Hands Reaching In Water
Hands Reaching In Water
by Gary Hyland
8." x 5." · 136 pages
Release Date: April 2007
Here is a poet of many themes: loss, the mechanics of language, lives in spiritual crisis and the anatomy of boredom to mention a few. What makes Hyland's new work most exciting is the intensity and elegance he brings his poetic delivery. Here is a spirited poet who doesn't shy from the full spectrum of human possibility, from depression and despair to sensual and exalted pleasures.
There are poems in Hands Reaching in Water that put the headlines of this new century on naked display, pushing us to find fresh insights and startling new interpretations. We enter the world of Hammel, Hyland's anti-hero, in a humorous and harrowing sequence of poems that lead us thorough isolation to inevitable exhaustion. Hyland's poems are grounded in the practice of empathy and intelligence; empathy in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center, in the moment a mugging goes terribly wrong, and for the banal death of a TV star. With his fine sense of musicality, subtle breath and agile craftsmanship, Hyland's poems give us the sense of being in freefall, while reminding us that there is deeper to go.
Gary Hyland is a Saskatchewan teacher, writer, activist, consultant and editor. In 1993, he was short-listed for the National Magazine Gold Medal Poetry Award, and he has won numerous prizes in the Saskatchewan Writers Guild annual competitions, including major poetry manuscript awards in 1991 and 1995 and the John V. Hicks Memorial Award in 2003.
He has published two chapbooks and five full-length books of poetry - Just off Main (Thistledown, 1982), Street of Dreams (Coteau Books, 1984), After Atlantis (Thistledown, 1991), White Crain Spreads Wings (Coteau Books, 1996), The Work of Snow(Thistledown, 2003), and Hands Reaching In Water (Hagios, 2007).
He has been a high school English teacher and a creative writing instructor for Palliser Campus (SIAST), the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts and the Prairie Winds Writers' Conference at Custer, South Dakota. He also worked as a sessional lecturer in English for the University of Regina.
He was the recipient of a Hilroy Fellowship for innovative teaching practices, the Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teacher Award for quality teaching and contributions to the profession, the Joe Duffy Memorial Award for excellence in teaching English. He has received volunteer awards from SaskCulture, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association; and the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal from the Province of Saskatchewan. He resides in his birthplace of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where he was named lifetime Poet Laureate (with Robert Currie) in 1991 and Citizen of the Year in 1998 and 2006. In 2007 he was named one of the 100 most influential graduates of the University of Saskatchewan in the last one hundred years.
For the last while he has had Amyotrophic Lateral Sceloris (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). He continues with a reduced volunteer load, his writing and combating the disease.
Website » www.garyhyland.com