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Paul Potts: Canuck-Soho Bard whose Circle Included Elizabeth Smart and George Orwell
Rediscovered by Ronald Caplan, editor of a forthcoming collection of Potts’ poetry, _George Orwell’s Friend: Selected Writing by Paul Potts_.
A few years ago, Ronald Caplan was drawn to the writer, Paul Potts, knowing nothing beyond an extraordinary photograph and the four lines of poetry that accompanied it in Christopher Barker’s _Portraits of Poets_: “My dreams / Watching me said / One to the other / This life has let us down.” That, and the line in Sebastian Barker’s introduction mentioning “those, of whom Paul Potts is perhaps the best example, who have known the full weight of neglect.” Potts was born in British Columbia but spent much of his life in England, living among characters in London’s Soho and Fitzrovia, moving among the elite literati and selling his poems on “penny each” broadsides, an act he considered a “sacrament.” He was a man of rare attentions, brave and tender, who wrote unfashionably in his time: a kind of straightforward poetry and prose about love, human kindness, decency, hope for the species, and peace.

h3. Paul Potts: Canuck-Soho Bard whose Circle Included Elizabeth Smart and George Orwell
p. *Rediscovered by Ronald Caplan, editor of a forthcoming collection of Potts’ poetry, [_George Orwell’s Friend: Selected Writing by Paul Potts_]*
!))<http://www.arcpoetry.ca/images/fn_poets/paul_potts.gif 160w 215h (Paul Potts 1911-1990, a rediscovered Canadian poet)!
A few years ago, Ronald Caplan was drawn to the writer, Paul Potts, knowing nothing beyond an extraordinary photograph and the four lines of poetry that accompanied it in Christopher Barker’s [_Portraits of Poets_]: “My dreams / Watching me said / One to the other / This life has let us down.” That, and the line in Sebastian Barker’s introduction mentioning “those, of whom Paul Potts is perhaps the best example, who have known the full weight of neglect.” Potts was born in British Columbia but spent much of his life in England, living among characters in London’s Soho and Fitzrovia, moving among the elite literati and selling his poems on “penny each” broadsides, an act he considered a “sacrament.” He was a man of rare attentions, brave and tender, who wrote unfashionably in his time: a kind of straightforward poetry and prose about love, human kindness, decency, hope for the species, and peace.


h4. About Essayist Ronald Caplan
For over 25 years, Ronald Caplan served as interviewer and photographer for [_Cape Breton’s Magazine_], for which he received the Barbeau Award of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada; Nova Scotia’s Cultural Life Award; the Canadian Historical Association’s Award for “exemplary contribution to the Oral History of Cape Breton;” and an honorary doctorate from Cape Breton University. His work is best known for keeping the Cape Breton story alive through oral testimony and images. Long, long ago, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was editor of [_MOTHER_], a magazine of poetry. He worked for a time with John Sinclair and the Artist’s Workshop in Detroit, produced Island/Asphodels with Victor Coleman in Toronto, and Frontier Press books with Harvey Brown of West Newbury, Massachusetts. Living at Wreck Cove on the Cabot Trail, Caplan is the author of several collections from [_Cape Breton’s Magazine_] and the publisher of Breton Books.

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