Cel­e­brat­ing D.G. Jones, His Life and Poetry

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Rachel Gar­ber, North Hat­ley Spe­cial Col­lab­o­ra­tion

Poets Steve Lux­ton and An­gela Leuck have or­ga­nized a cel­e­bra­tion of the life and work of es­teemed poet Dou­glas Gor­don Jones, also trans­la­tor and es­say­ist, and long-time res­i­dent of North Hat­ley. He died on March 6 at the age of 87, but his body of work is alive and well.

The cel­e­bra­tion is on Sun­day, Au­gust 21, at UUEstrie, 201 Main St., North Hat­ley. It be­gins at 10:30 a.m. when Lux­ton will speak about D.G. Jones’ legacy. At noon will be a blue­berry pan­cake brunch or­ga­nized by Leuck. At 2:30 p.m. will be an in­for­mal lit­er­ary trib­ute when writ­ers, read­ers and friends are in­vited to share re­mem­brances or to read their favourite D.G. Jones po­ems.

His poetry spans 12 books and about half a cen­tury. His first book was Frost on the Sun in 1957, and his last was The Es­sen­tial D.G. Jones, pub­lished this year. His 1977 book of po­ems, Un­der the Thun­der the Flow­ers Light Up the Earth, re­ceived the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Award, as did his trans­la­tion, Cat­e­gorics One, Two and Three, in 1993. Wikipedia names his key work of crit­i­cal writ­ing as But­ter­fly on Rock: A Study of Themes and Im­ages in Cana­dian Lit­er­a­ture, pub­lished in 1970. Among other pres­ti­gious awards, he was named Of­fi­cer of the Or­der of Canada in 2007.

Jones taught English lit­er­a­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Guelph, then Bishop’s Uni­ver­sity, and fi­nally the Univer­sité de Sher­brooke. In 1969, he co-founded El­lipse, a bilin­gual lit­er­ary jour­nal.

An ex­ten­sive ar­ti­cle in the Globe & Mail in March quoted Michael On­daatje thus: “Doug Jones was one of the most sig­nif­i­cant Que­bec poets to fol­low the gen­er­a­tion of F.R. Scott and A.M. Klein and Anne Hébert. He al­ways had one of the most pre­cise and care­ful as well as sug­ges­tive po­etic voices in the coun­try.”

On­daatje him­self plans to at­tend the cel­e­bra­tion of Jones’ life and work next Sun­day, said Leuck, as does the Com­mis­sioner of Of­fi­cial Lan­guages Gra­ham Fraser and Jones’ widow, Monique Baril.

The cel­e­bra­tion of the life and legacy of D.G. Jones is open to the pub­lic and ad­mis­sion is free, although free-will do­na­tions to help cover ex­penses are wel­come.

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