Ian LeTourneau is the author of Terminal Moraine (Thistledown Press, 2008) and the chapbooks Defining Range (Gaspereau Press, 2006) and Core Sample (Frog Hollow Press, 2017). His poetry and book reviews have appeared in magazines across the country, including Arc, The Malahat Review, Books in Canada, as well as in Australia. He is a poetry editor at The Fiddlehead and and has taught poetry workshops at the Maritime Writers Workshop and at various festivals. He was born in Dalhousie, NB and now lives in Fredericton, NB with his wife and son, and is nearing the completion of a three-year term as Fredericton's Cultural Laureate (2016-2018). His poems deal with politics and environmental concerns. He is a founding member of the New Brunswick Book Awards committee and Fredericton's literary festival, Word Feast.
Yes I read poetry in high school, and that's where I truly fell in love with poetry. Poems by T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats were influential, as well as the Romantic poets Wordsworth. Colleridge, and Keats. The pivotal poem was George Herbert’s “The Collar.” The metaphor “rope of sands” was so evocative of spiritual struggle — it made me realize that an image and a metaphor could be powerful things to get a message across that were memorable and make me feel the feelings expressed in the poem more than the a simple prose passage could.
I started writing poetry in high school but really got into it in university. In 2001 I decided to take my writing seriously by reading as much as I could get my hands on and writing every day. I truly started thinking of myself as a poet when my first poem was published in the following year.
The poet’s job is to observe and try to use language to convey what he or she observes. Within the very good poems are universal truths and records of times and places. All poets contribute to this. Poetry can be political, environmental, or about anything really, but at the heart of a poem, no matter the cause or subject, is precise observation.
“Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The rhythms are beautiful and the theme universal. I am moved by the last lines every time I hear them or I read them.