“All over the map,” is how Eric Folsom, Kingston’s first poet laureate, describes his own work.
Eric is the author of four diverse collections of poetry: Northeastern Anti-ghazals, Icon Driven, What Kind of Love Did You Have in Mind? and Poems For Little Cataraqui. Among his devoted readers are many writers who hold his work in high esteem.
“These poems, by turns tender, grim, and shocking, are about sex, separation, anguish, beauty, the blues, and all other varieties of love and loss,” writes novelist Diane Schoemperlen of Icon Driven. “While juggling articulate precision and wild abandon, Folsom proudly wears his heart on his sleeve.”
For decades, Eric has been at the centre of Kingston literary life. He was an editor for Quarry Magazine, taught writing, hosted the Cargo Kulture poetry reading series, and has long been a local librarian, among many other activities. He’s read on Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café and his work has been published widely in Canadian literary journals and anthologies.
Kingston’s poet laureate for a four-year term, Eric was selected “for the high quality of his writing, his deep familiarity of Kingston’s history, his enduring interest in new literary voices, and his demonstrated ability to showcase Kingston as a centre of writing and artistic distinction,” said the Kingston Whig Standard.
He was born in the seaside city of Lynn, Massachusetts in 1951, and has lived in Kingston, Ontario, since 1974.