Planet Earth: Poems Selected and New

Publication Year



Edited, and with an introduction by Eric L. Ormsby, Ph.D. 1981

Shortlisted: 2003—Griffin Prize for Poetry (Canada); Commended: 2003—Globe Top 100; Commended: 2008—New England Book Festival

The title of this book is taken from Page’s poem, ‘Planet Earth’, which was chosen by the United Nations in 2000 for their celebratory program Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. Now poet and essayist Eric Ormsby, with Page’s input, has selected the best of Page’s poems originally collected in the two volumes of The Hidden Room (Porcupine’s Quill, 1997). Page has also contributed to Planet Earth a small number of very recent poems. Ormsby has written a wonderful introduction to this new selection; he hastens to point out that deciding what to include was a most difficult process because there was so much to choose from. He goes on to say:

“It has become customary in Canada to describe P. K. Page as ‘distinguished,’ but that epithet betrays her. P. K. Page is simply too vivacious, too cunning, too elusive, to be monumentalized. She is in fact the supreme escape artist of our literature. Try to confine her in a villanelle and she scampers off into free verse. Peg her as a prose poet and she springs forth with a glosa. Categorize her as a poet who writes fiction but then note that you find very little ‘‘poet’s prose’’ in her stories. Her characters are often incised with acid and a cruelly keen burin. She is the shrewdest of observers but at the same time she celebrates life, low and high, in all its manifestations. One of the finest and most distinctive Canadian poets, P. K. Page is no provincial. She is a citizen not merely of the world, but of the earth.”

Porcupine's Quill
Erin, Ont.