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Sharon Thesen is a poet, editor, and writer who was based in Vancouver, BC, before joining the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, in 2005. She is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent The Good Bacteria (Anansi). Her books include a selected poems, News & Smoke (Talonbooks), Aurora (Talonbooks) and several titles from the 1980s and 1990s from Coach House Press. She has been involved in the Canadian and Vancouver poetry scene for many years. As an editor, she has published two editions of The New Long Poem Anthology (Talonbooks), a Governor-General’s Award-winning edition of Phyllis Webb’s poetry, The Vision Tree (Talonbooks), and, from 2001 to 2005, the literary and visual arts magazine The Capilano Review. She co-edited, with Ralph Maud, a correspondence between the poet Charles Olson and book designer Frances Boldereff, Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Corresepondence (Wesleyan University Press).
Sharon co-edits, with Nancy Holmes, Lake: a journal of arts and environment, which is housed in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, and continues to be a contributing editor of The Capilano Review. At UBC Okanagan, she teaches at all levels, including graduate workshops and undergraduate topics courses in the long poem and lyric essay.
Her book A Pair of Scissors won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and The Good Bacteria was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award, the ReLit Award, and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Two earlier books also were finalists for the Governor-General’s Award, and in 2002 Sharon was a member of the jury, along with American poet Sharon Olds and Irish poet Michael Longley, for the prestigious Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry.
Thesen’s research interests are modern, postmodern, and contemporary poetry and poetics, lyric essay and philosophical autobiography, the relationship between poetic imagination and “the real,” and the Canadian long poem. She is also interested in the aesthetics of theological and mystical writings by women, as well as the relationship between psychology and ecology, and eco-poetics.
QUOTES OF NOTENews & Smoke
A compact and beautifully designed collection, nicely fleshed out with a broad selection of poems previously published only in journals and periodicals, not to mention its tantalizing sampling of new fare. Many will discover plenty to admire in News and Smoke.
— Toronto Star
QUOTES OF NOTEAurora
“ Aurora is a wonderful book of light and dark daily things that flow outward into everything dark and light. In mind and heart and laughter, it’s big book, full of surprises. Poem by poem, like startling steps, a reader is led into the sequence ‘Gala Roses,’ where one hangs on for Dear Life.” —Robin Blaser”
QUOTES OF NOTEAfter Completion
“Lovers to the end, Olson and Boldereff remained faithfully bonded by the central role that imagination and art played in each of their lives. Their mutual admiration for each other’s intellect was left untarnished by any personal failure. In this volume of letters, it is Boldereff who appears the stronger of the two on all accounts. She never wavers in her interest in Olson as both a man and an artist. … If there’s any benefit to come from having this correspondence made available, it should surely bring about greater attention to the sharp interrelating of Joyce and Blake accomplished by Boldereff in her books. Her work receives too little the acknowledgement it richly deserves.”
“Boldereff, while appearing to serve her pantheon of ‘great men,’ puts them into her service. This book is not the fiery Olson workshop of the previous volume. Boldereff here enters the period of her own working, beginning with her manifesto Credo in Unam … it is a call for a new woman, a woman who is strong, independent, sexually liberated, and within whose ambit man can find his own maturity, as they enter the new age together … Boldereff’s books are strange but not delirious. Her work on Joyce is substantial … ”
– The Capilano Review
“What is stunning about this collection is the density of intellectual and cultural observations by both participants in this dialogue – and the ways in which Boldereff and Olson’s mythopoetic shoptalk quickly shifted in and out of the amorous and plainly erotic, which here so often serve as the groundwork of the intellectual and cultural materials.”
— Andrew Mossin
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.