Flashing on all Facets
Also see Alan's newest collection:
Alan Pearson was born in Yorkshire, England in 1930, Pearson moved to Canada in the early 1950s at the age of 22. It wasn't until his early 30s that his passion for poetry developed in earnest. As a young man, he'd read the works of famous poets like T.S. Eliot and Philip Larkin, who he credits as being the poet who first inspired him to write.
Living in Montreal during the 1960s, Pearson became acquainted with many poets at that time who have since gained international recognition as some of Canada's most respected names: Irving Layton, Frank Scott, and Leonard Cohen.
"We used to meet at poetry readings, cocktail parties and coffee shops, it was very friendly and very stimulating. That started the poetry fire within me."
The 'poetry fire' continued to burn inside Pearson as he moved to Toronto, where he worked as a literary and business journalist and made a living through freelance writing for the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post. He has also worked as a scriptwriter for the National Film Board and written various articles for magazines to earn his keep, but poetry has always been his passion. He lived in the Muskoka region of Ontario until his passing in 2014.
One promise Pearson makes in his new work is a dedication to accessibility. With crisp images and a reflective eye for detail, the poet delivers line after line with a simple aim. "When you write, you should write to express, not to impress" he said. "You want a person of average intelligence to be able to get something from it. But the danger is in writing simple-minded stuff that you'd find inside a greeting card. There's got to be some degree of freshness in the language and complexity, otherwise you're feeding the reader empty fodder."
His previous books are: 14 Poems (1970), for which he won the Quebec Department of Cultural Affairs poetry prize; the critically acclaimed Freewheeling Through Gossamer Dragstrips (1975); and a novel, Encounters in a Bright Land (1983). His newest book Exploring Amazement was released in 2010.
Critical comments on his last volume of poetry, Freewheeling Through Gossamer Dragstrips:
"Poetry he [Pearson] defines as an amusement meant to delight a reader and provide the poet with an excuse to use language. It is the old Audenesque idea of poetry as a game--perhaps The Great Game--and Pearson plays it with zest, which is perhaps the most outstanding quality of his writing, the joy in words, the joy in presenting--even if only sometimes in parody--the romantic splendors of famous times and places and peoples..."
George Woodcock, The Globe and Mail
Critical comments on Flashing on all Facets:
In Flashing on all Facets, Pearson's work has undergone a change from highly charged metaphoric language to a more subdued and thoughtful mode of expression and a wider range of subject matter.
Deborah Ranchuk, editor Canadian Writer's Journal