Mike Doyle

Cutting Knots

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On December 28th 2016, in Victoria B.C., Mike Doyle, poet, critic, biographer, and father, departed this earth, but not before he could finish Cutting Knots, the final volume in his series of memoirs. Here Mike charts his life in a new and strange century, beginning with a final voyage to his beloved Ireland in 2002 and concluding with the publication of Echoes from Pluto, his last book of verse. Although Mike’s body slows over the years (or “cuts knots,” as he has it), his mind remains as lively and adventurous as ever. He offers us penetrating insights into books and films alongside ruminations about everything from mortality to baseball. Cutting Knots is an engaging farewell from a man who loved language and life itself until the very end.

“Hughes has been put aside entirely ‘for a rainy day’. You, on the other hand, have been near at hand… I have to say there are so many good poems… I think you have got better and better over the years… It strikes me that you and I as poets are…temperamentally similar, with a liking for wit and jokes and verbal play at times though not all the time; and with a subject base in our own life experience, visible but only discreetly, since neither of us has the ‘confessional’ temperament.”
~ C K Stead

Mike Doyle (1928-2016) was a poet, critic, biographer and editor. Doyle’s other work includes William Carlos Williams and the American Poem (1982), Richard Aldington: A Biography (1989), Paper Trombones (2007) and its follow-ups Softwood Trumpets (2012) and Riding the Pig (2014), a journal of his life as a poet in Canada, and Intimate Absences (1993), a “Selected Poems” from work up to that date. Ekstasis Editions published his Collected Poems 1951-2009 in 2010. He also published critical essays on Williams, Wallace Stevens, H.D., Irving Layton, Al Purdy and others. He received a UNESCO Creative Artist’s Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and a Jessie Mackay (PEN) Award for Poetry. He wrote his book on Williams while a visiting Research Fellow of American Studies at Yale University. Doyle lived in Victoria for over forty years and was a Canadian citizen of long standing.

ISBN 978-1-77171-237-8
186 Pages
5.5 x 8.5
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