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Dennis Cooley, a prairie poet, is a professor in the English department at the University of Manitoba. His literary work is a great contribution to prairie literature. As a founding member of Turnstone Press and a president of the Manitoba Writer's Guild, he helped many aspiring new writers to establish themselves in the Canadian literary world. He provided valuable expertise as an editor and a literary critic.
Dennis Cooley was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan, on August 27, 1944, and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.E. (1966) and B.A. (1967) degree. He received an M.A. degree (1968) from the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D.(1971) from the University of Rochester. His teaching experience started at the University of Saskatchewan in 1967 and now has over 40 years of teaching experience as a professor at the University of Manitoba and a visiting professor at the prestigious European Universities.
Dennis Cooley is the author of various poetry collections: Leaving (1980), Fielding (1983), Bloody Jack (1984, 2002), Sunfall (1986), This Only Home (1992), Irene (2000), Seeing Red (2003), Country Music (2004), The Bentleys (2006), Correction line (2008), and many unpublished manuscripts in process such as Love in Dry Land and others. As a literary critic, he published collections of essays on prairie writers such as Vernacular Muse (1987), Eli Mandel and his Work (1992), and the anthology of prairie poetry Inscriptions (1992). He kept detailed journals of his European travel and shared his experience with his readers by publishing some of them in the publications Passwords (1996) and Scotland (unpublished). He also contributed articles to many literary periodicals including Prairie Fire, CVII, Canadian Poetry, Canadian Forum, Border Crossing, ECW, and many more. By publishing two anthologies, RePlacing (1980) and Draft: an Anthology of Prairie Poetry, he introduced prairie writers to readers in Canada and Europe. Dennis Cooley's main interest lies in contemporary poetry. He is still teaching courses at the University of Manitoba.