A Poet For All Seasons – A.F. Moritz Reading at UPEI

In a Globe and Mail review, Doug Fetherling writes, “In somewhat the same way that a person can become a highly decorated soldier, A.F. Moritz has become a highly decorated poet. The process has taken years.” With a half-century of campaigns on the poetic front, twenty books, and a wall-full of awards, A.F. (Al) Moritz will give a Winter’s Tales reading in Charlottetown on Monday, October 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the UPEI Faculty Lounge.

Moritz’ all-seasons subject matter includes love and eroticism; divine presence and mortality; contemplation of nature; history, modernity, and current events; philosophical, ethical, sociological, and political inquiry; and an elegant evocation of life’s exaltation and ennui, emptiness and fulness.

He won Canada’s most lucrative poetry prize, the Griffin, with The Sentinel. In the title poem, readers witness the anxieties of a sentinel for an armed camp bedded down for the night. He must report to his commanders, who may find him lacking or, worse, a foreign agent. Mortiz says it is also “an allegory of the poet and poetry” – the poet at once a far-seeing scout, ethical bellwether, and troublemaker.

Born in Ohio, Moritz moved to Toronto in 1974, worked in journalism and advertising, and has taught part-time at the University of Toronto since 1986. “I’ve never considered myself anything but a poet who does other things to support himself.” As famous literary critic Harold Bloom said, Moritz is “a true poet.” At UPEI, he will read from his newest book, The Sparrow, a selection of poems from his forty-five year vocation.

The evening is sponsored by the UPEI Dean of Arts and Department of English, with generous support from The Canada Council for the Arts.