Bliss Carman FRSC (April 15, 1861 – June 8, 1929) was a Canadian poet. He was born William Bliss Carman in Fredericton, in the Maritime province of New Brunswick. "Bliss" was his mother's maiden name.
As with many Canadian poets, nature figures prominently as a theme in his work. In his time, he was arguably Canada's best known poet, and was dubbed by some the "unofficial poet laureate of Canada."
Bliss Carman was the great-grandson of United Empire Loyalists who fled to Nova Scotia after the American Revolution, settling in New Brunswick (then part of Nova Scotia). His literary roots run deep with an ancestry that includes a mother who was a descendant of Daniel Bliss of Concord, Massachusetts, the great-grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also on his mother's side, he was a first cousin to another famous Canadian poet, Sir Charles G. D. Roberts. His sister was married to the botanist and historian William Francis Ganong.
Carman was educated at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Edinburgh, Harvard University and New York University. While studying at Harvard, he met Richard Hovey; the two would later co-author several books of poetry. After relocating to New York City, Carman became influential as an editor and writer for the Independent, the Cosmopolitan, the Atlantic Monthly, the Chap Book and other literary journals. He is also well known for his anthology and editing work on The World's Best Poetry (10 volumes, 1904) and The Oxford Book of American Verse (1927).
After 1909, he lived in New Canaan, Connecticut but became a corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1928, the Society awarded him its Lorne Pierce Medal.
Bliss Carman died at the age of 68 in New Canaan, Connecticut. His body was returned home and interred in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
There is a middle school named after him in Fredericton, New Brunswick. There is also a school named after him in Toronto, Ontario. "Bliss Carman Heights" (an extension of the Skyline Acres subdivision) is a subdivision located in Fredericton, New Brunswick overlooking the Saint John River. It consists of Essex Street, Gloucester Crescent, Reading Street, Ascot Court, and Ascot Drive. A extension of the Bliss Carman Heights subdivision is named "Poet's Hill" and consists of Bliss Carman Drive and Poets Lane.
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