NAME: Roxborough, Stephen

DATE OF BIRTH: June 4, 1953

PLACE OF BIRTH: Albany, New York


ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: father was born in Toronto, 1920


AWARDS: 2001 bart baxter poetry in performance, 2nd place

BIBLIOGRAPHY: co-editor and contributor, radiant danse uv being, a poetic portrait of bill bissett (nightwood editions, 2006)

The DNA of the NHL (Ekstasis 2017)
978-1-77171-205-7 $23.95

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: dual citizenship (canadian/american)
received vancouver civic award from mayor tom campbell (1969)
shook hands with wacky bennett on the parliament floor (1969)
represented canada on a tour of new zealand (1970)
graduated from king george high school, vancouver, 1970
won 2 individual canadian national swimming titles (1969, 1970)
represented canada at the commonwealth games, 1970
lived in vancouver's west end for over seven years where i started to write
rode my ten-speed from cape spear to victoria in 54 days (1979)
headlined first "poetry on the rocks", kimberley (2002)
although presently living in the states, my spiritual home is stanley park.

PHONE: 360 293 0939


Radiant Danse Uv Being (Nightwood $23.

ware wurr u wen blewointment furst up eared? If you were anywhere in the geographical and/or poetic vicinity of Kitsilano, Radiant Danse Uv Being, the new compendium/tribute to bill bissett, creator of blewointmentpress during the Sixties, will be hugely enjoyable. Expect to meet old friends as well as your own tears, sighs, giggles and inspired nostalgia. The eighty-five poets who have contributed poems and anecdotes include Margaret Avison, Sharon Thesen, both the Patricks—Lane and Friesen—Leonard Cohen, Jamie Reid, P.K. Page and Margaret Atwood (who has referred to bissett as her astral twin). Clearly bissett, who raised alternate spelling to high art and subversive eloquence, and whose life and work are already the stuff of legend, is still charming after all these years. Edited by Jeff Pew and Stephen Roxborough, the poems in this collection are as varied as the contributors; high on memory, and a little uneven as poetry. The anecdotes about bissett are remarkable. If one didn’t know these poems are describing someone who is a poet/friend, one would assume their subject is a guru, shaman, spiritual teacher, therapist, prophet or healer. The descriptive words are the elevated praise reserved for the likes of a Mandela, Ghandi, Thomas Merton and John Lennon. Stephen Roxborough writes, “bill’s friends are among the fortunate few shown how to play inside and out, and eventually through the strings of our universe.” Someone please advise Nightwood Editions: anyone who wrote or spoke or heard a poem in Kitsilano in the late Sixties should qualify for a free copy. Me please. 0-88971-210-7

--review by Hannah Main-van der Kamp

[BCBW 2006] "Poetry"

the national bookstore inc

began with over ten thousand inspired titles. too numerous
to choose them all yet over time
the government introduced computers
to count sales
create rankings and soon only
the top 200 bestsellers were allowed shelf space

what a boon for the book business! no more
tedious lackluster humdrum confusing limp along
loser genius tomes sold here

every run-of-the-mill literary bookstore
was soon transformed into an entertainment oasis
comprised entirely
of genuine blockbusters

eventually ranking programs became more precise
tirelessly winnowing down the field until it left
a handful of popular titles
in the whole industry

one political meeting and two bottom line calculations later
the government altruistically determined
which three fashionable creations
were the best choice for every reader in the country

the official position explained that lack of author publisher
selection style content talent
and perspective made everyone’s life
much simpler

people were happier going about their habitual existence
without fretting over not having enough time
to read all the good books they couldn’t
afford to buy. less is more they brainwashed us
and to a dim narrow squelchy degree

they were so very very right

The DNA of the NHL (Ekstasis 2017)
Article 2017

from BCBW 2017
Hockey ain't like it used to be back in the good 'ol days when there were only six teams in the NHL, rivalries were fierce, Murray Westgate did the Esso commercials between periods, Foster Hewitt couldn't pronounce the French players' names properly and Bobbie Baun famously played on a broken ankle.

Canada'a international superiority is gone. But the lure of the game is perpetuated by an onslaught of tv highlights and commercialism as McDavid replaces Gretzky, statistics abound, and the business of hockey is increasingly deemed newsworthy. Now, in synch with Canada's 150th birthday, we're apprised that the misnamed National Hockey League is marking its 100th anniversary.

That's as good a reason as any for Stephen Roxborough's series of poems that collectively serve as a homage to the game, The DNA of the NHL (Ekstasis 2017). This volume "deconstructs and illuminates the Canadian national sport of hockey in an extraordinary merger of sports and art." But perhaps you'd rather hear from literary critic Bobby Baun, the 17-year NHL player, three-time All-Star, four-time Stanley Cup winner, and author of his biography, Lowering The Boom. He body checks; he reads. While his more famous defence partner Tim Horton died in a car crash long ago, Bobby Baun is still around and he has praised The DNA of the NHL as "a quick and entertaining read. Stephen has the ability to use words to illustrate totally divergent meanings, in a way that makes one not only think, but often also smile."

Roxborough's family has always been deeply entrenched in the game. He writes:

"My grandfather’s electrical company wired Maple Leaf Gardens. My father was captain of his high school hockey team. My great uncle wrote the first book on the history of the Stanley Cup. My father always had a subscription to hockey news. My older brother received his monthly fix through hockey pictorial. Pre-cable pre-expansion pre-widespread hockey acceptance in North America, We listened to games on the radio. In 1968 my family moved to Vancouver and my brother got a job as a statistician with the WHL Canucks. Over the years my parents held season’s tickets for the Maple Leafs and Canucks and [Florida] Panthers. When I went to University in Madison in the early 70s, Bob Johnson was hockey coach and Wisconsin became the best collegiate team in the USA."

Stephen Roxborough first attended an NHL game in 1964 when he was fortunate to witness the seventh game of the 1964 Stanley Cup final. That was the game after Baun broke his ankle and refused medical attention in order to help his team hoist the Cup when the Leafs bested the Red Wings, 4-0.

Eventually Roxborough met his hockey hero, Mr. Hockey, in Las Vegas, a couple of years before Gordie Howe died. "Gordie was playful and gracious," he recalls, "and especially nice to my son, Zachary." Although Roxborough never played the game growing up in Vancouver, he's been an ardent student of it since he was young. "It’s in my DNA," he says. Hence the title.

[BCBW 2017]