From its remarkable design to its effervescent language, George Bowering's ode to the beautiful game is as original as it is funny, as bittersweet as it is playful. A long-out-of-print Coach House classic, originally published in 1967, Baseball weaves together mythology, autobiography, literary history and pop culture into an inimitable book-length poem that explores all the nuances of the sport. Here are all the greats: Mantle, DiMaggio, Maris,Williams and Manuel Louie, shortstop for the Wenatchee Chiefs, their exploits captured in passages of off-kilter, occasionally melancholy, lyricism. Gar Smith's enchanting and ingenious design has also been preserved; the book, complete with green velvet-flocked covers, is shaped like a pennant that, when unfolded, forms a diamond.
A long-time utility player, Bowering (our Homer?) has written books in many different genres and was recently named Canada's first Poet Laureate. Baseball is a tantalizing glimpse of the writer at the beginning of his illustrious career; a real curveball of a book that will dazzle literature and sports fans alike.
George Bowering was born in Penticton, BC, in 1935 and served as a photographer in the RCAF. He has won the Governor General's Award for poetry (The Gangs of Kosmos and Rocky Mountain Foot, 1969) and for fiction (Burning Water, 1980). Recent publications include His Life: A Poem, which was shortlisted for the 2000 Governor General's Award, Bowering's BC and A Magpie Life.