Unexpected people that we meet, situations that we find ourselves in, and objects that we discover often change us. In his new collection of skilfully crafted poems, Personal Encounters, Laurence Hut
Unexpected people that we meet, situations that we find ourselves in, and objects that we discover often change us. In his new collection of skilfully crafted poems, Personal Encounters, Laurence Hutchman speaks of his favourite artists and writers, poets such as Li Po, R. M. Rilke, Layton, Purdy and Cohen, who shaped his own poetics. With an intensity of full attention, he engages us with his subjects, discovers for us new meanings in their work, and lets us flow in the present moment of thought, making his experience part of our own. By creating an original sense of the history of his subjects, he commands us to look at them as if for the first time. Sometimes it's by an unusual situation as when Hutchman evokes a canvas of Mondrian in the tiles surrounding a whirlpool bath, or after waking in a post-operation state in the recovery room, when he imagines Chagall's poet flying over the village in Belarus. When he is describing the paintings of his partner, Eva Kolacz, or intimate moments they share, he speaks out of places we have been or imagined. Hutchman's poetry is immediate and personal, showing his attraction to people and objects that promise an encounter beyond our everyday experience.
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Laurence Hutchman was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He received his PhD at the Université de Montreal in 1988. He has taught at a number of universities including Concordia University, the University of Alberta, the University of Western Ontario, and the Université de Moncton where he was a professor for twenty-three years. Laurence Hutchman has published eight books of poetry, co-edited Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada, and edited a book of interviews, In the Writers' Words: Conversations with Eight Canadian Poets. He has received numerous grants and won awards including the WFNB's prize for individual poems, and in 2007 he received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence. He has served as Quebec Representative and President of the League of Canadian Poets (Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI). Hutchman has had many readings and conducted numerous workshops in Canada, the United States, China, Ireland and Bulgaria. He lives with his partner, the painter Eva Kolacz, in Oakville, ON.