University of Calgary

Uses of poetry

Nov. 18, 2008

Canada's poet laureate visits U of C

Canada's poet laureate, John Steffler. / Photo by Susan Gillis

Canada's poet laureate, John Steffler.
/ Photo by Susan Gillis

The Faculty of Humanities and Department of English bring John Steffler, Canada's poet laureate, to Calgary for the Paget/Hoy Speaker Series.


Steffler, the third poet to hold the office of Parliamentary Poet Laureate, gives the Paget/Hoy talk on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Boris Roubakine Recital Hall, Craigie Hall, C105. The event is free and open to the public.

In his talk, entitled “The Uses of Poetry”, Steffler discusses how poetry is a language that is fully alive with depth and energy and how it can take us to the limits of our worlds and show us how to convey and generate an excited experience of life.

Born in Toronto, Steffler was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. In 1974, he moved to and adopted Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador as his home.

His five books of poetry include That Night We Were Ravenous, which won the 1999 Atlantic Poetry Prize. His novel, The Afterlife of George Cartwright won the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Head Raddall Award, and was shortlisted for the 1992 Governor General’s Award for fiction.

The Paget/Hoy Speaker Series was established in 1992 by Carolynn Hoy and the late J. Robert Paget to enhance the intellectual experience of the university and local community by bringing distinguished speakers to Calgary. Past speakers for the series include Rosemary Sullivan, Carol Shields, Jane Urquhart, J. Hillis Miller and Brad Fraser.