What meaning might poets make of a city when the city in question is home? And what of the group of seven poets from Windsor who combine their individual voices into a chorus in this study of belonging.
In the ancient tradition of singers and bards of every civilization since the time of Gilgamesh, through Homer’s Troy, to Virgil’s Rome, to Blake’s London, poets have lived in cities and given those cities in which they have dwelt the gift of their studied attention … if we live where we live and we are where we are as attentive and fully awake and alive, then this too might be a place of places. It is the life of the city that gives life to the writing, as it is the quality of the writing that gives life to the city.
Canada has produced her urban poets. Archibald Lampman gave us a glimpse of a dystopian future in his nineteenth century poem “The City of the End of Things.” Dennis Lee immortalized Toronto in his masterful Civil Elegies. And so, Windsor’s Poet Laureate Marty Gervais put out the call and the muses answered and the city came alive. The past must be grateful to be remembered well, and the future beholden to those who preserve the present. In Because We Have All Lived Here the reader might join these poets in honouring the five towns on the south shore of the Detroit River as it flows from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, or as we read from Sandwich through Riverside, the compass of our consciousness traveling west by northwest and then south to the newest environs of the vibrant border city Windsor, the jewel of Souwesto.
Windsor poet laureate Marty Gervais called on current and former Windsor poets Carlinda D’Alimonte, Peter Hrastovec, D.A. Lockhart, Dorothy Mahoney,Mary Ann Mulhern, and Vanessa Shields to join him for this literary project sponsored, in part, by the City of Windsor.