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John Reibetanz is a poet, literary critic and English Professor. He was born in 1944 in New York City, the only child of Harold and Veronica (Hanley) Reibetanz, and grew up in various places in urban and rural northeastern United States and Canada. In 1967 he married Julia Maniates in Toronto—they had three children, Stephanie Sophia, Timothy and David. Reibetanz divides his time between Toronto and a small farm near Creemore, Ontario.
Reibetanz received a B.A. with Special Honours in English from Brooklyn College (City University of New York) in 1965, followed by an M.A. (1967) and a Ph.D (1968) in English Language and Literature from Princeton University. In 1968 he was appointed Assistant Professor of English at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, and went on to become Professor in 1982. His teaching and research interests include modern and contemporary British and American poetry, 16th and 17th century poetry and drama, and Shakespeare. In his career at the University of Toronto he has served on and chaired various committees. In 1990, Reibetanz received the first Victoria University Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and course preparation.
Reibetanz’s first published book was The Lear World: a Study of King Lear in its Dramatic Context (1977), which was nominated as the University of Toronto Press entry for the Christian Gauss Prize of Phi Beta Kappa. His subsequent books have been collections of poetry: Ashbourn (1986), Morning Watch (1995), Midland Swimmer (1996), Near Finisterre (1996), Mining for Sun (2000), which was shortlisted for the 2001 ReLit Award in Poetry, and Near Relations (2005). His poems have appeared in various periodicals, including Poetry (Chicago), Quarry, Canadian literature, The Malahat Review, and The Paris Review. He has also contributed poems to anthologies, including Vintage 94 (1995), Vintage 95 (1996), and Ars Poetica (1996). Reibetanz has given poetry readings in major cities across Canada, and is a member of the League of Canadian poets. In 1995 he was a finalist for the National Magazine Awards, and in 2002 he was awarded the First Prize in the Petra Kenney poetry Competition for his poem “Night Thought.