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The Order in Which We Do Things

The Poetry of Tom Wayman

By Tom Wayman
Edited by Owen Percy
Subjects Poetry, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
Series Laurier Poetry Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554589951, 112 pages, February 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554589975, 112 pages, March 2014

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
The Order in Which We Do Things: The Poetry of Tom Wayman, selected with an introduction by Owen Percy

Foreword, Neil Besner

Biographical Note

Introduction: Wayman in Print: “He Do the Polis in Different Voices,” Owen Percy

Days: Construction

Picketing Supermarkets

Wayman in Love

The Country of Everyday: Literary Criticism

The Factory Hour

The Old Power

Industrial Music

Factory Time


Friday Night in Early September at Morris and Sara Wayman's Farm, Roseneath, Ontario

White Hand


Paper, Scissors, Stone

The Face of Jack Munro

A Cursing Poem: This Poem Wants Gordon Shrum to Die

The Poet

Defective Parts of Speech: Official Errata

Did I Miss Anything?

The Man Who Logged the West Ridge

For William Stafford (1914-1993)

War on a Round Planet


Epithalamium for a Former Lover


Postmodern 911

Mt. Gimli Pashtun

Air Support


The White Dogs



Afterword: Work and Silence, Tom Wayman



Tom Wayman’s poetry has been published around the world to great acclaim. Wayman is one of Canada’s most prolific and public poets, and his writing since the 1960s has been by turns angry, engaged, hopeful, tender, and hilarious. His voice and persona are his alone but simultaneously ours too. His recurring themes—work, mortality, love, lust, friendship, the natural world—make his work a poetry of human inevitabilities, a poetry that exults in the inevitability of seeing poetry in the everyday.
Wayman’s craft is poïesis (from the Ancient Greek “to make”)—making a change, making a difference, making a ruckus, making the most of our time. His working life has always been inextricable from his writing one; his poems offer an honest and candid consideration of the ideological underpinnings, practical realities, and subtle beauties of a life lived on job sites and picket lines, in union halls, classrooms, and book-stuffed offices, and on the page itself.

The Order in Which We Do Things is a collection of more than thirty of Wayman’s best poems, selected and introduced by Owen Percy. Percy’s introduction explores the genesis of Wayman’s print persona and contextualizes his politically engaged, conversational voice within the pantheon of its various publics. In his afterword, “Work and Silence,” Wayman reflects on his more than forty years in print as a work poet, and underlines poetry’s sustained power to engage readers, invite solidarity, and stoke the fires of critical resistance to the order in which we do things.


``Wayman. ..believes that poetry exists beyone ‘the money economy’ and because of this freedom it creates the highest potential to drive social change. His concerns are humanist and folksy, infused with the moral responsibility of integrity. This series, because of its. ..scope and space. ..allows the reader to see how Wayman's immersions in these moral concerns have developed and morphed from those of the lowly factory worker to those of acute environmental observance. Always the poems are permeated by intense attention to. ..a sense of justice. ''

- Micheline Maylor, Alberta Views, June 2014