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Literary Criticism Poetry

The Universe is One Poem

Four Poets Talk Poetry

edited by George Swede

by (author) Penn Kemp, Ted Plantos & Yvonne Trainer

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Jan 1990
Poetry, Anthologies (multiple authors), General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1990
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


In an easy, conversational style, four leading Canadian poets talk about the teaching and creation of poetry, using examples from their own and students' work.

The four authors discuss the evolution of a poem, including the development of poetic ideas, and the use of imagery and sound.

The Universe is One Poem provides valuable help for teachers and their students, as they explore the challenging but rewarding field of poetry. The authors, all published poets and educators, have particular skill at imparting their love of poetry and helping students to express themselves. Their aim is "to rekindle or keep alive interest in poetry among elementary and high-school students."

About the authors

George Swede is a leading Canadian poet, whose poems have been published in over 150 periodicals and anthologies. He is the author of 36 books, and is the editor and co-author of The Universe is One Poem: Four Poets Talk Poetry.

George Swede's profile page

Activist poet, performer and playwright, Penn Kemp, M.Ed., is a League of Canadian Poets Life Member and winner of their 2015 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Spoken Word Artist of the Year award. She is the inaugural Poet Laureate for London, Ontario, with twenty-six books of poetry and drama published; six plays and ten CDs produced as well as award-winning videopoems. As Writer-in-Residence for Western University, her project was the DVD, Luminous Entrance: a Sound Opera for Climate Change Action, Pendas Productions. Penn has performed and published her work world-wide, often as writer-in residence in Canada, Brazil, New York and India. Her "poem for peace in many voices" has been translated into 136 languages and performed around the world. Her latest works are two anthologies for the Feminist Caucus Archives of the League of Canadian Poets: Performing Women and Women and Multimedia. Forthcoming is a new play, The Triumph of Teresa Harris.

Penn Kemp's profile page

Ted Plantos has published eleven collections of poetry and two children’s books. His poems, short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

He was the co-founder with Clifton Whiten of Poetry Canada Review. He was the founding publisher and editor of Cross-Canada Writers’ Magazine, for ten years one of Canada’s leading literary periodicals. In 1986, he founded the Milton Acorn Memorial People’s Poetry Award.

Ted Plantos' profile page

Born at Medicine Hat, Alberta, in 1959, Yvonne Trainer has become one of Canada's most distinctive young poets. A brilliant reader, she has presented her work to many appreciative audiences in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, while her poems have appeared in a number of leading literary magazines in both Canada and the U.S.A. CBC Anthology broadcast a group of six poems in 1980, when she was still an undergraduate at the University of Lethbridge, editing Whetstone and putting out her chapbook, Manyberries, also in 1980, before moving on to the University of New Brunswick, where she received the M.A. degree in English and Creative Writing.

Yvonne Trainer's profile page