Milton Acorn: The People's Poet
" We, Kent Martin, Kent Nason and Errol Sharpe, think that Milton Acorn was one of Canada’s leading poets. Milton was an inspiration to a whole generation of Canadians. He was the first “people’s poet”. This project has been in our minds and the subject of many discussions for many years. It has now finally come to fruition. Milton spoke from his heart; he spoke about the lives, the hopes and the dreams of ordinary people. He has been an inspiration to us. We see this project as a celebration of the Milton we knew. We hope that Milton’s work and his story will be an inspiration not only to the people of his generation but to a younger generation of Canadians. "
When Canadian icon and original Canadian People’s Poet Milton Acorn was passed over for
the Governor General’s Award for his 1969 collection I’ve Tasted My Blood, several of his peers,
including Margaret Atwood, Pat Lane and Mordecai Richler, established the People’s Poetry Award,
which they presented to Milton at a ceremony at Grossman’s Tavern in Toronto in 1970.
When I’ve Tasted My Blood was re-issued in 1978 by Steel Rail Publishing, Milton wrote corrections
and edits for the new edition on a copy of the original book. Milton Acorn: The People’s Poet
reproduces that copy of I’ve Tasted My Blood with Milton’s handwritten notes. It also includes
never-before-published photographs of Milton taken by Kent Nason, studio recordings by Art McKay of Milton reading many of his poems, and a 1971 documentary film about Milton Acorn made by Kent Martin
and Errol Sharpe.
Though Milton Acorn died in 1986 at a young age, the prolific poet, writer and playwright is still remembered as one of Canada’s greatest poets. This one-of-a-kind multi-media collectors item
and memorial is a must have for everyone who counts themselves a fan of the original
Canadian People’s Poet.
Kent Martin has produced, directed, edited, photographed and written well over a hundred films and television series dealing with history, economics, the arts, the environment, spirituality and humour. These works have garnered twenty Genie and Gemini awards and nominations, six Donald Brittain Award nominations and two Canada Awards. Errol Sharpe is a publisher at Fernwood Publishing. He holds an MA in Atlantic Canada Studies from Saint Mary’s University and is co-author of In Pursuit of Justice: Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op and the Fair Trade Movement.
The People’s Poet
compiled by Kent Martin & Errol Sharpe
Preface by Errol Sharpe;
Photographs by Kent Nason
Now available for $24.95
Order Information: www.fernwoodpublishing.ca
"Milton Acorn, is in my view Canada’s greatest poet " - Rick Salutin The Toronto Star
Watch a live reading by Milton Acorn of
"I've Tasted My Blood"
Watch the Film Milton Acorn
"The Peoples Poet" by Errol Sharpe and Kent Martin
Watch a second NFB film about Milton Acorn
Milton Acorn - In Love and Anger