In this fascinating and funny collection of correspondence, Canada's greatest poet lets it all hang out in spirited private exchanges with Pierre Trudeau, Carol Shields, Earle Birney, Anna Porter, Charles Bukowski, Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Gwendolyn MacEwan, Jack McClelland, Northrup Frye, William Golding, Darryl Sittler, Alistair MacLeod, Susan Musgrave, Irving Layton, Lynn Crosbie, George Bowering, Anthony Burgess, Joseph Brodsky and many other notables. Yours, Al is an uncensored, intimate glimpse into the life of Canada's most celebrated poet. Al Purdy's personal letters present the Can-lit scene as an ongoing conversation between members of a tight, supportive community spanning generations of talented writers. From generous encouragement to brash, unsparing insults - it's all here, with responses from many recipients of his letters. Encompassing more than fifty years, the letters show Purdy at his best - and his worst.
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Al Purdy was born December 30, 1918, in Wooler, Ontario and died at Sidney, BC, April 21, 2000. Raised in Trenton, Ontario, he lived throughout Canada as he developed his reputation as one of Canada's greatest writers. His collections included two winners of the Governor General's Award, Cariboo Horses (1965) and Collected Poems (1986)
and other classics such as Poems for All the Annettes, In Search of Owen Roblin and Piling Blood. Later in life, he travelled widely with his wife Eurithe and settled in Ameliasburg, Ontario and Sidney, BC. In addition to his thirty-three books of poetry, he published a novel, an autobiography and nine collections of essays and correspondence. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1983 and the Order of Ontario in 1987. His ashes are buried in Ameliasburg at the end of Purdy Lane.
Sam Solecki is a professor of English at the University of Toronto and a former editor of The Canadian Forum.He is also editor of Beyond Remembering: The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, Starting from Ameliasburgh: The Collected Prose of Al Purdy and Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1962-1996. His most recent books are Ragas of Longing: The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje and The Last Canadian Poet: An Essay on Al Purdy.