues the grubby and the grand with equal belief, nods to its mixed bag of forebears, and takes no syllable or line for granite, as the pun goes. Best of all, Cooley’s the stones plays hard.
—Gerald Hill, author of 14 Tractors
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.