Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the NHL, as Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation, Ekstasis is proud to present The DNA of NHL, Stephen Roxborough’s homage to Canada’s national sport, a series of poems that skate on solid ice and always deliver the winning goal. The DNA of NHL, captures the many ways hockey connects our nation, and, though the game is is not always pretty, Roxborough stick handles the poetic puck with a poignancy and grace. He offers a humorous, touching and deeply resonant story, illustrating how hockey influences our perception of the world. A remarkable tour de force. Poetry and hockey have a lot in common: both are metaphors of attack while maintaining fluidy and grace. The DNA of NHL, deconstructs and illuminates the Canadian national sport of hockey in an extraordinary merger of sports and art.
Throughout my career in the NHL, I always had a book with me when travelling. I still do today, and feel this book of poetry by Stephen Roxborough is a quick and entertaining read. Stephen has the ability to use words to illustrate totally divergent meanings, in a way that makes one not only think, but often also smile.
~ Bobby Baun, 17-year NHL player, three-time All-Star, four-time Stanley Cup winner, and author of his biography, Lowering The Boom
Roxborough remembers the dreams that ﬁlled the cup-shaped mind of every Canadian child. He reminds us why we can’t help watching the game on TV. He weaves legendary tales of heroes from hockey’s golden age into a poetry of adrenalin-packed, hurly burly boisterous verse that leaves you charged-up and ready for blast off like an armchair Rocket Richard. He knows why we have the NHL in our DNA.
~ Dr. Kedrick James, Multimedia artist, network theorist, and professor of poetry
from Stephen Roxborough:
my first live NHL experience was the seventh game of the 1964 stanley cup final. my grandfather’s electrical company wired maple leaf gardens. my father was captain of his high school hockey team. my great uncle wrote the first book on the history of the stanley cup. my father always had a subscription to hockey news. my older brother received his monthly fix through hockey pictorial. pre-cable pre-expansion pre-widespread hockey acceptance in north america, we listened to games on the radio. in 1968 my family moved to vancouver and my brother got a job as a statistician with the WHL canucks. over the years my parents held season’s tickets for the maple leafs and canucks and panthers (not at the same time). when i went to university in madison (early 70s), bob johnson was hockey coach and wisconsin became the best collegiate team in the USA. i finally met my hockey hero (mr. hockey himself) in las vegas a couple of years before he died. gordie was playful and gracious and especially nice to my son, zachary. although never a player, i became an ardent student of the game. it’s in my DNA.