October 05th, 2016
Joe Denham’s third book of poetry, Regeneration Machine, has been named as a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award in the poetry category, having already received this year’s Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry in 2016.
It is a 100-stanza letter in verse to his deceased friend Nevin Sample who robbed a small credit union at gunpoint, then fled into the nearby forest with police in hot pursuit. Hidden by a stump at the edge of a small clearing, with the police calling out to him, Nevin Sample shot himself in the head.
Other English-language finalists for the Governor General’s Award in Poetry include The Waking Comes Late by Steven Heighton (House of Anansi Press), Throaty Wipes by Susan Holbrook (Coach House Books), Prairie Harbour by Garry Thomas Morse (TalonBooks), and Marry & Burn by Rachel Rose (Harbour Publishing).
Rob Denham’s poems in his first collection Flux (Nightwood, 2003) are primarily written from a working class perspective. While working as a fisherman out of Halfmoon Bay, he published his second collection, Windstorm (Nightwood 2009). According to reviewer Robert Attridge in Event, Vol 33-3, “Denham does for fishing on the West Coast what Peter Trower has done for logging: he writes with the voice of experience.”
Joe Denham’s first novel, The Year of Broken Glass (Nightwood, 2011), follows a struggling crab fisherman across the Pacific Ocean to deliver a glass fishing float to a high-paying collector. Against a backdrop of seismic degradation, the protagonist, Francis “Ferris” Wichbaun, has a romantic affair with his trans-ocean travelling companion while he is deeply concerned about his dual families: Ferris is married to Anna and they have a son named Willow, and simultaneously he has a baby daughter Emily with is girlfriend Jin Su.
Denham’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Open Field: 30 Contemporary Canadian Poets, The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry and Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets.
He lives with his wife and two children in Halfmoon Bay and works as a commercial fisherman throughout coastal British Columbia. He is currently at work on a sequel to Windstorm and is preparing to release his first album of songs, Lost at Sea, in the spring of 2017.
Flux (Nightwood, 2003)
Windstorm (Nightwood 2009)
The Year of Broken Glass (Nightwood, 2011) 978-0-88971-252-2 $24.95
Regeneration Machine (Nightwood 2015) 978-0-88971-8 $18.95