John Terpstra

Since the early 1980s, John Terpstra has been a mainstay of the Canadian literary scene, publishing both poetry and non-fiction. He has also been a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Charles Taylor Prize. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he works as a writer, cabinetmaker and carpenter.

Link to author web site (external page)

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Falling Into Place
John Terpstra

2002 / Nature / $25.95
9781894031608 / Trade paper / 320 pp

Edition is out of print

This book is what happens when one person becomes completely enamoured of the landscape in the city where he lives—especially if this person, like John Terpstra, engages the world with the imagination and curiosity of a poet. Terpstra’s investigations centre around the Iroquois Bar, a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Hamilton’s busiest transportation corridors. Combining history and geology with gumshoe work and poetic intuition, Terpstra puzzles out just how much the physical and social geography of the area has changed since the sandbar was formed. This close study is nested inside a broader consideration of modern society’s constant and often ill-considered alteration of landscape. Terpstra’s acute focus on his neighbourhood offers insights of global value in a book that is both provocative and entertaining.

Listed as one of the Hamilton Spectator’s “Best books of the year” in 2002 for its appeal to “aficionados of history, geography, geology, poetic language, fine prose and the landscape around us.”
“‘I am attached to a piece of landscape.’ Thus opens an enchanting journey through time and space, a trip along the shoreline of ancient Lake Iroquois, a ridge that runs from Burlington Heights to meet the escarpment at John Street South, with stops on the way to visit with Governor and Mrs. Simcoe, Richard and Henrietta Beasley, Sir Allan MacNab and other founders of the city of Hamilton. An original Canadian typeface, heavy cream paper, exquisite drawings by Wesley Bates and beautiful maps by Glenn Macdonald, with John Terpstra’s passion for his subject make Falling Into Place a masterwork. This is a book for aficionados of history, geography, geology, poetic language, fine prose and the landscape around us.” Susan Evans Shaw, Hamilton Spectator

Has a newer edition: 9781554471102

Other Books by this Author

Call Me Home
John Terpstra

2021 / Canadian Poetry / $21.95 CAN
9781554472260 / Trade paper / 108 pp
John Terpstra

2017 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN
9781554471676 / Trade paper / 80 pp
The House with the Parapet Wall
John Terpstra

2014 / Memoirs / $24.95 CAN
9781554471393 / Trade paper / 160 pp
Brilliant Falls
John Terpstra

2013 / Poetry / $17.95 CAN
9781554471232 / Trade paper / 64 pp
Falling Into Place
John Terpstra

2011 / Nature / $24.95 CAN
9781554471102 / Trade paper / 240 pp
Skin Boat: Acts of faith and other navigations
John Terpstra

2009 / Memoir / $25.95 CAN
9781554470792 / Trade paper / 160 pp
Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems
John Terpstra

2006 / Poetry / $49.95 CAN
9781554470273 / Fine / 144 pp
Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems
John Terpstra

2006 / Poetry / $19.95 CAN
9781554470266 / Trade paper / 144 pp
Brendan Luck
John Terpstra

2005 / Poetry / $4.95 CAN
9781554470136 / Pamphlet / 24 pp
The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter
John Terpstra

2005 / Biography / Memoirs / $25.95 CAN
9781554470112 / Trade paper / 144 pp
John Terpstra

2003 / Poetry / $18.95 CAN
9781894031738 / Trade paper / 104 pp
John Terpstra

2000 / Poetry / $2.95 CAN
9781894031325 / Pamphlet / 16 pp

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