Joseph Rosenblatt, poet, artist, editor (b at Toronto, Ont 26 Dec 1933). Raised and educated in Toronto where he attended Central Technical School, Rosenblatt dropped out of school in grade 10 and worked at a variety of blue-collar jobs. Since his first works, Voyage of the Mood (1963) and The LSD Leacock (1966), he has accumulated an eccentric and witty body of poetry and drawings that includes more than 15 books. His poems celebrate humankind's link with the natural and animal worlds and emphasize the fundamental unity of all organic forms. The transfer of human values and attributes to the animal kingdom provides him with a fresh vocabulary, often a mix of mysticism and contemporary science, and an original set of images.
Throughout his career, he has developed and expanded experiments with language. Bumblebee Dithyramb (1972) contains several chant poems that emulate in poetic structure the vibrant energy of nature. Dream Craters (1974) and Virgins and Vampires (1975) feature more conventional forms of short poetry. A selection of his poems, Top Soil (1976), won the Governor General's Award. The Sleeping Lady (1979) is a sonnet sequence and Brides of the Stream (1983), which contains short lyrical poems and prose passages, suggests the need to observe, not dissect, living nature. He recalls his boyhood in his prose memoir, Escape From the Glue Factory: A Memoir of a Paranormal Toronto Childhood in the Late Forties (1985), and has also written a novel, The Kissing Goldfish of Siam (1989), which records the initiation of its young protagonist into life, love and sex.
Rosenblatt has published several collections of drawings, including Doctor Anaconda's Solar Fun Club (1978), and was senior editor of Jewish Dialog, an eclectic literary magazine, from 1972 to 1983. His poems and drawings are well represented in 2 collections: The Joe Rosenblatt Reader (1995) and The Voluptuous Gardener: The Collected Art and Writing of Joe Rosenblatt, 1973-1996 (1996).