An Anthology of New Poetry
Jon Paul Fiorentino
“Prairie poetry,” as it came to be known in the 20th century, has found no more eloquent and accomplished a practitioner than Robert Kroetsch. Yet the North American prairie his work has made so recognizably visible in all of its characteristic particularities is changing profoundly in the 21st century. This change is marked by the transition of a cultural identity primarily rooted in place, to one that is rooted in a rapidly fragmenting, urbanizing, technology-based globalization. In an opening dialogue between the archetypal practitioner of this poetics of place, Robert Kroetsch, and a new practitioner of a poetics of the search for the often sublimated sign, Jon Paul Fiorentino, the reader bears witness to a rare literary event—a master passing on his legacy to the students who have become his peers—the transition from the unifying classic articulation of place to the diaspora of the vernaculars it has engendered.