The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems

The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems

Tim Bowling
  • $18.00

April 2019
72 pages | 978-1-928088-81-3

A tenderman is a crew member of a fishing vessel, a fisherman, someone who hauls live fish to the shore every day. In The Dark Set, the Tenderman is a character from another time, a worker in a lost resource culture, who is both a breathing artifact of a rough-edged, wilder past and a representative of uncomfortable human traits that rise out of ignorance and a failure of empathy. A fiercely independent everyman, the Tenderman is Bowling’s way of wrestling with his own conflicted feelings about masculinity, history, citizenship and power. The division between the poet and the tenderman is wide, but he is a kind of shadow brother, a solitary visitor from a world North America repeatedly tries, and fails, to leave behind.

Reviews | Articles | Excerpt | About the Author | Other Titles


Addressing Endurance: Midgley, Bowling, Lockhart (Catherine Owen, Canadian Literature, 26/08/2020)
"A fierce and wry interrogation of maleness, labour, the land."

The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems (Kelly Shepherd, Alberta Views, 01/01/2020)
"Like the poems in his 2016 The Duende of Tetherball, these are rhythmic and colloquial, showcasing Bowling's virtuosity with the short, genre-defying – lyric but self-referential – poem. With understated and seemingly effortless humour, Bowling examines the aging process, fatherhood, mortality and alienation."

Three from Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn, 2019: #3 Tim Bowling (Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews, 10/05/2019)
"The lyrics in this sequel are continually wrenching, slyly-winking, steeped in homages to both literary predecessors and the trajectories of the submerged working men of the Fraser River."


Two Poems from The Dark Set: New Tenderman Poems (All Lit Up, 14/06/2019)
Read two poems from Tim's latest collection.


Read an excerpt from The Dark Set.

About the Author

Tim Bowling’s nineteen books have been shortlisted for major national prizes in fiction (the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for The Tinsmith in 2012), non-fiction (the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize) and poetry (the Governor General’s Award and Canadian Authors Association Award), and in 2008 the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Bowling a fellowship recognizing his entire body of work. His writing has also been nominated twelve times for the Alberta Literary Awards and nine times for the City of Edmonton Book Prize. He currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Other Titles by This Author

In the Capital City of Autumn (2024)

The Marvels of Youth (2023)

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird (2021)

The Heavy Bear (2017)

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