Greg Cook is one of the most prolific poets on the east coast. This Yarmouth- born writer celebrates his long career as a poet with this newest book, Songs of the Wounded: New and Selected Poems. As he will tell you, in a way all poems become love poems, and art, like love, is an act of faith. If that is the case, this book transcends the ordinary and takes us into the extraordinary experience of being alive. The poems resonate with a clear vision of Cook’s philosophy as learned from an early age when poetry was what nourished him. As a pre- schooler he was read to by both his mother and a school teacher boarding with them, all the while his father, a Canadian soldier, was overseas fighting. As Cook says, “Creative process becomes a universal where the unpredictable breaks out of each moment as an experience to be savoured in memory. That indestructible memory enables us to survive the trials of the present.”
As one of three poets in his immediate family, Cook has made writers and their survival a professional and personal study, which includes his biography of a close friend of twenty years, One Heart One Way / Alden Nowlan: a writer’s life, undertaken following a two-year appointment as writer-in-resi- dence at the University of Waterloo. Cook’s Songs of the Wounded offers new poems as well as selections from his previous five books, including Untying the Tongue (Black Moss, 2002).