Zieroth, David Dale
David Dale Zieroth, poet, editor (b at Neepawa, Man 7 Nov 1946). Raised on his parents' farm in Manitoba, David Zieroth was educated at the University of Manitoba (BA 1967) and Simon Fraser University (MA 1987). He has taught creative writing and edited the literary journal Event for more than a decade. In the 1990s David Zieroth reclaimed his first name, having been known as Dale since a first-grade teacher couldn't cope with two Davids in her class.
David Zieroth was first published in The Western Producer's Youth Pages under the pseudonym Mr Whippoorwill, but began his career as a poet when his work was anthologized in Al PURDY's Storm Warning (1971) and HOUSE OF ANASI's Mindscapes (1971).
David Zieroth's poetry studies place and geography, with landscapes often being used as correlatives for states of mind. His first 3 collections, Clearing: Poems from a Journey (1973), Mid-River (1981) and When the Stones Fly Up (1985), reflect Zieroth's rural background and meditative cast of mind. They trace the poet's life through changing locales and the estranging experience of travel and new settings cause him to recall his prairie childhood. The collections were praised for their simple, direct language.
The Weight of My Raggedy Skin (1991) deals with his continued interest in familial relations, particularly fatherhood. This interest in family is continued in How I Joined Humanity at Last (1998), which won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1998, and Crows Do Not Have Retirement (2001).
The two collections that followed, The Education of Mr Whippoorwill: A Country Boyhood (2002) and The Village of Sliding Time (2006), offer extended explorations of the poet's own life, examining, and affirming, his decision to leave Manitoba.