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Posted: Tuesday April 13, 2010
George Bowering

George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate, was born in the Okanagan Valley.

After serving as an aerial photographer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Bowering earned a BA in English and an MA in history at the University of British Columbia, where he became one of the co-founders of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH. He has taught literature at the University of Calgary, the University of Western Ontario, and Simon Fraser University, and he continues to act as a Canadian literary ambassador at international conferences and readings.

A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian, and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction. His writing has also been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and Romanian.

Bowering has twice won the Governor General’s Award, Canada’s top literary prize.

LATEST George Bowering NEWS

July 2016 : Tonight in New York City, the Poets House Poetry Publication Showcase opens New York City

October 2015 : Tomorrow: Bowering and Browne together at the Vancouver Writers Festival!

October 2015 : Writing the Okanagan is here!

September 2015 : Book tour! This fall, George Bowering will bring the Okanagan to you

August 2015 : Highlights from the CBC, Q&Q and 49th Shelf fall previews

July 2015 : JAMIE REID 1941–2015

June 2015 : Now Available! The Talonbooks Fall 2015 Catalogue

March 2015 : Our Literary Landmarks: Marlatt, Rule, and Bowering

February 2015 : Today on the Mountain: the Daphne Marlatt Archive Inauguration

May 2014 : Tomorrow: George Bowering Reads in Abbotsford, BC

February 2014 : This Weekend! The Galiano Island Literary Festival


Winner of the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence


My Darling Nellie Grey

Shortlisted for the 2011 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize


Writing the Okanagan

“Bowering is both highly skilled in the formal aspects of poetry and perfectly accessible to the average reader … A delightful collection that may inspire readers to seek out Bowering’s earlier work.”

“One of Canada’s most original writers.”
Calgary Herald

“A lyricism that is spring-sweet and without boast or threat … Bowering has poured all his considerable power into one vessel, and he must be read.”
Globe and Mail


My Darling Nellie Grey

"Ironically, Bowering’s acumen for reading underlies the wide spectrum of his writing. His acute sense of language style and possibility, his ear for words and rhythms, shows a process for literary imagination that is open and generative, and so frequently provocative. I’ve always trusted how he reads writing and counted on his skills in both as evidence of a real poetics of attention."
—_Fred Wah_


Kerrisdale Elegies

A lyricism that is spring-sweet and without boast or threat…Bowering has poured all his considerable power into one vessel, and he must be read.
Globe & Mail


Vermeer's Light

“Bowering is the poet of delight in earthly matters, of bemusement at the self. His lyrics turn out the streetlights (who needs them!) and light up the stars.”
—2005 Griffin Poetry Prize Jury

“One of Canada’s most original writers.”
—Calgary Herald

“One of Canadian literature’s chief mockers and iconoclasts.”
—Vancouver Sun

“At the core of the book is the raw, emotional force of ‘Imaginary Poems for AMB’ … Harrowing and heartbreaking, these pages walk the tightrope of sentiment without falling into sentimentality. Despite the far-ranging subject matter and approaches, the volume is characterized by the terse honesty, purity of voice, and wry humour that are Bowering’s trademark. Particularly outstanding, even in this impressive company, is the closing section of the book, a lengthy essay entitled ‘Rewriting My Grandfather’ … It’s a tour de force, and a window into the mind of one of Canada’s most significant poets.”
—Quill & Quire

“Bowering is both highly skilled in the formal aspects of poetry and perfectly accessible to the average reader … A delightful collection that may inspire readers to seek out Bowering’s earlier work.”

“Whatever the subject—heartfelt elegies to his late wife, lively commentary on baseball, wry social observations in Vancouver cafeterias—Bowering’s work is about creating effects in language. His essay ‘Rewriting My Grandfather,’ which concludes the book, offers wonderful insight into this process … Bowering scores lots of hits himself in Vermeer’s Light. He’s got an Old Master’s touch, indeed.”
—Toronto Star


Baseball Love

Baseball Love has a lot going for it, thanks to Bowering’s eye for the oddball side of the game … Makes for an entertaining read.”
Vancouver Sun

“The indispensable George Bowering’s Baseball Love is a winning memoir cum love story, as Canada’s first poet laureate and his lady embark on a memorable—in every sense—baseball trope: the road trip.”
Globe and Mail

“In the annals of CanBall prose, Baseball Love only proves further Mr. Bowering’s reputation as the master.”
—Dave Bidini

“George Bowering doesn’t play fair. Baseball Love is so good there is no memoir in the league that can go up against it. Bowering has a sense of story and an eye for detail that eliminate the possibility that he was a lousy second baseman. Reading a home run is fun.”
—Robert Kroetsch

“As anyone who played with him or attended minor league games at Vancouver’s picturesque Nat Bailey Stadium is aware, he talked a better game than he played. To say this is no insult, either. Bowering had a truly unique and fabulous baseball mouth as both player and fan. He literally never shuts up at a game, and he is almost always outrageously funny … Baseball Love is a love poem to baseball, beautifully and wittily written, and a subtle piece of social history. Not many people stay in love for sixty years, and there are few writers with a sharper eye than George Bowering. That makes this a worthwhile read for baseball fans, and anyone else with an appreciation of deep and abiding fidelities.”
Dooney’s Cafe


The Rain Barrel

Enough irony, subversion and playfulness for any postmodern fan.
Books in Canada


The Moustache

Documents a friendship through the kinship of the creative spirit.
Kitchener-Waterloo Record

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