Michael Dennis (Canadian poet)

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Michael Dennis's (Canadain poet) poetry is primarily in the tradition of narrative poets like the Canadian Al Purdy, and Americans Raymond Carver, and Charles Bukowski, though in recent years he has experimented with collaboration and centos.

Personal life

Dennis, who grew up mostly in Peterborough, Ontario, has travelled extensively through Canada. His working life has included stints in car plants and copper mines; installing artworks for the National Art Bank and the Canadian Museum of History; doing time as a short-order cook and dishwasher in a strip club; running a small boutique hotel in the ’80s; being a Santa at the Kmart in Charlottetown; operating a non-profit ESL school in Jablonec nad Nisou, Czechoslovakia, immediately following the Velvet Revolution; driving taxi and trucks; working as a private chauffeur.

From 2013 to 2020, Dennis maintained the blog Today’s Book of Poetry[1], posting personal evaluations of 812 contemporary books of poetry.

Dennis has lived in Ottawa, Ontario, for the past 30 years.



  • quarter on it's edge
  • just standing in the rain, talkin' to myself
  • poems for one-eyed jacks
  • sometimes passion, sometimes pain
  • no saviour and no special grace
  • Christmas on the Nile
  • poems for jessica-flynn[2]
  • so you think you might be judas
  • how to keep a poet out of jail, or ship of fools, car of idiots
  • Portrait
  • wayne gretzky in the house of the sleeping beauties[3]
  • Fade to Blue[4]
  • what we remember and what we forget
  • missing the kisses of eloquence[5]
  • the on-going dilemma of small change
  • what we pass over in silence
  • no gravy, no garlands, no bright rights
  • This Day Full of Promise
  • all those miles yet to go[6][7]
  • Poems For Another Poetry Reading[8]
  • Eros of Desire
  • Coming Ashore on Fire [9] [10]
  • Arrows of Desire[11]
  • you must remember beauty when they point the gun
  • Smile
  • how are you she innocently asked[12]
  • Watching the Late Night Russian News in the Nude
  • The Uncertainty of Everything
  • forgiveness, my new sideline[13]
  • On Being a Dodo
  • A Tiresome Litany of Indignities
  • Talking Giraffes
  • Bad Engine: New & Selected Poems
  • Divining
  • Sad Balloon
  • Caterwaul
  • The President of the United States
  • Low Centre of Gravity
  • Spøkjelse i japanske drosjar (Ghosts in Japanese Taxis)
  • 70 Kippers (with Stuart Ross)


  1. "Today's Book of Poetry". michaeldennispoet.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  2. Anstee, Cameron (2012-06-08). "Michael Dennis – poems for jessica-flynn". Cameron Anstee. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  3. "Chapbooks from Lowlife Publishing". www.interlog.com. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  4. Dennis, Michael, 1956- (1988). Fade to blue. Vancouver: Pulp Press Book Publishers. ISBN 0-88978-199-0. OCLC 18742208.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Dennis, Michael, 1956- (1994). Missing the kisses of eloquence. Burnstown, Ont.: General Store Pub. ISBN 0-919431-94-1. OCLC 31516901.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. Dennis, Michael, 1956- (2005). All those miles yet to go. Toronto: Lyricalmyrical Press. ISBN 0-9736588-6-X. OCLC 58455604.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. Earl, Amanda (2006-01-25). "ottawa poetry newsletter: Michael Dennis: All Those Miles Yet To Go (LyricalMyrical, 2005)". ottawa poetry newsletter. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  8. Earl, Amanda (2007-11-12). "The Literary Blog of Amanda Earl: Toronto Small Press Fair, fall 2007". The Literary Blog of Amanda Earl. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  9. "Reviewed by Spencer Gordon Coming Ashore on Fire Michael Dennis Burnt Wine Press, 2009 135 pages, $16 | Mansfield Press". Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  10. McPherson, Christian. "On why I read poetry and Michael Dennis's "Coming Ashore On Fire"". Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  11. Dennis, Michael, 1956- (2006). Arrows of desire : Eros of desire : a rose of desire : lust poems. Renfrew, Ont.: General Store Pub. House. ISBN 1-897113-50-1. OCLC 71243423.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. "Michael Dennis | how are you she innocently asked". Apt. 9 Press. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  13. "Bloggamooga: A bit of what I've done, and a Boot Camp". Retrieved 2020-08-31.

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