Penny's poetry pages Wiki

George J. Dance in 2014. Photo by Ryan Buan Productions. Courtesy Flying without Wings.

George J. Dance
Born George James Dance
October 28, 1953 (1953-10-28) (age 70)
Kingston, Ontario
Nationality Canada Canadian
Occupation various
Known for Chairman, Leader, Ontario Libertarian Party; Leader, Libertarian Party of Canada

George James Dance (born October 28, 1953) is a Canadian poet, prose writer, and blogger on poetry and politics.


Youth and education[]

George dance1957

Dance in 1957, Valcartier, Quebec.

Dance was born in Kingston, Ontario, the only son of Hilda (Leith) and George Nelson Dance (1917-1996), a sergeant-major in the Canadian Army. His mother died when he was too young to remember her.[1]

Dance and his family lived in Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario again in his childhood. He also spent several summers with an uncle and aunt in New Hampshire. He began writing in public school, and became interested in poetry in his freshman year of high school, 1967-1968, when he was introduced to the poems of Leonard Cohen, that year's winner of the Governor General's Award for English language poetry or drama.

Dance's family moved to Newcastle (now Miramichi), New Brunswick, when he was 16, and he took his last year of high school at that city's Harkins Academy, where he studied poetry under Doug Underhill.

After graduating from Harkins with honors, Dance attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. In his 2nd year he studied modern English poetry (a 3rd-year course) under John Thompson. That experience motivated him to begin writing his own poetry, none of which the student newspaper, the Argosy, would print. (The Argosy did, however, publish a short story of his, "The Little Gentleman".)

Dance dropped out of university after his 2nd year due to financial difficulties and, unable to find a job, moved in 1973 to Toronto, where he worked at a variety of menial jobs. The following summer he read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which was the beginning of what he has called "a 30-year career detour into politics.."[2]

Libertarian activist[]

Dance has been a member of the Libertarian Party of Canada and the Ontario Libertarian Party since the mid-1970s, and has served as interim leader of both parties.[3]

Dance listed his occupation as stock clerk, layout artist, freelance typesetter and office manager on various occasions between 1979 and 1993. For more than 10 years (1987-1998) he edited and published Libertarian Bulletin, the Ontario Libertarian Party's newsletter.

Dance has called for increased privatization.[4] He is an opponent of anarchism, and describes himself as a "proper-government libertarian" (i.e., supporting a government that recognizes and respects individual liberties).[5] Dance is also an opponent of restrictions on public smoking.[6]

George 1987

Dance in 1987. Photo by Maureen Dance. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Dance ran for Leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada in 1990, coming in 2nd to Stanislaw Tyminski.[7] He succeeded to the leadership when Tyminski left Canada in 1991 to run for president of Poland.[8] Dance held the position until May 1993, when Hilliard Cox was chosen to replace him.[9] As Leader, he led the Libertarian Party's opposition to the Charlottetown Accord constitutional amendments.[10] In 1992, Dance indicated that his party might seek an electoral alliance with the Freedom Party of Ontario. The Freedom Party rejected this suggestion.

Dance also served as interim leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada from 1995 to 1996.

Dance served on the executive of the Ontario Libertarian Party from 1985 until 2008, for the last 12 of those years as party chairman. He became the party's leader following the resignation of John Shadbolt on June 9, 1995.[11] As party leader, he contested a 1996 by-election in York South. He held the position until Sam Apelbaum was selected at a delegated convention in late 1996. Dance was elected chairman at the same 1996 convention. He retired from the office in 2008.[12]

In January 2009, the Western Standard ranked Dance at #62 in its "Liberty 100" list of "Canadians who have advanced economic and personal liberty" in 2008.[13]

Columnist and poet[]

George 2009

Dance in 2009, from Looking and Playing in Space, 2011. Photo by Maureen Dance.

Dance began posting onto usenet in 2000, mostly on politics and philosophy groups. In 2007 he joined several usenet poetry groups, and began writing poetry again.

In early 2008, Dance began writing an occasional political column, "The Ron Paul Reports" (now "The Continuing rEVOLution") on the online magazine Nolan Chart.[14]

In 2009, 6 of Dance's poems were published in the online literary magazine, The Other Voices International Project.[15]

Penny's Hat

Also in 2009, he wrote the long poem "Betty, or Betty's Hat", and began The Betty Blog as a place to archive it.[16] (Due to a complaint of copyright infringement, the names were changed in 2011 to "Penny, or Penny's Hat" and "Penny's Poetry Blog").[17]

In 2010 he began a daily political blog, "The Political Animal" (now "GD's Political Animal").[18]

In 2011 he translated, blogged, and self-published Looking and Playing in Space, an English translation of Regards et jeux dans l'espace by French-Canadian poet Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau. That year he also published a full-length non-fiction book, Ron Paul and his rEVOLution, a collection of some of his Nolan Chart columns.

In July 2011 he began a poetry wiki, Penny's Poetry Pages. The wiki had over 5,000 articles (including poems) by the end of 2012, over 8,000 by the end of 2013, and over 10,000 by the end of 2017.

He self-published Penny, or Penny's Hat in 2013.[19]

In 2015 he published 3 poems in The Horror Zine Magazine,[20] and released his debut collection, Doggerel, and other doggerel.[21]

2019 was devoted to editing a collection of selected poems by American poet Will Dockery, Selected Poems, 1976-2019.

He published 2 poems in The Horror Zine Magazine in 2020,[22] and a 2nd collection, Logos, and other logoi, in 2021.[23]

Private life[]

He married Maureen (Cain) (born 1958) in Toronto on August 6, 1982. They have a daughter (born 1987).




  • Penny, or Penny's Hat. Toronto: Principled Press / Baltimore, MD: Lulu Press, 2013; Toronto: Principled Press, 2021.
  • Doggerel, and other doggerel. Toronto: Principled Press / Baltimore, MD: Lulu Press, 2015.
  • Logos, and other logoi. Toronto: Prinipled Press / Lulu Press, 2021.




  • Will Dockery, Selected Poems, 1976-2019. Toronto: Principled Press / Columbus, GA: Will Dockery, 2019.

Bibliography courtesy the author.

Poems by Dance[]

  1. April
  2. August
  3. Autumn Music
  4. December
  5. Fuji-san
  6. In the Garden
  7. March
  8. May
  9. July
  10. How to Write Good (Poetry) (a poessay)


  1. Olympian Ode 14 / Pindar
  2. Spring Scene / Du Fu
  3. Lorelei's Song / Heinrich Heine
  4. Evil (Le Mal) / Arthur Rimbaud
  5. Romance Novel / Arthur Rimbaud
  6. Sensation / Arthur Rimbaud
  7. Vowels (Voyelles) / Arthur Rimbaud

Articles by Dance[]

See also[]



  1. This section is mostly based on the subject's memories.
  2. George Dance, September Night, The Other Voices International Project, Volume 42 (2008). Web, Oct. 25, 2013.
  3. This section is based on Dance's Wikipedia biography, archived here and at the Libertarianism wiki.
  4. George J. Dance, "Talking Trash," Nolan Chart, June 24, 2009.
  5. George J. Dance, "Government or Anarchy?", Nolan Chart, June 29, 2008.
  6. George J. Dance, "Smokin'," Nolan Chart, June 10, 2008.
  7. R.W. Bradford, "A Pole Can Do It", Liberty, January 1991, 13-19. Print.
  8. "George Dance Succeeds to Leadership," Libertarian Reporter 2:3 (May 1991), 1. Print.
  9. "Hill Cox Wins Leadership," Libertarian Reporter 3:4 (Summer 1993), 1. Print.
  10. George Dance, "A Feeble Constitution," Libertarian Reporter 3:1 (Summer 1992), 2. Print.
  11. "George Dance Succeeds to Leadership," Libertarian Bulletin [Ontario Libertarian Party], 17:2 (Summer 1995).
  12. George J. Dance, "Libertarian Politics in Ontario, Canada," Nolan Chart, Nov. 10, 2008.
  13. 'Western Standard’s “Liberty 100” Top 75 for 2008,' Shotgun blog, Western Standard, Jan. 3, 2009. Web, Dec. 14, 2010.
  14. George J. Dance, "The Continuing rEVOLution," Nolan Chart. Web, Nov. 30, 2001.
  15. George Dance, September Night, Other Voices International, Vol. 42, May 19, 2009. Wayback Machine, Web, June 5, 2015.
  16. George J. Dance, Blogging Betty, alt.arts.poetry.comments, December 14, 2009. Message-ID: <>. Google Groups, Web, July 14, 2019.
  17. George J. Dance, "Betty has changed her name ..., alt.arts.poetry.comments, April 11, 2011. Message-ID: <> Google Groups, Web, July 14, 2019.
  18. George Dance, "Introducing the Political Animal," The Political Animal, January 16, 2010. Blogspot, Web, Apr. 6, 2020.
  19. Buying Penny, Penny's Poetry Blog. Blogspot, Web, Dec. 1, 2021.
  20. The Horror Zine Magazine, Spring 2015, 185-187. Print.
  21. Doggerel, and other doggerel: new collection by George J. Dance, Penny's Poetry Blog, September 1, 2015. Blogspot, Web, Dec. 1, 2021.
  22. The Horror Zine Magazine, Spring 2020, 167-169. Print.
  23. New poetry collection from George J. Dance. Penny's Poetry Blog, December 1, 2021. Web, Dec. 1, 2021.

External links[]

Original Penny's Poetry Pages article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0.