The Essential John Reibetanz (Digital Edition)

Primary Author: 
John Reibetanz
The Essential John Reibetanz

The Essential John Reibetanz provides a compelling view of the work of a deeply engaged poet whose exploratory syntax and probing imagery come together to form intense meditations on the nature of community and the transfigurative power of the imagination.

About the Book

John Reibetanz is a poet of transformation. His poetry is tightly woven through syntax that closely responds to the movement of feeling and thought. He dexterously interweaves his own lived experience with the landscape of the imagination, exploring the metaphysical dimensions of the physical world and the mythic resonances of fundamental human concerns. In so doing, his work reveals the poet’s underlying longing to engage fully with the overwhelming abundance of life.

The Essential Poets Series presents the works of Canada’s most celebrated poets in a package that is beautiful, accessible and affordable. The Essential John Reibetanz is the 16th volume in the increasingly popular series.

Read an Excerpt

Speech Therapy

His love speaks the language of love
more lithely than the sage linguists.
Her lips and teeth negotiate
its iterative straits and twists
as fleet as neon pulsing through
the uncials and cursives of
the night’s calligraphy.
Her love
speaks volumes with his hands, grasping
the branching, transformational
syntax and deep structure of
a dialect of rounded vowels.

Their love’s a love of discourse held
in conversations where, amid
a theory of performance and
a generative grammar all
fricative and labial,
the tongue’s licked into shape.

About the Author


Credit: Ágnes Cserháti

John Reibetanz is a professor of English at the University of Toronto’s Victoria College as well as the author of ten collections of poetry, including Near Relations (McClelland & Stewart 2005), Transformations (Goose Lane, 2006) and Afloat (Brick Books, 2013). His poems have been featured in prominent publications such as Poetry, The Paris Review, Canadian Literature and The Malahat Review, among others. He lives in Toronto.

About the Editor


Jeffery Donaldson is the author of four previous collections of poetry, most recently Guesswork (Goose Lane, 2011). Palilalia (McGill-Queen’s, 2008) was a finalist for the Canadian Author’s Association Award for Poetry. He teaches poetry and American literature at McMaster University.

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