Stan Dragland is originally from Alberta and lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He is Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Western University. He has taught creative writing at the Banff Centre and at Los Parronales, Chile. He was founder of Brick magazine and Brick Books, a poetry publishing house. Between 1994 and 1997, he was poetry editor for McClelland & Stewart. His first work, Peckertracks (1979), was shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award; Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9 (1994) won the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian literary criticism: 12 Bars (2002) was co-winner of the bpNichol Chapbook Award; Apocrypha: Further Journeys (2003) won the Newfoundland and Labrador Rogers Cable Award for nonfiction; Stormy Weather: Foursomes (2005) was shortlisted for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award. Strangers & Others: Newfoundland Essays (2015) was shortlisted for the BMO Winterset Award). His recent work, Gerald Squires, has been nominated for the NL Nonfiction Book Award.
THE DIFFICULT is Dragland’s seventh work with Pedlar. If anyone were to insist that I, Beth Follett, explain myself, that I demonstrate my impartiality toward this writer who happens also to be my dear companion, I would say, Look deep into the heart of all Stan’s works, for you will find one theme especially repeated there, the theme explored by Rilke with his young student: We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us. . .that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it. Readers of Dragland’s works will find their own ways to new, stranger and perhaps more difficult works, will find that by reading such books they are altered for the better, their own ways of reading the world forever changed, forever enriched.