The St. Thomas Poetry Series has been publishing books of Christian poetry over the past 25 years. Its “home” is St. Thomas, Huron Street in Toronto, next door to Coach House Printing, where the books are produced under the supervision of Stan Bevington. The series has two new publications this autumn: a 32-page pamphlet and a 100-page book of Christian poetry.
The pamphlet, Celebrating the 100th Birthday of William F. Blissett (b. 11 October 1921), was presented to Mr. Blissett to mark his birthday in October. Mr. Blissett is a former English professor at the University of Toronto, a patron of the arts and of poets, a long-time member of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto, and an aficionado of opera and the Blue Jays. The pamphlet features the poems and reminiscences of former students such as John Terpstra, Gordon Teskey, Tom Dilworth, Marius Kociejowski, and Jeffery Donaldson, younger colleagues, including John Reibetanz and Richard Greene, and old friends, including antiquarian book dealer Hugh Anson-Cartwright. Mr. Blissett’s friendship with British artist David Jones was the subject of The Long Conversation (Oxford, 1981), and one poem contributed to the pamphlet is by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams, who succeeded Mr. Blissett as president of the David Jones Society. Other contributors associated with his church are his former incumbent, the Rev. Canon David Harrison, and parishioners Paul Russell and Alison Goodwin.
The second publication, coming in November, is Mute Swan. This first collection of poetry by Irish-Canadian writer Lesley-Anne Evans of Kelowna, B.C., is an exploration of voice that has been misnamed, silenced, discounted or subverted. Within a context of historic and contemporary Christendom, yet blurring perceptions of both, the poet offers a story of spiritual awakening and triumphant “unmuting.” Through her willingness to look directly at our human experience of injustice, suffering, impermanence, longing and beauty, she writes a way toward spiritual freedom. Mute Swan is a love letter calling us home. The book has already received strong testimonials.
For more information about ordering these publications, as well as others still in print, visit the series website, www.stthomaspoetryseries.com.
David A. Kent is the publisher of the St. Thomas Poetry Series.