Swimming Toward the Sun: Collected Poems 1968-2018 gathers together five decades of poetry of the accomplished Canadian poet Laurence Hutchman. He invites us to take a poetic odyssey, starting in the late 1960's enriched by his travels to Europe, leading us through the turbulent times in cosmopolitan Montreal of the 1970's, to a long residence in New Brunswick and finally his return to Ontario. Through a powerful and daring use of language and a haunting musicality of lines, Hutchman explores the relationship between real and imaginative landscape as he bears witness to his place and time.
In a literature that is constantly being weakened critically and artistically by momentary voices whose importance fade almost the moment the ink hits the page, Hutchman’s work carries many of the hallmarks of poetry that has survived the test of time – the love of nature expressed by Bliss Carman, the keen eye for observation articulated by Archibald Lampman, the gift of connecting the idea to the place found in Raymond Knister’s opus, and the deep, energetic passion of Gwendolyn MacEwen’s haunting lyricism.- Bruce Meyer
Laurence Hutchman’s poetry is a witness to the world around him, to the patterns of families, nations, and landscape … With this selection from his previous books, it’s clearer than ever how Hutchman’s mix of curiosity-driven realism and metaphorical surprise gives his poetry generosity and scope.- Brian Barlett
Laurence Hutchman writes for the voice, composing by cadence, and making full use of the musical possibilities of gesture, echo, repetition and variation … and his imagery is often kinesthetic, as well synaesthetically visual, aural …- M. Travis Lane
Laurence Hutchman is a devoted cartographer of the quotidian, whose poems manage to combine a Dutch voluptuousness, an Irish gift-of-the-gab, and a degree of Canadian cool.- Gary Geddes
Laurence Hutchman’s Collected Poems: Swimming Toward the Sun speaks so well of the rewards reaped by a lifetime’s dedication to ars poetica that I hardly know where to start. So many fine lyrics: celebrating, questioning, regretting, resurrecting. This is a volume which will reward the attentive reader not just for these winter months, but for many years to come.- WordCity
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