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Kevin Irie


Kevin Irie, a third generation Japanese-Canadian, was born in Toronto. He received an M.A. in English from the University of Toronto. Irie continues to live in Toronto.  Irie reads selections from Angel Blood in the CD from Frontenac Press called No Holds Barred.


Angel Blood: The Tess Poems

Calgary: Frontenac House , 2004.
PS8567 .R48 A76 2004

Publisher’s Synopsis (From it’s website)

Angel Blood: The Tess Poems is Kevin Irie’s radical re-interpretation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Here, Tess herself recounts her tale of sex, class, money, and violence. This is the voice not of a Victorian maiden but a demonic Tess returned from the dead, unleashed from the underworld. Finally free to speak as she pleases, and with nothing to lose, she does not care who will be taken aback, be it husband, family, or “The President of the Immortals” – or even the innocent reader.


Burning the Dead

Toronto: Wolsak and Wynn, 1992.


The Colour of Eden

Alma, N.B.: Owl’s Head Press, 1996.

Publisher’s Synopsis

[This] is largely a book of nature poetry, but nature observed acutely as in the object of poems of the American poet Robert Bly, the French poet Francis Ponge, and the Odas Elementales of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. This collection establishes Kevin Irie as one of the strongest new voices in Canadian poetry.

Awards and Honours

1997 City of Toronto Book Award (Finalist)



Dinner at Madonna’s

Calgary: Frontenac House , 2003.
PS8567 .R48 D56 2003

Publisher’s Synopsis (From it’s website)

Kevin Irie’s Dinner at Madonna’s explores the fusion of personal and historic memory and nationality within the context of growing up in multicultural Canada.


The Tantramar Re-Vision

Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021.
Forthcoming August 2021. Will be ordered.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Inspired by the literary landscape of the late poet John Thompson, Kevin Irie’s The Tantramar Re-Vision presents a portrait of nature where the benign and the bedevilled coexist, collude, or collide.

The Tantramar Re-Vision charts routes of discovery as it follows trails, waterways, flights, and fears, be it through the woods, the wilds, the page, or the mind where “it’s hard to admit / you are not to your taste.” It questions an existence in which the inhuman thrives, ignorant of divinity, while the human psyche continues to search for answers as “life takes directions / away from” it. The Tantramar Marsh setting of John Thompson’s Stilt Jack resonates with Irie’s landscapes of birds, fish, plants, and wildlife, all still within reach yet part of a world where “wind carries sounds / it cannot hear.”

Insightful and meditative, The Tantramar Re-Vision is poetry of the inner self and the outside observer, a poetic testament to the ways literature creates its own landmarks and nature survives without knowing a word.


Viewing Tom Thomson, A Minority Report

Calgary: Frontenac House , 2012.
PS8567 .R48 V54 2012

Publisher’s Synopsis (From it’s website)

What is the place of an early 20th century landscape Canadian painter in the increasingly urban, multicultural world of 21st century Canada? Viewing Tom Thomson, A Minority Report explores the possibilities in poems sometimes personal, sometimes public, in which this former iconoclast, now famous icon, emerges as a source of inspiration, intrigue, admiration, and ire.

Awards and Honours

2013 City of Toronto Book Awards (Finalist)


Publisher Frontenac House

Publisher McGill-Queen’s University Press

Interview with Irie from Black Coffee Poet website, Nov. 2012

Kevin Irie member profile from the Writers’ Union of Canada website