Governor-General’s Award and Griffin Poetry Prize winner appears here Jan. 22
You could call him the poet laureate of ecological philosophy. A naturist, editor and revered scholar, Don McKay has been a leading influence in Canada’s eco-poetry movement since the early ‘70s.
McKay is an award-winning author of 12 books of poetry, twice winning the Governor General’s Award (Night Field, 1991; Another Gravity, 2000) and is the 2006 winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize for Strike/Slip.
McKay presents a reading of his works in Kelowna on Wednesday January 22, 7 p.m. at the Okanagan Regional Library, 1378 Ellis St., as part of UBC’s Visiting Author Series. McKay centres his work on ecological themes, human conflict, perception, awareness and his love of birding. His volume Vis à Vis: Field Notes on Poetry & Wilderness sees the poet elegantly charting the human sense of being in nature, blending playful inquiry and storytelling through a series of poetic essays.
McKay is also the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies’ Visiting Scholar for 2014. He will spend a week at UBC’s Okanagan campus conducting workshops and classroom presentations.
He is associate director for poetry at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and had a lengthy teaching career at the University of Western Ontario and University of New Brunswick. He is also the co-founder of Brick Books, a leading Canadian poetry press and was literary editor for the literary journal, The Fiddlehead in the 1990s.
A member of the Order of Canada, McKay has edited books by such leading Canadian eco-poets as Tim Lilburn, Dennis Lee, Roo Borson, Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst.
The Visiting Author series is sponsored by UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, UBC Okanagan campus Bookstore, Okanagan Regional Library, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Further Visiting Author evenings are planned for 2014 featuring acclaimed Canadian authors and poets. These include: Mariko Tamaki, award-winning Canadian artist and writer who has produced several works of both traditional written fiction and non-fiction, on Tuesday, February 11, and poet Gerry Shikatani, on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
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