Aside: Steven Heighton, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, dead at 60

I keep thinking about this poet, he was a dashing Canadian “award winning” (though I’m not sure what those words mean anymore) poet, roughly my generation, he died, I know nothing about him.

Steven Heighton received the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry for The Waking Comes Late. (Mark Raynes Roberts)

There were some articles on CBC and then he is just gone. As a poet, he reached the “pinnacle of success” which can be expected without going into the *cough cough* pop-culture mainstream and then you “achieve” this, feted with awards which only other poets in that circle know about, you get an article and then you are just dead.

The Kingston, Ont., writer published six books of poetry, debuting in 1989 with the provocatively titled Stalin’s Carnival. It promptly won the Gerald Lampert Award for best first collection and set him up as a new and exciting voice in Canadian poetry.

“Steven Heighton introduced a new basis into Canadian poetry: an approach to traditional formal rigour that was entirely original and personal,” said poet A.F. Moritz when Stalin’s Carnival was reissued in 2013.

“It became the seed of what in the new Canadian poetry is most truly experimental and restlessly seeking.”

CBC Books · Posted: Apr 20, 2022 

I’ve made a note to acquire his books although I’m not sure what that does anymore. I can’t participate in his story (goodness knows, I mostly read books by dead people) but what’s to be expected for the life of a poet size just writing poems and then just dying rather young and undramatic. So we go on.

He does seem rather interesting… yet completely in a world i don’t know.

“Some of the poems in this book are translations of other poets. I call these translations ‘approximations,'” said Heighton in a 2017 interview with CBC Books.

Source: Steven Heighton, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, dead at 60 | CBC Books

Whatcha think?