Editor’s Notes

"....The greatest

beauty is to be alive, forgetting nothing,

although remembrance hurts

like a foolish act, is a foolish act." 

from “The Double-Headed Snake” by John Newlove

John Newlove lived in Ottawa from the early eighties until his death in December 2003. From the nineteen-sixties until the eighties, he wrote poetry that received critical acclaim from fellow poets, theorists and academics. People like Margaret Atwood, Al Purdy, and George Bowering read Newlove and published reviews about his influential poetry.

This issue pays homage to the words of John Newlove. Writers die, but their words live on. We hope that you will rediscover, or perhaps discover for the first time, the honesty and poignancy of John Newlove’s poetry, and learn a bit about his life and writing through the informative and provocative essays, memories and poems assembled in this issue. To demonstrate his influence, we have included contributions from writers not just from Ottawa, but also from Vancouver, Saskatchewan, and London, England.

Finally, we provide additional bibliographic resources, including bookstores, publishers and libraries that still have copies of his work. I encourage everyone to flood the stores and publishers with requests for the work of this influential Canadian poet. He lived right here in Ottawa, and many of us never knew him.

This issue is the result of many people’s work, co-operation and involvement. We are thankful to the following contributors:

Your Bywords Team,

Amanda Earl,
Charles Earl,
Joe Goski,
Seymour Mayne,
Megan McGrath,
Sarah Ruffolo,
and Betty-Warrington-Kearsley