Cooley, Dennis

Dennis Cooley, poet, educator (b at Estevan, Sask 1944). A founding editor of Turnstone Press, he was educated at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Rochester and currently teaches at the University of Manitoba. His first works, Leaving (1980) and Fielding (1983), an extended poem in memory of his father, have been followed by 5 other collections. Bloody Jack (1984), a book-length poem about a Manitoba bandit hero from the early years of the century, mixes genres and features energetic linguistic play and punning. This self-conscious foregrounding of language is a recurrent aspect of Cooley's poetry, evident also in Perishable Light (1988) and Dedications (1988). In this only home (1992), he explores the tentativeness of meaning in the present age, though he affirms that provisional answers amid the "huge silence" are still possible. His most recent collection is Sunfall (1996). He has also written 2 critical studies of Canadian literature, The Vernacular Muse (1987) and Eli Mandel and His Works (1992), and edited several anthologies of prairie poetry, including the most recent, Inscriptions (1992).