April is National Poetry Month, and this year it’s ending with a flourish when one of Canada’s most prolific writers, George Bowering, reads at Touchstones Nelson on Wednesday, April 30, at 7:30PM.
A native of the Okanagan, Bowering grew up in Oliver. In the early sixties, along with Nelson native, Fred Wah, and three other poets, he was a founding member of TISH, a publication that was instrumental in showcasing the work of a new generation of Canadian poets. He’s published over 70 books, writing plays, essays, memoirs, history, and several novels, but he is best known for his poetry.
In 2002 he was appointed Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate. He has won two Governor General’s Awards, one for poetry and one for fiction (the first of only three writers to have accomplished this, the others being Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje), and his collection of lyric poems, Changing on the Fly, was short-listed for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2006.
A two-time winner of the bp nichol Chapbook Award for Poetry, he continues to support the small press industry by regularly publishing new work in chapbooks. For his Nelson reading, one of these presses, Laurel Reed Books, has generously provided some handouts with a poem from Some Answers, a series of poems that provide Bowering’s sometimes tongue-in-cheek response to questions posed by other poets.
This fall will see the publication of new editions of his novel, Shoot! and his long poem sequence, Kerrisdale Elegies. Recently featured on Kootenay Co-op Radio’s The Writers’ Show (# 34, archived online here), Bowering’s readings are thoughtful, interesting and, above all, fun. Don’t miss this one.
Co-sponsored by the Kootenay School of Writing, (the Nelson ad hoc group that has been around since '84, just like the one in Vancouver, and exists to bring in writers to do readings) the Canada Council and Selkirk College. Admission by donation.