Douglas Lochhead


  1. Biography
  2. Why Should We Read and Study Lochhead?
  3. Literature & Analysis
    • “Not mine”
    • “Poet talking”
    • “How was it”
    • “Pulse”
    • Analysis of “Not mine,” “Poet talking,” “How was it,” and “Pulse”
    • “My daughters, my wild girls”
    • “Tracks”
    • Analysis of “My daughters, my wild girls” and “Tracks”
    • “The old man who owned this house”
    • “Are you writing any...?”
    • “January Sale”
    • “And the way we die”
    • Analysis of “The old man who owned this house,” “Are you writing any…?,” “January Sale,” and “And the way we die”
    • “The Meeting”
    • “The hoe”
    • “The woods”
    • “John Thompson”
    • Analysis of “The Meeting,” “The hoe,” “The woods,” and “John Thompson”
  4. Questions and Considerations for Reflection
  5. Strategies for Teachers
  6. Further Reading
  7. Copyright


Born in 1922 in Guelph, Ontario and raised mostly in Ottawa, Douglas Lochhead was connected to New Brunswick through his mother, a Van Wart from Fredericton. Like the Quebec-born A.G. Bailey, New Brunswick was a place of rootedness and an ancestral pull that drew Lochhead in. He and his brother, the renowned Canadian painter Kenneth Lochhead, spent many summers at their grandparents’ home outside Saint John. After an education at McGill University, and after serving overseas in the Canadian army, Douglas Lochhead spent the first part of his career as a librarian, bibliographer, and printer, believing that the only way to understand text was to make it. He did the same with literature, experimenting with various forms of poetry and book design. His first collection of verse, The Heart is Fire, appeared in 1959. Following terms at universities in Victoria, Halifax, and Toronto, Lochhead moved to Sackville in 1975, where he was Director of Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University until 1987. There he met and befriended the poet John Thompson. Assuming the role of Mount Allison’s writer-in-residence (19871990), Lochhead wrote much of his best work in retirement, benefitting from daily walks and ruminations on the Tantramar marshes. High Marsh Road (1980) and Dykelands (1989) display the results of those walks and meditations. Named Poet Laureate of Sackville in 2002, he died in 2011, having published more than thirty collections of poetry over fifty years.

For a much more detailed biography of Lochhead, see his New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia entry.

Why Should We Read and Study Lochhead?

  • Whereas John Thompson was the fast-burning fuse, Lochhead was the slower. He lived a long life ruminating on many of the same concerns as Thompson, but because of a longer maturity he reconciled with aspects of the world that defeated Thompson. His work is thus read to consider different outcomes and conclusions to the absolutes that Thompson faced.
  • One of those differences is found in the use of poetry for resistance. Though both Thompson and Lochhead were students of resistance poets, whether René Char or the trench poets of the First World War, the way they incorporated those influences was quite different. Critic Peter Sanger observes that Lochhead’s notion of resistance expressed itself as resistance “to non-poetic thinking, to tyranny, to unimaginative views of the world (qtd. in Shanahan R5). That tendency is found in some of his lighter and more humorous poems below.
  • We read Lochhead, finally, to get the poet’s sense of our own landscape. Like many of the writers before him, his work brings to us another corner of our province, for that work quite deliberately meditates on the topological and elemental, seeking to understand how landscape is internalized. He is thus another of our essential mapmakers, the fact that he co-founded Maritime Art Magazine no coincidence.

Literature & Analysis

“Not mine”

red-tailed hawk
on a rotting bale
of hay
to look
me over closely
as I walk
his field
in a soaking wind
this Sunday

to be alone
is his way
but not mine
not mine

“Poet talking”

I want first to hear
something the sea says,
something the wind knocks;
touch, smell something
the moment has;
has for sage and suitor,
sailor, scholar, saint;
and when all is there
then I will take it
tell it again my way,
loud enough
to crack mountains,
live it softly
for children.

“How was it”

How was it
at the very beginning:
all darkness,
something beyond weather,
full of the suggestion
of eternal things,
out there the beginnings
of horizons
and the bubble in the sea
reaching the shore,
the first offering?


The sea is at once
beginning and end,
the pulse around
and within.

In the wave
the pulse lives;
in the gull’s wing,
in starfish
surviving the roll
and back of boulders
tossed and surf-blown
in the eye-blinking
Atlantic wind.

Pulse within pulse,
in the shell’s rewording
of the sea’s bounce;
here is the world’s song,
the anthem in the bone
carried for listening
and hoping to the ear.

Analysis of  “Not mine,” “Poet talking,” “How was it,” and “Pulse”

Though Lochhead was an artist of diverse forms, moods, and subject matters, the four short poems above provide a reasonable introduction to his work and concerns. They reveal, first, an economy (or brevity) of form. His poems are often short and his lines are brief, the effect of that minimalism suggestive of care, deliberation, humility, and reach. As in John Thompson’s work, there is frequently in Lochhead’s poetry the sense of reaching beyond the ordinary to another realm, which is amplified by that minimalism of form. It often appears that Lochhead is in dialogue with or ruminating on something beyond our sight, and, reflecting that, his titles are more like fragments of sentences or headlines than declarations of fixed intention. Such economy of form – perhaps more about brevity than compression or conciseness – always suggests something larger. It is not that the briefest expression is the most profound, but that built into brevity is the immense realm of the “not-said.” Lochhead provides the inference, leaving it to readers to go beyond. And so the “red-tailed hawk” that “alights / on a rotting bale / of hay / to look / [him] over closely” attains grandeur by virtue of its sparing presentation. It is not just a red hawk but a red hawk of consequence and allegory – and a red hawk with purpose.

That purpose sets up the ecotone, the meeting of species, which provides the occasion for the poet to exhibit his attentive listening, a listening that admits his work to the field of eco-poetry. As French philosopher Merleau-Ponty explains in Phenomenology of Perception, “to listen to the forest is also, primordially, to feel oneself listened to by the forest, just as to gaze . . . is to feel oneself exposed and visible” (153). In Lochhead, then, we encounter another poet who not only sees and searches but also opens himself to being seen and searched by the sentience around him. As such, he inhabits a world larger and more complex than his language can encircle, a world open to multiple possibilities and choices, whether the solitariness of the hawk or his own need for community. Both are equally legitimate in Lochhead’s universe.

But the immensity of that universe dwarfs the poet, necessitating instruction, clues, and other avenues to insight. “I want first to hear / something the sea says,” Lochhead petitions, “something the wind knocks; / touch, smell something / the moment has” (“Poet talking”). “How was it / at the very beginning,” he asks, when “the bubble in the sea / reach[ed] the shore (“How was it”)? These are fundamental, early questions that consider the seas as the generative forces (“the pulse”) of life and creativity. Lochhead concludes that “here,” in the sea, “is the world’s song, / the anthem in the bone / carried for listening / and hoping to the ear” (“Pulse”). To listen attentively and generously to landscape and sea, he concludes, is to begin to receive answers to those fundamental questions. The answers are not in text, but in wind, salt, sea, and surf.

To repeat an earlier question: why was this kind of eco-poetic awareness pioneered in coastal New Brunswick? Because the shoreline and marshes were not just intervals that underscored the liminal (the boundary between sea and land), but also because marshland and shoreline were entrances for the sea and, as such, entrances to new ways of thinking about questions of life and interrelatedness. The Tantramar marshland is literally an opening to wilderness, the interval where life enters from sea, “the bubble in the sea / reaching the shore, / the first offering” (“How was it”). The Fundy poets ruminated on these intervals because they were the dominant features of their world.

“My daughters, my wild girls”

My daughters, my wild girls,
tonight you found the moon,

and the wide dark, a field of eyes
from your window you looked beyond,

so your leaving you begin this way,
I give you love and hope, the world

gives more, the roofs of the new city
are green with light on snow, cold

reaches in and your cloaked hearts
beat hard, young blood, to begin

to know that there is so much wonder
while I grow tired, unable to give

more than old rules, a thin coin of love,
you will see more, O world take them in
to your shoulder and make them whole.


from the Transcanada the tracks of snow and hay
point as fingers to the tailored towers

of the CBC. This spring is one of messages
and while the snow’s crazy abstract grows

a Polish commentator in Montreal this day
sends his toiling words to Warsaw and Gdansk,

an Italian sings and through the splits of towers
there are sounds in Amalfi and Palermo

so the many messages of men give out
their vibes to make a homesick noise

around the world from this brooding marsh
where mole and mouse take cover in their place.

Analysis of  “My daughters, my wild girls” and “Tracks”

These poems reiterate Lochhead’s belief in the immensity of a resplendent universe – and how that universe opens itself to individuals, luring them to partake of its mysteries, riches, and wonder. The poems speak of private journeys, the first of children breaking from the insular cocoon of parents into the chaos of the world, alive with eyes, the second of voices crossing the ocean as radio waves bringing news and comfort to distant countrymen.

Both poems share a sense of the vastness of the dark, whether the darkness that all youth enter upon maturity or the darkness that extends between transmission and reception. Both also scale humans to the miniscule. In each poem, however, there is no fear of darkness or diminishment, ominous though those may be. Instead, Lochhead launches his subjects into wonderment, secure in the knowledge that the world will take them in and that they will find their way. Lochhead’s universe is thus benevolent, if frenetic, and emboldened by rabble.

And what of the Tantramar? It is not just a flat interval where “brooding marsh” meets sea – “where mole and mouse take cover in their place” (“Tracks”) – but rather a busy intersection where Montreal connects to Warsaw and Gdansk and where little girls both see and are “seen” by searching eyes. And just as the world’s rabble is invisible, but real, so are the radio waves that cross the marshland and the secret hopes and benedictions that surround little girls.

“The old man who owned this house”

The old man who owned this house
dropped dead one Wednesday
under that elm, right there.
It was just the beginning
of his walk. He had a condition
for as long as I knew him.
They built in that toilet
on the front verandah,
just for him
and then he died.
And what was there to do
when he just dropped? Well I ran out,
eased his head, fetched his hat,
and then the ambulance come.
It was a way to go but with all
the neighbours there, like,
it was public and what a way
to die bringing everybody into it.

“Are you writing any…?”

And, yes, as
a matter of fact,
I am, I am
all the time,
and if you want
to know the truth
when I am not writing it,
I carry it.
But to find it,
I draw
a circle
all around it,
but let me tell you,
there are problems –
you must find it,
and be good
at circles.

“January Sale”

a new book
by a middle-aged

new poems
sixty-four pages
a big publisher

so like most things
it went on sale
after Christmas

 a quarter

I took it.

“And the way we die”

And the way we die:
 you hear about it, read somewhere…
 I remember when my grandad died,
 they had an old Nash for a hearse
 and we walked behind it
 grey and important and learning
 to be sad. And that was death,
 with the image of waxen face
 and flowers and women in a scented
 room. They lost their thoughts
 in food the neighbours brought
 and throughout I never saw my Grandmother,
 but I heard her weep. And this was
 a way to death.

Analysis of  “The old man who owned this house,” “Are you writing any…?,” “January Sale,” and “And the way we die”

The four poems above show a different side of Douglas Lochhead. The poems are playful, witty, and, at times, cynical. They show the grounding of the poet as well as his comfort (and exasperation) with the quotidian, the everyday. Indeed, as the poem “Not mine” suggests, “to be alone” and ever contemplative may be the way of the hawk, but it is “not mine / not mine.”

Rather, the poet lives fully in the absurdities and contradictions of the world, its injustices and confusions. That world is a place where an old man drops dead too publicly, bringing others into what the speaker assumes is a very private moment. The solemnity of the occasion (and the whole poem) hinges on the word “come” in the fourteenth line. That word changes the tone of the poem from reverence to mockery. The mysteries of death are not being considered here but, instead, death is being used as the occasion to tell a story, a story of absurdity and some ridicule. Suddenly, the phrases “right there” and “like” denote the sport of story telling, and the poem is not really about the old man but about the teller of the episode, who is perhaps an adolescent or perhaps given to unguarded and indiscreet moments of gossipy embellishment. We get the sense, too, that the old man’s death is an inconvenience: better these episodes are enacted in private. Lochhead suggests otherwise, however, stating that death is a “colloquial” affair, an affair over which the deceased has little control. Onlookers and gawkers will make of it what they will, and it will succumb to the great turmoil of the ordinary world.

That ordinary world is a place of limited understanding, as all people, regardless of profession or vocation, know. That is the experience of the writer in “Are you writing any…?” He/she is, of course, writing, but the question is not one that can be easily answered, for writers, like all specialists, carry their profession as private dialogue. “It” is constantly with them; “it” preoccupies days and nights; “it” is a powerful focus that often verges on unhealthy obsession. So, “yes, as / a matter of fact, / yes / I am, I am.” Just as “the game” haunts the consciousness of the athlete, so does the poem haunt the mind of the poet. It is a constant companion. But, again, the poem is not directly about obsessive private dialogues. Rather, it is about the reception of those by a larger public. The impatience of the speaker in this poem, and his/her inability to communicate the subtlety of the struggle to express what haunts the mind, is Lochhead’s concern. The poem is therefore playful, witty, and full of the kind of hard-won exasperation that everyone understands. No one can ever know our private struggles, yet most people will pretend they do, often making light or sport of what we hold so dearly. Again, there are few defences against the turmoil of the ordinary world. To live in society is to be buffeted by ignorance.

“January Sale” furthers Lochhead’s meditation on the ordinary. What is below the surface of this poem? What is he not saying? In a phrase, the long toil of the poet – the struggle to quiet the serpent, tame the beast, harness perfection – are all lost to indifference. But here’s the kicker: even another poet will partake of the game. The ordinary world is thus not below us but a part of us all. We inhabit that ordinary world as it inhabits us. We desecrate and are desecrated in turn.

As the poet Ezra Pound wrote, a “tawdry cheapness / shall outlast our days” (“Hugh Selwyn Mauberley” 62). But, importantly, Pound later adds: “What thou lovest well remains, / the rest is dross / What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee / What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage” (Canto LXXXI 83). Pound’s message (and Lochhead’s) is that we should expect no one, least of all an ordinary world, to trumpet what we do. Instead, we should strive to do it well, expecting neither understanding nor applause in return. To arrive at that position is to attain the status of sage, and to look upon the world with benevolent humour.

Such is the deeper understanding of “And the way we die.” While most mourners will treat the occasion lightly, losing “their thoughts / in food the neighbours brought,” the significant event is happening out of sight, where, unseen, the newly widowed grandmother is weeping. Grieving is a private affair, as is living. If we expect anything more we will be disappointed. Let the mourners have their cake at this carnival of death. What the speaker and the grandmother loved well (the grandfather) will remain, regardless of the indifference of the ritual of death.

“The Meeting”

I went that way
  walking the bitten beach
  of this half-winter:

only the headland
  and the shifts of light
  building others into it

until at last I found
   on looking down, a spade-handle
   a hand carved artifact

of some bending toiler
   gone unknown somewhere
   and this was his leaving

my hands felt the hand
   which made and used it
   to make a walkway of dyke

and into this force of past
   I let myself in
   and talked to him for days.

“The hoe”

I used you
discovering weeds

rocks pulled loose
glass broken, buried

I used you
turning earth in rows

in breaking it down
the garden showing itself

now to rub clean
pulling the red off

now you hang in the closet
with the juice of my muscles

“The woods”

I walked into the woods
all nearby to be seen
from the kitchen window

wild raspberry canes
brought blood to my arms
the brook was deceptive
leaving my feet mud brown

where there were birds
they vanished in alarm
the birds I had named
given my time

and the woods filled
with a new silence
the maples shading red
as the blood on my arm

it was the going in
to the woods
the neat place
I had thought tamed

but it brought blood
and a new kind of life

“John Thompson”

at old St. Ann’s at Westcock, the church,
the green cloth with the cross outlined in gold
covers the coffin pine plain as written down,
and inside, as written down, John
in his red-black hunting jacket, his climbing boots,
the 19th century Bible he was given
by the Departmental Secretary heavy it is
with rich lithographs, and the single broadside
with the 100th Psalm Jubilate Deo
and he went to find his black panther
the one he said was seen at Jolicure
black hairs caught on the wire fencing
There’s a panther out there “pointing,” right
out there a black panther, a big black one,
and John will be buried in the pine box
at Jolicure when the cemetery there
is ready next month or so.

John with his silver cross and the bear’s tooth
on his neck chain, that was the way
he said he wanted it, knowing where death was.

Analysis of  “The Meeting,” “The hoe,” “The woods,” and “John Thompson”

These four poems seem to extend the learning of the lighter poems above (“The old man who owned this house,” etc.). That is, they advance from the lesson that the experience of the world is largely a private affair, and that one can both live fully in an ordinary world and privately in a world of one’s own unseen engagements. The four poems above share the poet’s private dialogue with that world of engagements.

In the first, the speaker discovers a tool that forges a connection with the toolmaker, the occurrence opening a door to private discourse: “my hand felt the hand / which made and used it … and into this force of past / I let myself in / and talked to him for days” (“The Meeting”). The poem provides the sense of an alternate world, rich and mysterious and outside of time, that exists below the babble of the ordinary. Entering it gives credence and agency to the otherness that the ordinary normally misses. “The hoe” does something similar, opening communion with that most familiar of objects, a garden tool, while also raising that tool to a level of equivalency with his own muscle power. The effect, again, is to look and think beyond what the ordinary allows.

The effort of doing so, Lochhead’s later poems suggest, brings a new awareness of multiple worlds. Lochhead’s proximity to John Thompson is especially evident here, for, as Thompson’s work established, place is alive in multiple dimensions. So is it for Lochhead, whose woods – “all nearby to be seen / from the kitchen window” – are not nearly as picturesque, domesticated, or familiar as he assumed. The raspberry canes draw blood, the brook is deceptive, the birds fly off, and the woods become eerily mute, all of which bring to him a new language and “a new kind of life” (“The woods”). These are Thompson’s woods that he is entering, and, beyond that, Thompson’s sense of their infinite depth and possibility.

Both poets, then, enter an interior realm that lies beyond the quotidian. It is a realm mostly uncharted, but alive nevertheless with sentience and dimension. Lochhead’s poem of remembrance for John Thompson suggests, further, that exploring that realm brings knowledge of the presumably unknowable:

John with his silver cross and the bear’s tooth
on his neck chain, that was the way
he said he wanted it, knowing where death was.

Questions and Considerations for Reflection

► While Lochhead is not John Thompson’s literary heir, he shared with Thompson a landscape, literary influences, and a friendship that were inflected in his work. Comparisons of the two poets are therefore inevitable. Readers may wish, for example, to compare Lochhead’s “The woods” with Thompson’s “The Change.” Both poems speak of entrances into wilderness that are key to understanding the poets’ intentions.

The name “Tantramar” comes from the Acadian French tintamarre, which refers to the “din” or “racket” made by the flocks of birds that populate the marshlands. Peter Sanger, the best critic of the Tantramar poets, suggests that Lochhead’s poetry is a kind of calligraphy that reflects that movement. Swift and unpredictable, the flight of birds lends itself to the short, staccato line that Lochhead preferred. More advanced readers will want to contemplate how the movements in an actual physical space like a marshland are choreographed into poetic language.

Strategies for Teachers

Strategy 1: Compare with Colville’s Cyclist and Crow (“Not mine”)

Like the poets of Tantramar, local painter Alex Colville was deeply influenced by his environment. Many of his painting feature an animal and human pair, afforded equal dignity both in the image and its title, such as Dog and Priest, Cat and Artist, and Woman and Terrier. In Cyclist and Crow (search Cyclist and Crow in any digital image databank), as in other Colville paintings, the human and animal share a moment and a space, in this instance moving in parallel. However, the viewer is aware that this harmony is fleeting, and the pair will inevitably fall out of sync. Despite the interest of the cyclist, and the sense of companionship and insight, there is an unbridgeable distance between them, since the cyclist can never perceive the shared space in the same way as the bird. Of course, this statement applies also to companions of our own species. Colville famously stated that he had a better rapport with animals than with people.

In Lochhead’s “Not mine,” the speaker likewise is acutely aware of the space between himself and others. He seeks, grasps, but does not quite manage to hold on to the connection, but in the attempt clarifies an aspect of his own character. Ask students to compare Lochhead’s poem and Colville’s painting. If more guidance is needed to spark discussion, try asking why the people (or people in general) gaze at the birds – what are they trying to see or to understand?

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Reading and Viewing: Note the relationship of specific elements of a particular text to elements of other texts

Strategy 2: Compare to Bliss Carman’s “Vestigia” (“How was It”/“Pulse”/“The woods”)

Ask students to compare Lochhead’s pensive eco-poetry with Bliss Carman’s euphoric “Vestigia.” Each is influenced by New England transcendentalism, Carman directly and the later New Brunswick eco-poets more organically by literary inheritance. In Carman’s poem, openness and attentiveness to nature’s beauty results in a conclusive insight: “I knew God dwelt within my heart.” In Lochhead’s poems, attentiveness yields more questions than answers. The speaker senses some underlying and uniting “pulse” that drives life, a tantalizing prospect, but the details and origin of this force are elusive.

Ask students if they can recall one striking moment of insight in nature. Providing an example of your own moment might help. Perhaps they have looked up into the night sky and felt part of something vast, or, like early New Brunswick poet Peter John Allan (see Pre-Confederation Writers and Poets), empathized with a dead butterfly. Perhaps they happened upon some new place, or some familiar place under altered lighting or circumstances, feeling as if they entered a different world entirely. Ask students to compare their experiences of discovery with those represented in Lochhead’s poems.

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Reading and Viewing: Make informed personal responses to increasingly challenging print and media texts and reflect on their responses

Strategy 3: RCI Towers (“Tracks”)

The Radio Canada International (RCI) towers were a striking yet familiar sight to anyone who passed through the Tantramar Marshes between Sackville, New Brunswick and Amherst, Nova Scotia on the Trans-Canada highway. Despite towering over the flat earth as a built network of steel and guide wires, the RCI structure was part of the landscape. Since its installation in 1938, this structure was the only high-powered shortwave relay station in Canada, and the only station RCI used to send foreign language broadcasts overseas. The last RCI broadcast occurred in 2012, after which the towers were disassembled by 2014, an emotional event for many locals. New Brunswick artist Amanda Dawn Christie has chronicled the demise of the towers, relating nearby residents’ stories of household appliances like sinks and telephones picking up snippets of radio broadcasts. These radio waves could be considered a “pulse” of the region, growing weaker as the broadcasts dwindled, then ceasing entirely as the Internet took over international communications.

Have students explore the RCI-related projects on Christie’s site. As well, have them consider Sackville photographer Thaddeus Holownia’s haunting black and white photos of the towers. Then return to Lochhead’s poem “Tracks.” Discussion might include how technology comes to inhabit not only the physical landscape but also the soul of a community. Students might also consider what is lost and what is gained as communication mediums change. The Internet indeed has multiplied international connections exponentially, and made those connections instantaneous, but are people less lonely and less homesick as a result?

Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Speaking and Listening: Articulate, advocate, and justify positions on an issue or text in a convincing manner, showing an understanding of a range of viewpoints

Further Reading

Creelman, David. Introduction. Weathers: Poems New and Selected. By Douglas Lochhead. Ed. David Creelman. Fredericton: Goose Lane, 2002. 11-17.

Lochhead, Douglas. The Full Furnace: Collected Poems. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1975.

---. High Marsh Road: Lines for a Diary. Toronto: Anson-Cartwright Editions, 1980.

---. Upper Cape Poems. Fredericton: Goose Lane, 1989.

---. “Q & A: Douglas Lochhead.” Interview with Linda Hersey. Moncton Times & Transcript 17 December 2005: H4.

Lochhead, Douglas, and Thaddeus Holownia. Dykelands. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1989.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge, 2002.

Munton, Ann. “Return, Toronto to the Tantramar: Regional Poetics, the Long Poem and Douglas Lochhead.” The Atlantic Anthology: Volume III, Critical Essays. Ed. Terry Whalen. Charlottetown, PEI: Ragweed/ECW Press, 1985. 251-61.

Pound, Ezra. “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.” Selected Poems of Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions, 1956. 61-70.

---. Canto LXXXI. Ezra Pound: Selected Cantos. New York: New Directions, 1970. 79-85.

Sanger, Peter. “The Real Round of the Saying: An Introduction to the Poetry of Douglas Lochhead.” The Antigonish Review 76 (Winter 1989): 129-50.

---. As the Eyes of Lyncaeus: A Celebration for Douglas Lochhead. Jolicure, NB: Anchorage Press, 1990.

---. Of Things Unknown: Critical Essays, 1978–2015. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press, 2015.

Shanahan, Noreen. “Douglas Lochhead” [Obituary]. The Globe and Mail 15 April 2011: R5. 17 July 2020 <>.

Vogan, Nancy. “The Maritime-Leipzig Connection.” The Red Jeep and Other Landscapes: A Collection in Honour of Douglas Lochhead. Ed. Peter Thomas. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 1987.

For much more detailed primary and secondary source bibliographies of Lochhead, see his New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia entry.


We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Sara Lochhead, Douglas Lochhead’s literary executor, for allowing us to use the poems above for this curriculum. Further use or distribution of these poems, however, is a violation of Canadian copyright law and is strictly prohibited. Under no circumstance may literary material used in the curriculum be reproduced, distributed, or stored without the permission of the copyright holder.

The poems above (with the exception of “Tracks,” “The Meeting,” “The hoe,” “The woods,” and “John Thompson”) appear in Lochhead’s The Full Furnace: Collected Poems. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1975. “Tracks” and “The Meeting” appear in The Atlantic Anthology: Volume II, Poetry. Ed. Fred Cogswell. Charlottetown, PEI: Ragweed/ECW Press, 1985. “The hoe,” “The woods,” and “John Thompson” appear in Lochhead’s Upper Cape Poems. Fredericton: Goose Lane, 1989.

All contents except for poetry and fiction copyright © Tony Tremblay, James W. Johnson, and Alexandra Cogswell.