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Barry McKinnon was born in 1944 in Calgary, Alberta where he grew up. In 1965, after two years of college, he went to Sir George Williams University in Montreal and took poetry courses with Irving Layton. He graduated in 1967 with a B.A. and in 1969 with an M.A. from U.B.C.(Vancouver), and was hired that same year to teach English at The College of New Caledonia in Prince George where he has lived ever since. McKinnon writes primarily in the form of the long poem/serial sequence, a form that gives him the necessary range in which to “articulate the poem’s central truth from various & variable angles & perspectives.” In his own words, he sees the long poem as “a way to log my experience & to record what I value most in a context of forces, subtle or not, that threaten those values.” As D.H. Lawrence writes: “We’ve got to live no matter how many skies have fallen.” McKinnon has been an active editor/publisher/designer since the late sixties. McKinnon’s recent work includes The Centre (Talonbooks, 2004) and In the Millenium (New Star, 2009), a thirteen-part collection of his poetry drawn from a ten-year period.
November 2012 : Barry McKinnon is TCR Writer-in-Residence
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Centre: Poems 1970-2000
The pieces collected here are all sequences and serial poems recording the play of their author’s consciousness, a brooding, often emotionally evocative play that makes pleasingly heavy weather of the clouded mind as it registers social and natural as well as psychological phenomena … Ordinary economic life and its sometimes harsh consequences are often at the centre of McKinnon’s poetic attention … and the result is a set of works pretty well unique in Canadian poetry …
— Canadian Literature
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program; and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.