Celebrating D.G. Jones, His Life and Poetry
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.