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Algoma U Professor Publishes Collection of War Veteran’s Poems

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – September 12, 2016): Dr. Michael John DiSanto, Associate Professor in Algoma University’s Department of English and Film, has recently published The Complete Poems of George Whalley, which features never-before-published works from the neglected Canadian man of letters.

George Whalley (1915 – 1983) was an eminent and accomplished Canadian scholar, poet, naval officer, secret intelligence agent, CBC script-writer and broadcaster, musician, biographer, and translator. Whalley’s poems span five decades, though many were penned during his time in the Second World War and immediately afterwards. Some of the poems were previously published by Whalley in his Poems 1939-1944 and No Man an Island; however, over 150 poems which were found in public archives and in his personal letters, papers, and journals, are published for the first time in DiSanto’s edition.

Critical acclaim for DiSanto’s book includes praise from a leading scholar of Canadian modernism, Dr. Zailig Pollock: “George Whalley is a figure of substantial importance in the history of Canadian literature and scholarship; his influence and inspiration are acknowledged by prominent contemporary writers such as Michael Ondaatje and Elizabeth Hay. Unprecedented in its detail, this lucid and well-researched account brings Whalley’s work the attention it so richly deserves.”

Since 2009, DiSanto has been working to highlight Whalley’s life and restore his place within Canadian history and twentieth-century modernism. His projects to date include publishing an extensive website, georgewhalley.ca, and co-organizing the Centenary Conference in Honour of George Whalley in 2015. Future work includes publishing a collection of Whalley’s letters, a new edition of his essays, and a biography.

“George Whalley is among the best poets of the Second World War, and his poems are an important contribution to literature in Canada in the mid-twentieth century. Whalley’s life and writings deserve renewed attention in the twenty-first century. The Complete Poems will, I hope, bring new recognition to this exceptionally accomplished man of letters,” said DiSanto.

To request a copy of DiSanto’s book, please contact Jacqui Davis, Publicist with McGill-Queen’s University Press at 514.398.2555 or email jacqueline.davis@mcgill.ca.

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