Edward Dickinson Blodgett

Edward Dickinson Blodgett, poet, literary critic, translator (b at Philadelphia, Pa 26 Feb 1935; Canadian citizen). The author of 8 volumes of poetry, Blodgett was educated at Amherst College (BA 1956), the University of Minnesota (MA 1961) and Rutgers University (PhD 1969).

Blodgett, Edward Dickinson

Edward Dickinson Blodgett, poet, literary critic, translator (b at Philadelphia, Pa 26 Feb 1935; Canadian citizen). The author of 8 volumes of poetry, Blodgett was educated at Amherst College (BA 1956), the University of Minnesota (MA 1961) and Rutgers University (PhD 1969). He has taught English and Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta since 1966.

His poetry is marked by a dense, allusive, intertextual style. In their foregrounding of language and self-referential classicism, his first books, take away the names (1975) and Beast Gate (1980), introduce themes that pervade his subsequent poetry. "How / do I utter the speech I enter entering you?" he asks in Arché/Elegies (1983), a series of interrogative meditations on the idea of Canada, a "country of no / testament." In Musical Offering (1986), his reflections on language and history are elaborated in terms of an extended analogy between poetry and music.

Throughout his works, Blodgett attempts to create in his poetry something of the spatial texture of music, with its echoing and reiteration of motifs, rhythms and themes, by reintroducing previously uttered words and images in new contexts. His collection, Apostrophes: woman at a piano (1996), won the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD. He has also written Configuration: Essays on the Canadian Literatures (1982), and critical studies of D.G. JONES (1984) and Alice MUNRO (1988). Da Capo (1990) is a volume of selected poems taken from his first 5 books. He has also published 2 other Apostrophe collections, Apostrophes II: Through You and I (1997) and Apostrophes III: Alone Upon the Earth (1999).