Margin of Interest

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The Porcupine's Quill, Sep 1, 2019 - Literary Criticism - 296 pages

As Shane Neilson writes in Margin of Interest, ‘Maritime poetry is the sum of what’s come before, a unique history, and yes, a unique place.’

In Margin of Interest Neilson examines representation, identity, power, and the politics of literary history, from the creative traditions of the Mi’kmaq to the work of young poets today. He pays due homage to iconic Maritime writers (Milton Acorn, Alden Nowlan, George Elliott Clarke), shines a critical spotlight on lesser-known masters from the region (Travis Lane, Wayne Clifford) and provides a glimpse inside the ‘diverse ecosystem’ of poets under 40 writing in or about the Maritimes (Rebecca Thomas, Lucas Crawford, El Jones). He also combats the prejudices so often applied to writers from Atlantic Canada—stigma associated with mental illness, rigid gendering, vernacular language and even poetic form—and advocates for a long-overdue reappropriation of the regionalist stance, as well as a proper recognition of the region’s writers and their contribution to the Canadian literary landscape.

For as Neilson wisely asks, ‘What’s the matter with taking pride in any kind of regional identity that we articulate?’


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About the author (2019)

Shane Neilson is a poet and physician who, in addition to several collections of poetry, has published in the genres of memoir, short fiction, biography and literary criticism. He is currently a fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, a Vanier Scholar at McMaster University and editor for Victoria, B.C. publisher Frog Hollow Press. Though he lives in Oakville, Ontario, all of his work is rooted in rural New Brunswick.

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