The Essential Charles Bruce
Selected by Carmine Starnino
The Essential Charles Bruce introduces the poet’s work, long out of print, to modern audiences with a selection of his straightforward yet stirring verses that take as their subject the workaday existence along the shores of Nova Scotia’s Channel Shore. Populated by farmers and fisherman and taking place among bucolic cliffsides and beaches, his poems capture modest moments of everyday life and retain the subtly musical cadences of the regional dialect.
Charles Bruce was born in May of 1906 in Port Shoreham, Nova Scotia. He spent many years as a journalist, including a stint as a war correspondent during World War II. In addition to his prose work, he published six poetry collections characterized by their straightforward use of language and imagery, and by their focus on the sights and sounds of Nova Scotia’s Channel Shore. In 1951, he earned a Governor General’s Award for his collection of poetry, The Mulgrave Road. Charles Bruce died in 1971 in Toronto, Ontario.; Carmine Starnino has published five volumes of poetry, including This Way Out (2013), which was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His most recent collection is Leviathan (2016). Among his awards are the F.G. Bressani Literary Prize, the Canadian Author’s Association Prize for Poetry, and the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Starnino is the editor of The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (2005), and his critical writings have been collected in two books: A Lover’s Quarrel: Essays and Reviews(2004) and Lazy Bastardism: Reviews and Essays on Canadian Poetry (2012). He lives in Toronto, where he is deputy editor for The Walrus magazine.