Jan Zwicky is not only one of Canada’s finest poets, she is also a distinguished philosopher, an influential writer on the intersection of ecology and poetry, and an accomplished violinist. Dr. Zwicky will read from her new poetic work on Tuesday, October 2, at 7:30 pm in the UPEI Faculty Lounge, Main Building.
Zwicky emerged as an intellectual and lyrical force on the national poetry scene after publishing three poetry collections in the 1980s, including Wittgenstein Elegies, where she first merged her philosophical and poetic concerns. Then, Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, a book she initially handmade in her kitchen as a gift for friends, won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1999. It has been praised for its eloquent attention to the material/natural world and its emphasis on music and philosophy as lyrical forms.
Zwicky’s subsequent writing, such as Wisdom & Metaphor (2003), has explored unique, polyphonic forms, merging poetry, philosophy, ecological and musical meditations, and even algebraic equations. In 2004, she published Plato as Artist, a non-specialist celebration of Plato’s talents as a writer.
The poems in her new book, Forge, a finalist for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize, are immersed in music, and through music, in the natural world and human relationships. Forge also explores themes of spiritual catastrophe, transformation, and erotic love.
Zwicky has taught philosophy and creative writing at several universities, including Princeton and the Universities of New Brunswick, Western Ontario, and Victoria, and served on the faculty of The Banff Centre’s Writing Studio. She lives on Quadra Island, B.C. Her reading is sponsored by the UPEI English Department, with generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.