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Winners & Finalists

Winner! 2007 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Patrick Lane

Patrick Lane

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence was established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the Province. This year the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence is awarded to Patrick Lane.

It has been said of his prose that it can be savoured like the music of Mozart. It has been said of his early poetry that it resonates with the voice of the land and those who live close to the rugged world. He has said, himself, that he has written his way out of poverty and into a way of life. In doing so, Patrick Lane has also written himself into a central position in the Canadian literary scene. He is considered by admiring readers—including scholars, critics, and fellow writers—to be one of the finest poets of his generation, a reputation that extends far beyond our national borders and has been further enhanced and expanded by his recent prose memoir There is a Season, widely acknowledged as a masterpiece. Sometimes requiring us to confront violence, injustice, death, and regret, as well as instances of compassion, beauty, and wisdom, his often understated images are delivered with such stark precision, stunning insight, and subtle compassion that they may linger, disturb, and provoke understanding long after the page has been turned. His books have won most of the prestigious literary awards in Canada, including the Governor General’s Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize,  the Canadian Authors Association Award, and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction. He remains a generous mentor to younger poets even as he continues to pursue his own adventures with words. Courageous, compelled, enduring—like the carpenter in one of his early poems, Lane-the-writer keeps “pushing the floor another level higher / like a hawk who every year adds levels to his nest / until he’s risen above the tree he builds on / and alone lifts off into the wind / beating his wings like nails into the sky.”
— Jury member Jack Hodgins

Patrick Lane was born in 1939 in Nelson, BC, and grew up in the Okanagan region of the BC Interior, primarily in Vernon. In Vancouver he co-founded a small press, Very Stone House, with bill bissett and Seymour Mayne. He then drifted extensively throughout North and South America working at a variety of jobs from labourer to industrial accountant, but much of his life has been spent as a poet, having produced twenty-four books of poetry to date. His poetry and fiction have been widely anthologized and have been translated into many languages.

He has been a resident writer at the University of Manitoba, Concordia University, the University of Alberta, the Saskatoon Public Library, and the University of Toronto. He taught English Literature at the University of Saskatchewan from 1986 to 1990, and Creative Writing at the University of Victoria from 1991 to 2004. Presently, he leads private writing retreats and teaches at schools such as the Banff Writing Workshops, Booming Ground at UBC, the Victoria Writing School, and the Sage Hill Experience in Saskatchewan. He has appeared at literary festivals around the world and has read and published his work in many countries, including England, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Japan, Chile, Colombia, the Netherlands, and Russia.

Lane now makes his home in Victoria, BC, with his companion, the poet Lorna Crozier. He is the father of five children and grandfather of five.