Skip to main content

THE PARLIAMENTARY POET LAUREATE

ABOUT CURRENT POET
LAUREATE
FORMER POETS
LAUREATE
POEM OF
THE MONTH
NOMINATION
PROCESS
CONTACT

FORMER POETS LAUREATE

George Bowering

Biography

George Bowering is one of the country's most respected and beloved authors. In his remarkable career, he has written more than 60 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, winning the Governor-General's Award twice.

Born 1 December 1935, Penticton, B.C., to Ewart Bowering and Pearl Brinson Bowering.

Attended Victoria College (Victoria, B.C.), University of British Columbia, and University of Western Ontario. MA from UBC in 1963.

Royal Canadian Air Force photographer, 1954-1957.

Writer-in-residence, Sir George Williams University, Montreal, 1967-1968. Stopped PhD studies at UWO to take that position.

Teaching: University of Calgary, 1963-1966; Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University), 1968-1971; Simon Fraser University, 1972-2001. Short terms at various colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S., as well as Rome, Berlin and Aarhus.

Governor-General's Award for Poetry, 1969.(Shortlist, 2000)
Governor-General's Award for Fiction, 1980.
bp Nichol Chapbook Award for poetry, 1991.
bp Nichol Chapbook Award for poetry, 1992.
Canadian Authors' Association Award for Poetry, 1993.

Honorary Degree (D. Litt.), University of British Columbia, 1994.

Officer of the Order of Canada, 2002.

Parliamentary Poet Laureate, 2002-2004.

Honorary Degree (D. Litt.), University of Western Ontario, 2003.

News

  • 11 August 2004
    Unassuming and candid Poet Laureate Bowering charms ArtSpring audience

  • 20 May 2004
    George Bowering to receive Order of British Columbia

  • 3 April 2004
    George Bowering's book "Stone Country" shortlisted for Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour - www.leacock.ca

  • 30 March 2004
    Canada's poet laureate gives reading at Brock

  • 24 March 2004
    Nominations open for Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate

  • 21 January 2004
    George Bowering selects book for Western Reads program

  • Winter 2003
    On wine bottles and web sites: How the Nation's First Poet Laureate is Managing the "Strange Situation" of Poetry in Canada

  • 18 November 2003
    Western's best-book contest to be decided by votes of readers - canoe.ca

  • 8 October 2003
    Bush inspires readers; let us count the ways

  • 5 October 2003
    Very short stories

  • September 2003
    George Bowering Named Writer-in-Residence

  • 11 January 2003
    Mediaontap: Writing Life - David Tracey and Guests
    Episode: George Bowering "The King Is In". "In the houseboat, that is. We've got Canada's very own Poet Laureate as our guest. So what did Jean Chrétien say when the author of "Egotists and Autocrats: Canada's Prime Ministers" showed up in Ottawa to collect his wreath? Click in to hear that and His Wordliness' take on poetics, politics and driving drunk behind the wheel of public affairs."

  • 27 November 2002
    ZeD (CBC) - Haiku Blessing - "Canada's first Parliamentary Poet Laureate declares the opening of ZeD's haiku episode."

  • 18 November 2002
    Canada AM (CTV) - George Bowering, Canada's first poet laureate

  • 24 November 2001
    Calgary Writers House, Interview - The interview was a CWH event that took place at Derek Beaulieu's house in Calgary on Nov. 24 2001 with Jason Wiens, Andrea Struden recording and Derek as well as Jean Baird.

  • 23 November 2001
    Calgary Writers House, Reading - The event was a reading hosted by Jason Weins and sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Calgary. The reading took place on November 23, 2001 in the evening on campus in the social sciences building. The room was full of students and faculty including Fred Wah, Aritha Van Herk, Pauline Buntling. George read and answered questions.

  • 1973 - 2003 Archive - ArtsCanada (CBC)
    Canada Reads, 2003
    The Arts Today, 2000
    Don Harron's Morningside, 1980
    This Country in the Morning, 1973


  • Poems

  • “Whatever You Do”
    Mr. Bowering's first official poem as Parliamentary Poet Laureate was published in his home paper, the Vancouver Sun in December 2002.
  • “Have You Heard”
    Sequel to WHATEVER YOU DO; 12 February 2003.
  • “Pages Move”
    Written for the Book and Periodical Council; 2003.
  • Links

    Poetry Resources

    The Writers' Union of Canada - a national organization of professional writers of books for the general public

    Canadian Poets - an annotated list of resources on the web

    Canadian Poetry Press (University of Western Ontario)

    The League of Canadian Poets - Promoting Canadian poetry since 1966

    Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois - Promotion of Quebec literature/Writers' defence and representation.

    L'Infocentre littéraire des écrivains - Île is a unique site which posts on-line biographies and bibliographies of more than 900 Quebec authors and 275 press kits.

    Dooney's Café - An alternative news source

    Philly Talks - "PhillyTalks" is a dialogue with contemporary poets, begun in 1997 (archived website hosted on the Centre for Programs on Contemporary Writting, University of Pennsylvania).

    Canadian Poetry Archive - Library and Archives Canada

    Canadian Poets: Contemporary Poets - University of Toronto Library

    CanLinks - A directory of web resources relevant to Canadian Studies


    Canadian Poet Laureate

    Dennis Lee (Former Poet Laureate, Toronto)
    University of Toronto Library

    John Smith (Former Poet Laureate, PEI)
    Prince Edward Island News Release

    Glen Sorestad (Former Poet Laureate, Sask.)
    The League of Canadian Poets
    University of Toronto Library

    Sue MacLeod (Former Poet Laureate, Halifax, N.S.)
    Sue MacLeod – Author (author's website)


    Other Poet Laureate

    Louise Glück (Former Poet Laureate, US)
    Library of Congress

    Andrew Motion (Former Poet Laureate, UK)
    "Poetry in Motion" - BBC News - 19 May 1999 - (includes audio clips)


    Profiles

  • George Bowering - OneZeroZero: A Virtual Library of English Canadian Small Press
  • George Bowering The Canadian Encyclopedia (Historica Foundation)
  • George Bowering- Literary Manuscripts: A Guide to the Literary Fonds at the National Library of Canada
  • George Bowering. Contemporary Canadian Poets - University of Toronto Library
  • Simmer, Megan."Characters on campus - George Bowering" The Peak Talonbooks. Author Profile
  • Horner, James. "Q&A with George Bowering" canadian content.

  • Publishers Vendors

  • Bowering's unexpurgated history of Canada - The Bukowski Agency
  • Coach House Books
    Coach House Books publishes Canadian poetry, experimental fiction, artist books and drama.
    Cars
    Piccolo Mondo
    Baseball & Bowering
  • The Capilano Review - Since its inception in 1972, The Capilano Review has published some of the finest fiction, poetry, drama and visual art in Canada and throughout the world.
  • Housepress
    A micropress dedicated to experimental and unusual forms of poetry and prose. (Update 04/2015: Link no longer active.)

  • Bibliography

    George Bowering