skip to Main Content
Marianne Bluger

Marianne Bluger

August 28, 1945 - October 29, 2005

Marianne Bluger was born in Ottawa, Canada, and spent her childhood in various small towns in Ontario where her father, a Holocaust survivor, taught school. She studied poetry at McGill University with Louis Dudek. Marianne administered the Canadian Writers’ Foundation for 25 years, co-founded Christians Against Apartheid, the Tabitha Foundation (helping poor families in Cambodia), and the haiku group kado ottawa. Several of her books of poetry were dedicated to Japanese forms, including Tamarack and Clearcut, Gusts, Early Morning Pieces, and Zen Mercies/Small Satoris. Sanford Goldstein wrote: “Her passionate concern for the language and for the poetic theory and even the rage to get it right—all these Marianne has. Her intensity may be due to her long illness, which has forced on her the need to get things down and to get them down with exactitude.” Marianne lost her fight with cancer in 2005 and is survived by her husband and two children.

Awards and Other Honors: Bluger won many honours for her poetry, among which were the Canada Council Award and the Archibald Lampman Award.

Books Published: The Thumbless Man is at the Piano (Three Trees, 1981); On Nights Like This (Brick Books, 1984); Gathering Wild (Brick Books, 1987); Summer Grass (Brick Books, 1992); Scissor, Paper, Woman (Penumbra Press, 2000); The Eternities (St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2005); Tamarack and Clearcut (Carleton University Press, 1997, with photos by Rudi Haas); Early Evening Pieces (Buschek Books, 2003); Gusts (Penumbra Press, 1998); Zen Mercies / Small Satoris (Penumbra Press, 2005); Nude With Scar (Penumbra Press, 2006).

Selected Work
 
with the tip of her cane
touching fresh snow
New Year’s morning
 
     a little drunk
with the moon
     among the pumpkins
 
 
 
Ash Wednesday
as I dust the piano
faint notes
 
3 a.m.
the airport conveyor turning
one battered green valise
 
 
 
behind the church
discarded lilies
     in the morning sun
 
fogbound
in a hotel room
—reruns
 
 
 
singing somewhere
in this unraveling mist
a thrush
 
driving through
a small-town mainstreet
into darkness
 
 
 
wind in the long grass
and somebody
whistling
 
wind in the trees
tonight by one bare bulb
I pack the shadows
 
 

Credits: "with the tip of her cane" - Bluger, Tamarack and Clearcut (Carleton University Press, 1997); Frogpond XXI:1 (1998); "Ash Wednesday" - Bluger, Early Evening Pieces (Buschek Books, 2003); Modern Haiku 35:2 (2004); "behind the church" - Bluger, Marigolds (Haiku Canada Broadsheet 1988-89); "singing somewhere" - Bluger, Early Evening Pieces (Buschek Books, 2003); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008); Modern Haiku 35:2 (2004); "wind in the long grass" - Howard and Duhaime, Haikü: Anthologie Canadienne, [Canadian Anthology] (1985); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008); "a little drunk" - Frogpond XI:4 (1988); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008); "3 a.m." - Frogpond XXII:1 (1999); The Thin Curve: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 1999 (Red Moon Press); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008); "fogbound" - Bluger, & is the Hub (Haiku Canada Broadsheet 1996-97); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008); "driving through" - Frogpond XXII:1 (1999); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008); "wind in the trees" - Bluger, Early Evening Pieces (Buschek Books, 2003); Modern Haiku 35:2 (2004); faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008).

Sources Biography: Larry Earle Neily; Marianne Bluger Website; faint notes (Kacian, ed., Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 4, 2008).

Back To Top