Press Release

Biographical Notes --


This Horizon and Beyond

"To me, the greatest joy is creation." - Nancy-Gay Rotstein
Nancy-Gay Rotstein has been internationally praised for her poetry. Her newest volume of poetry, THIS HORIZON AND BEYOND: Poems Selected and New (1975 - 2000), just published by McClelland & Stewart, blends some of her most acclaimed poems with exciting new and previously unpublished work.

"She uses words as if they were diamonds," exclaimed the Canadian Press upon the publication of her last poetry collection, CHINA: SHOCKWAVES (1987) in Canada (McClelland & Stewart), the United Kingdom, and the United States. Granted a special literary visa that allowed her unrestricted travel within the People's Republic of China in 1980, she was one of the first outsiders to enter China after the Cultural Revolution. In CHINA: SHOCKWAVES she poetically recorded her impressions of this land, its people and its future - observations she found reinforced on a return visit seven years later. "Few have a sharper eye for detail than Nancy-Gay Rotstein," commented the Detroit Free Press and The Scotsman praised her for having a "prescience which now seems extraordinary."

Poems from that celebrated work are included in THIS HORIZON AND BEYOND, as
are selections from her two earlier collections, THROUGH THE EYES OF A WOMAN (1975), and TAKING OFF (1979).

Also included in THIS HORIZON AND BEYOND are her poems about the family, which, at the recommendation of literary critics and of other poets after THROUGH THE EYES OF A WOMAN was published, she decided to hold for future publication as a unit in order to encompass the full circle of family life. These poems, written over the past twenty five years,are now presented together in this volume for the first time. "What impresses me," writes Irving Layton in the Foreword about her family poetry, "is her realism, a nice warm human realism... her mind is working alongside her heart.... The other unusual thing about her children's poems is their universality. She has compressed all mother's feelings about their progeny with an impressive freshness and vigor."

Nancy-Gay Rotstein has successfully balanced an active family life with careers as a writer and lawyer. In addition, she has assumed a leadership role in some of Canada's most vital cultural institutions. Rotstein was appointed in 1985 to the Board of Directors of The Canada Council where she served for six years. She has also served on the National Library Advisory Board of Canada, and was a founding member of the Public Lending Right Commission, the government agency which oversees payment of royalties to writers for the use of their books in libraries. Most recently, she served as one of six directors on the board of Telefilm Canada, the federal agency responsible for developing Canada's film and television industry.

Nancy-Gay Rotstein received her B.A. and M.A. in History at the University of Toronto, and her writing reflects a strong awareness of time and place based on her extensive historical interests and background. She returned to university to study law after her children were in school. Specializing in family law and research, she conducted and wrote a major study in her final year on how lawyers should represent children's legal rights. She received her LL.B degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1985, and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1987.

Nancy-Gay Rotstein is also the author of an acclaimed first novel, SHATTERING GLASS (1997), published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart and in the United States by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. It has also been published to date in Australia, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Russia, and will soon come out in Italy, Finland and Sweden.

Her new poetry collection THIS HORIZON AND BEYOND is also being published in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Nancy-Gay Rotstein is a member of the Writers Union, the League of Canadian Poets and International PEN. She is married and has three children.

Nancy-Gay Rotstein © 2002