Arc Poetry Magazine celebrates 30 years of publishing the best Canadian contemporary poetry with the Thirtieth Anniversary Issue, 1978-2008. Arc’s 30th birthday issue features well-crafted, spirited, engaging and compelling poetry and essays by 30 Canadian poets. Topics include being 30, turning 30, activities or aspects of life that seem particularly thirtysomething in nature, objects that have been owned (or lost) for 30 years (or by 30 people), and anything that has lasted three decades.
“Arc Poetry Magazine has never failed to show off what it has held between its varied covers for nearly three decades: the finest new poetry, and the most comprehensive selection of poetic discourse and criticism in the country,” said Arc Poetry Magazine’s Editor Anita Lahey. “With Arc’s 30th birthday looming, we decided it would be a good idea to poll today’s poets on the state of being 30. We set the parameters wide. The essence of 30 is a dubious quality to grasp.”
George Elliott Clarke’s contribution to Arc’s Thirtieth Anniversary Issue is an excerpt from a lengthy autobiographical poem on his first 30 years as a poet. Mary Dalton contributed a “cento,” which is a collage of the 30th line of 30 other poems by literary legends, such as T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Ted Hughes and Joseph Brodsky. Carmine Starnino imagines the early mid-life crisis of a gladiator. Steven Heighton composes a free translation of a piece from 1830 by the Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev. Montreal poet Asa Boxer, whose first collection The Mechanical Bird recently won the CAA Poetry Award, offers a harrowing descent into “Dante’s Ikea”–an experience most Canadian thirtysomethings will find painfully familiar! Entertaining and thoughtful essays by notable poets Sonnet L’Abbé and Adam Sol explore 30 poetry books that most influenced them. Gary Geddes (poet, teacher and editor of the widely known “15 Canadian Poets” anthologies and Oxford’s 20th Century Poetry and Poetics) contributed an essay on the battle of “Story versus Song” over the past 30 years in Canadian poetry. Poetry on the age, experience and mindset of 30-year-olds also includes works by acclaimed poets Robyn Sarah, Stephanie Bolster, Susan Gillis and Alison Pick.
Thirty years of Arc Poetry Magazine will be celebrated at the launch of the _Thirtieth Anniversary Issue_ at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on *Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm* (Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa). Canada’s top poets will commemorate three decades of Arc’s existence at a celebration that will include readings by some of Arc’s most notable contributors over the past thirty years. For tickets and information, please visit www.ArcPoetry.ca.
Arc Poetry Magazine was founded in 1978 at Carleton University by Michael Gnarowski, Tom Henighan and Christopher Levenson (who continued as Arc’s Editor until 1988). According to former Editor, John Barton, Arc Poetry Magazine was “part of a Canadian literary magazine movement that rode the wave of the vibrant literary production unleashed after Canada’s now legendary centennial year.” Arc left the umbrella of Carleton University after only a few issues and became an independent not-for-profit organization that has since enjoyed a rich history of editorial talent. After a decade of Christopher Levenson’s editorship, the job was passed onto the editorial team of John Bell and Mark Frutkin (1988 – 1990), then to Nadine McInnis and John Barton (1990 – 1995), followed by Rita Donovan and John Barton (1990 – 2004). Since 2004, Anita Lahey has been the Editor of Arc. For three decades, Arc has published poets who are significant contributors to Canada’s literary landscape, including Carole Shields, Don Domanski, Steven Heighton, Di Brandt, Erin Mouré, Diana Brebner, George Elliott Clarke, Robin Skelton, Roo Borson and Bronwen Wallace, to name but a few. Arc has also mounted significant projects over the years, such as Arc 25: Poetry of India in English, Arc 32: Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Canada, and Arc 58: Canada’s Forgotten and Neglected Poets. Arc has appeared in several incarnations over the years, from the staple-spined original to the professionally designed journal found on magazine racks today.
Arc Poetry Magazine nurtures and promotes the composition and appreciation of poetry in Canada and abroad, with particular but not exclusive emphasis on poetry written by Canadians. In addition to publishing and distributing the work of poets, Arc Poetry Magazine organizes and administers awards, contests, public readings and other events. ArcPoetry.ca is one of the most comprehensive sources for information on Canadian poetry with an extensive network of links related to poetry, presses, on-line poetic sites, journals, grants, writing retreats, blogs and academic institutions. ArcPoetry.ca is also home of the popular monthly on-line column, How Poems Work, in which poets and critics parse the workings of individual poems, Portage: A Routes Map to the Poetry Ecosystem, as well as lively international exchanges such as Great Scots, in which Canadian contemporary poets introduce the work of their favourite Scottish contemporaries, and vice versa.
Arc Poetry Magazine is run by a dedicated volunteer board made up of poets, scholars and lovers of literature, with the help of a part-time Managing Editor.