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Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster was born in Toronto, Ontario and educated in child psychology. He is the author of a novel, a children's book, two volumes of short stories and fourteen collections of poetry. He has been nominated for the Governor General's Award for literature twice, for his first book, Fables for Isolated Men (Guernica) most recently for The Burning Alphabet (Brick Books) which won the Canadian Authors Association Chalmers Award for poetry. In 2010 he was a finalist for the Ontario Premier's Award of Excellence in the Arts. From 1990 to 1997, he was Poetry and Reviews Editor for Poetry Canada. He is the senior acquisitions editor with Brick Books where he has discovered and edited many of Canada's finest emerging poets and many of Canada's best poets. He has been on the faculty at The Banff Centre as mentor for the Writing Studio, Wired Writing and Writing with Styles programs and has been the Writer-in-Residence at the Richmond Hill Public Library twice. A a new work of poetry "Invisible Dogs" was published in September 2013 (Brick Books) and a new novel "The Outside World" (PEDLAR PRESS) was published in November 2013.

"The Outside World" Ontario Trillium Award Finalist for 2014

"The Outside World" English Language Finalists for the Trillium Book Award Jury Comment:  “Through the eyes of fourteen-year-old Robby Tedley, we meet a family living on a “perfectly normal suburban street” in the late 1960s &...

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Review of Invisible Dogs from CV2

"With this new collection, Barry Dempster makes the invisible visible and chases the ghosts away with music and sunlight, while still yearning for the losses they represent." CV2: A review of Invisible Dogs by Barry Dempster (Brick Books, 2013) By...

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The Trillium Conversations: Craig Davidson and Barry Dempster

The Trillium Conversations: Craig Davidson and Barry Dempster Published in The National Post: June 16th, 2014 The winners of the 2014 Trillium Book Award, which celebrate Ontario’s best writing. This year The Afterword will once aga...

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THE MALAHAT REVIEW: The Outside World

"The Outside World has qualities similar to Dempster's fourteen books of poetry—a kind of unpretentious lyricism, well-crafted images accompanied by natural-seeming rhythms and lines, as well as occasional, admirable philosophical depths."...

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'The Outside World' Review

"Veteran poet Barry Dempster’s equally enthralling second novel, The Outside World, makes a worthy—if smaller in scope—companion to Munro" The Winnipeg Review - by Brett Josef Grubisic  The unrepentant and lifelong reade...

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