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The Order in Which We Do Things

The Poetry of Tom Wayman

By Tom Wayman
Edited by Owen Percy
Series Laurier Poetry Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554589951, 112 pages, February 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554589975, 112 pages, March 2014
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554589968, 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.