Fred Cogswell

Fred Cogswell, poet, editor, translator (b at East Centreville, NB 8 Nov 1917; d at Vancouver, BC, 20 June 2004). In 1952 Cogswell joined the English department at the University of New Brunswick, where he had been educated, and remained there 3 decades.

Cogswell, Fred

Fred Cogswell, poet, editor, translator (b at East Centreville, NB 8 Nov 1917; d at Vancouver, BC, 20 June 2004). In 1952 Cogswell joined the English department at the University of New Brunswick, where he had been educated, and remained there 3 decades. He was long an important figure in maintaining the region's distinctive poetic tradition, both as a teacher and as editor of The Fiddlehead 1952-67. He also has national importance as founder and long-time proprietor of Fiddlehead Books, a series of poetry chapbooks especially hospitable to, but by no means limited to, young writers.

Cogswell's early interest in Québecois verse, manifest in One Hundred Poems of Modern Quebec (1970) and other similar translations, has connected him to a larger movement. His own poetry, best represented in Immortal Plowman (1969) and Pearls (1983) but available in several selected and collected editions, is characterized by adherence to old conventions, a love of craftsmanship and an unhurried, lightly ironic tone. Later works include Meditations (1986), Rêves inachevés: antologie de poésie acadienne contemporaine/Unfinished Dreams: Contemporary Poetry of Acadia (1990), When the Light Shines (1992), As I See It (1994), and The Trouble With Light (1996). He has been professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick since 1983 and holds three honorary degrees from Canadian universities. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and a man of letters in the best sense.