Stewart Cole is the author of the poetry collections Soft Power (Goose Lane, 2019) and Questions in Bed (Goose Lane, 2012) and the chapbooks Alien Freight (Anstruther Press, 2017) and Sirens (Cactus Press, 2011). His work has appeared in many venues, including The Walrus, The Puritan, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, and Riddle Fence.
He is also a literary scholar working at the intersections of modern British and Irish literatures, ecocriticism, animal studies, and utopian/dystopian studies. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Studies in the Novel, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Twentieth-Century Literature, Studies in Canadian Literature, and the essay collection Literature and Meat since 1900.
He is Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Environmental Studies Program, Affiliated Faculty of the Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations (SIRT), and Honors College Faculty at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he teaches courses in literature and criticism, poetry writing, and the environmental humanities, as well as interdisciplinary Honors seminars and study-abroad programs. For Fall 2020, he is interim Director of the Environmental Studies Program.
Stewart grew up in the Rideau Valley south of Ottawa and lived in Victoria, Montréal, Fredericton, London (Ontario), and Toronto before moving to the U.S. Midwest. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, an M.A. from the University of New Brunswick, and a B.A. (Honours) from the University of Victoria.
"The voice in Stewart Cole's Soft Power is like an animal turning circles in high grass, prepping the ground prior to bedding down. Agitated, aware, and nowhere at home, these poems know why they're adrift, uprooted, abandoned to a transient language of visitor, caretaker, scribe, and witness."
- Ken Babstock
"Soft Power is an ars inveniendi, an 'undirected love' for the world that refuses the falsifying aspirational ubiquity of late capitalism in favour of a mutual mediation between subject and object. With a critical eye growing weary of 'needing to be useful' and sensing 'what is is more than what's here,' this restless, wry rumination has no expectations, leaving readers to wonder if they're alive in the same negatively capable way. Stewart Cole's poetry is a kind of doubt, still in search for what might humanize us in a barbaric age."
- Nyla Matuk
Read an interview with Stewart about the book at EVENT magazine.
Read "Horse in Void" and an essay about the poem's genesis written for National Poetry Month.
Hear Stewart read "Mobcast" ("Now we can help / Just by watching...")
Recent Academic Publications
Courses for the 2020-21 Academic Year
- Environmental Studies / English 360 Literary Animal Studies
- Honors 275 Culture Connection
- English 205 Literature from a Global Perspective (Honors Study-Abroad Program in Paris—Moved to June 2021)
- English 381 Foundations of Literary Criticism
- Environmental Studies 282 Environmental Humanities
- English 294 Literary Landscapes (Study-Abroad Program in Ireland—Spring Interim 2021)