09 January 2006

Joseph Sherman 1945-2006

Joe's family is very sorry to have to tell you that he died this morning after a battle with cancer that took him far too quickly. Joe was so proud of the League [of Canadian Poets] and his membership in it. He cherished his relationships with the many good friends and colleagues he met through the League. We will miss him more than we can say.
—Ann, Rebekah and Matthew
Joseph Sherman was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 1945, and raised in Sydney, Cape Breton. He received his BA and MA from University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. He taught in Edmundston, NB from 1970 to 1979.

I am saddened to hear that Joe Sherman passed away this morning. Joe was such a vital person in the poetry, writing, and arts communities of the Atlantic region and of Canada. For many years he was editor of ARTSatlantic magazine out of Confederation Center in Charlottetown, PEI. He was the author of several books of poetry including Birthday (New Brunswick Chapbooks, 1969), Chaim the Slaughterer (Oberon, 1974), Lords of Shouting (Oberon, 1982), Shaping the Flame: Imagining Wallenberg (Oberon, 1989) and American Standard and Other Poems (Oberon, 1999).

In 1987, as a visiting, performing poet in the inaugural Milton Acorn Festival, I slept in a tent pitched in the Sherman's backyard and ate at their table. I also knew Joe as an alumni of the CHSR radio station where I do my weekly program. During our last time together, last year, during a bus ride from Fredericton to Moncton, Joe was reflective on the Canadian literary community and very passionate about this country's great Jewish authors. He was also very excited about an alphabet writing project and showed me some of the manuscript-in-progress. Joe will be greatly missed.

First and Last

I was born on August 4th 1945,
and on August 5th,
while I suckled in tranquility,
Hiroshima played host
to the first Atomic Bomb.
God, to think of all those people
who woke with me,
only once.

—Joseph Sherman
from Birthday
T: The Writers' Union of Canada
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1 comment:

jackie said...

Sorry to hear about the loss to the poetry community.