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News & Events

April 18, 2008

Gary Geddes named recipient of fifth annual Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

The West Coast Book Prize Society is proud to recognize Gary Geddes as the recipient of the fifth annual Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Steven Point, will present the award at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala to be held at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver on April 26, 2008. The event will be hosted by broadcaster Fanny Kiefer.

“From 15 Canadian Poets to Skookum Wawa to 20th Century Poetry and Poetics, Gary Geddes has raised the literary profile of both our province and nation, and has long been considered one of Canada’s most important men of letters. He has given decades of his life to teaching Canadian literature and the craft of writing as well as working as a university professor, writer-in-residence, critic, anthologist, translator, editor, and most importantly, writer. Gary Geddes’ writings have crossed countries and continents in performance and translation. He has received numerous awards, including the E. J. Pratt Medal, a Canadian Authors Association prize, two Archibald Lampman awards, and the Gabriela Mistral Prize for service to literature and the people of Chile. His work as a poet has been generous in its outward-looking gaze. His poems bring song and light into darkened corners of the human experience, document silent and hidden lives, and enter politics through the individual and the personal. His newest book of poems, Falsework, explores the 1958 collapse of Vancouver’s Second Narrows Bridge. His meditative memoir Sailing Home: A Journey Through Time, Place, and Memory (2001) chronicles his return to the West Coast with a deep sense of awe and gratitude for the beauty, wildness, and history of this place. In whatever genre he pursues, Gary Geddes writes with eloquence and intense awareness of mystery within the commonplace, and the single human voice singing inside the crowd. He tells the truth, in all its rawness and splendour.

For the integrity of his creative work, for his active and generous promotion of other writers, and for the words he has given to help map the literary geography of British Columbia, we proudly celebrate Gary Geddes.” – Jury member Carla Funk

The jury for this year’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award: Carla Funk, poet laureate for the city of Victoria; Margaret Reynolds, executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of BC; and Mel Bolen, owner of Bolen Books, Victoria.

This prize was established in 2003 by former Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the province. The recipient receives a cash award of $5,000 and a commemorative certificate.

Posted by Liesl Jauk | Filed under: Announcements | Permalink

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