George Stanley


Monday, 25 January 2016

Hummingbird Saloon

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George Stanley SlideBorn and raised in San Francisco, George Stanley is a Canadian poet who has lived in Northern BC and Vancouver. Part of the San Francisco Renaissance, which also included Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Joanne Kyger and Robin Blaser, in the 70s he moved to British Columbia, first living in Vancouver for five years, then Terrace in northern British Columbia.

You can listen to an interview of George, conducted by Paul Nelson.  At that page you will also find links to other examples of George’s work.

In a tribute published by the Capilano Review (The George Stanley Issue, 2011) Sharon Thesen described Stanley as a poet who “does not let himself get away with anything.” No affectation and that his,

“method is apparent in the longer poems which… found book-length form in Vancouver: A Poem in 2008… some of the later lyrics and elegies seem to have been honed by the strenuous “free writing” (“what’s free about it?” he asks) verse-paragraph style of the long poems. The exposure of a voice (“i don’t know / myself, don’t care”) that argues with poetry and images of “success”; the refusal to be eloquent or elocutionary (“stuck, stuck, stuck”); the interested surrender to situations, landscapes, and places… are some of George’s particular genius… George’s procedure seems also at times to resemble the Catholic examination of conscience.”

George Stanley has worked as an instructor in the English department at Northwest Community College, at Capilano College in North Vancouver, and in Vancouver in the early 1970s he became associated with New Star Books, and The Grape, an alternative newspaper. He also has been active in Canadian politics, unions and alternative media. Is board member of the Capilano Press Society, is retired and again lives in Vancouver.

Here is another example of George’s work:

Outside the Kingdome

Outside the Kingdome a guy with a UCLA
Bruins t-shirt & a cap of some other team
wants to be part of it. This big vacant space
we’ve come to love because it gives us vantage.

How to cheat Death except to build Hell
outside its gates, after the game.
The ticket stubs & other stuff
blown idly about, by the teenage wind.