Bright with Invisible History

A William Bauer Reader

William Bauer

Edited by Brian Bartlett

“Bauer cares about language, and loves it.”

– Douglas Barbour

Bright with Invisible History gathers a selection of poetry, short stories, journal entries, book reviews, and other prose by a remarkable man. William Bauer’s writings are full of affection for the puzzling and often humorous behaviour of human beings. He catches both the strangeness and the pathos of our lives.

Memorable voices and characters, along with lyrical reflections and autobiographical musings, flow from Bauer’s incisive yet gentle imagination. His language ranges from the playfulness and rich diction of 18th-century British prose-writers (his teaching specialty) to the vernacular spark of 20th-century Maritime and New England speech. He had a special skill for using humour to explore life’s questions and quandaries. Suspicious of high seriousness, Bauer wrote some of the zestiest poetry and fiction of his time.

With the publication of Bright with Invisible History we now have the full range of William Bauer’s memorable storytelling, poetic inventiveness, and original mind brought together in the pages of one book.

About the Author

William Bauer (1932–2010), born and raised in Maine, completed degrees in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and North Carolina. In 1965 when the University of New Brunswick hired him to teach, he and his writer wife, Nancy, moved to Canada. Over the next thirty years Bauer taught many fields of Literature at UNB, with a specialization in 18th-century British Prose. Also a teacher of Creative Writing, he worked as both Poetry and Fiction editor for The Fiddlehead, and—with Nancy, a fiction-writer—belonged to a long-lasting writing workshop known under several names: The Ice House, McCord Hall, Tuesday Night. Bauer published two poetry chapbooks, Cornet Music for Plupy Shute and Everett Coogler; two full-length collections of poetry, The Terrible Word and Unsnarling String; and a selection of short stories, A Family Album. Much of his family-centred life revolved around his and Nancy’s children Ernie, Grace and John. His fascination with creativity in its many forms prompted him to experiment with pursuits such as painting, rug-hooking, papier-mache art, and gourd-painting.

 

2020 • Paperback • 236 pages • $25 (CAD) $20 (USD)

ISBN 978-1-988299-34-1 • Published 2020/12/28

About the Editor

Brian Bartlett, born in 1953 in St. Stephen, NB, has published many collections and chapbooks of poetry, including The Watchmaker’s Table, The Afterlife of Trees, and Wanting the Day: Selected Poems. His other publications include two books of nature writing, and a compilation of his prose on poetry. He has also edited many books, including selections of New Brunswick poets Dorothy Roberts and Robert Gibbs, and Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan. Bartlett taught English and Creative Writing at St. Mary’s University in Halifax for nearly thirty years before his retirement in 2018.