Bowering wins the Woodcock
March 17th, 2020
It had to happen sooner or later.
The ever-prolific George Bowering—who used to borrow George Woodcock’s tape recorder back in the 1960s—is the 27th recipient of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia.
Bowering had been scheduled to receive the coveted Woodcock Award—co-sponsored by Yosef Wosk, The Writers Trust of Canada, Vancouver Public Library and Pacific BookWorld News Society—at the Vancouver Public Library, on June 25, at 7 pm. but that event will likely be cancelled for the sake of social distancing.
Like George Woodcock (George the First), an anarchist philosopher who never voted or drove a car, George Bowering (George the Second) has long considered himself to be a British Columbian first and a Canadian second.
“People in B.C. have to be taught to be Canadians,” he wrote in Bowering’s B.C.: A Swashbuckling History (1996). “This is done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Globe and Mail. But most British Columbians don’t listen to the CBC or read the G&M.”
Born in 1935 and raised mainly in Oliver, B.C., George Bowering, as Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet-Laureate (2002-2004), is an easy choice on paper. A member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of B.C., he has won Governor-General’s Awards for both poetry and fiction.
Bowering is second to George Woodcock in terms of rivaling him with productivity, having published eighty books of his own along with having editorial roles in thirty others. George Woodcock’s biographer, George Fetherling (George the Third), currently comes third in the productivity race with approximately forty books.
Since overcoming a cardiac arrest on the sidewalk outside the Point Grey Library in 2015, George Bowering has been the subject of a biography by former Vancouver Sun book page editor Rebecca Wigod and he has produced at least ten more books.
For those whose sense of B.C. history does not include the 20th century, Bowering might now be looked upon as an old, white guy who loves baseball—but he was unquestionably a seminal figure in the proliferation of the experimental TISH poetry movement that arose from Warren Tallman’s classes at UBC and his presence has definitely helped put B.C. writing onto the national literary map.
Born in Penticton in 1935, George Bowering was mostly raised in nearby Oliver as the son of a high school chemistry teacher. He was officially made a citizen of Oliver by a municipal decree passed early in this century. He began living in Oliver in 1943 and graduated from Oliver’s Southern Okanagan High School in 1953. Later he worked in three packinghouses and about twenty orchards in the area. He wrote for the Oliver Chronicle for many years and was once offered its editorship.
George Bowering was a Royal Canadian Air Force photographer (1954-57) after he had attended Victoria College (Victoria, B.C.). He would later attend University of British Columbia and University of Western Ontario.
Bowering taught at SFU for 29 years (1972-2001). As the most opinionated and outspoken writer to emerge from the UBC-based TISH collective, Bowering has received Governor General’s Awards for fiction and poetry, a rare feat. In some respects the writing game is competitive and Bowering has been a hard-working and bright force. He has published more than 70 books in various genres and was selected to serve as Canada’s first, official Poet Laureate (2002-2004).
His approach to making books is invariably experimental. “I just want readers to notice the writing,” he once wrote, as editor of the fiction anthology And Other Stories (Talonbooks, 2001). But one of Bowering’s most enduring books might be one of his least flamboyant.
George Bowering’s Bowering’s B.C.: A Swashbuckling History (1996) proves he knows British Columbia as much and as well as anyone. Even if Bowering is addicted to his own cleverness, this is one of the best books ever written about his home province-the sort of history book they wouldn’t allow in schools because it says too much.
“…people in B.C. have to be taught to be Canadians,” he writes. “This is done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Globe and Mail. But most British Columbians don’t listen to the CBC or read the G&M.”
More conventional histories by Jean Barman, Terry Reksten, George Woodcock and Geoffrey Molyneux have tended to overshadow Bowering’s B.C. That personalized title didn’t help either. But Bowering’s shrewd, sometimes cynical take on human nature and politics is unfailingly provocative as an educational force.
Bowering is fascinated by, and dedicated to, uncovering and discussing what might be original about British Columbia. There are precious few writers in Bowering’s league when it comes to a comprehensive understanding of the maverick characters and odd stories that are unique to B.C. Howard White of Harbour Publishing might be his only peer in this regard.
George Bowering was born Dec. 1. 1935, in Penticton, to Ewart Bowering and Pearl Brinson Bowering. He grew up in the Okanagan, mostly in Oliver. “There was a time when I was growing up when our toilet was a bucket that you sat on.” His father was a high school chemistry teacher in the Okanagan. George Bowering was a Royal Canadian Air Force photographer, 1954-57, after he had attended Victoria College (Victoria, B.C.). He later attended University of British Columbia and University of Western Ontario.
At UBC he was a leading member of the informal literary movement, mentored by Warren Tallman, that generated the literary newsletter TISH in which he first published his most anthologized poem, ‘Grandfather.’ “Frank Davey was managing editor,” says Bowering, “because it was his typewriter and he was willing to do more work than the rest of us were.”
Fellow TISH writer Fred Wah recalls the rudimentary printing process for Bowering’s first book, Sticks & Stones, illustrated with drawings by Gordon Payne, in May/June of 1962 to coincide with the imminent arrival of poet/guru Robert Creeley in June. Creeley had supplied a preface in advance. “We used metal stencils,” Wah wrote, in a Capilano Review article, “since we were hoping to print an edition of several hundred. But the printer rollers screwed up and we ended up with a bit of a mess: text would suddenly float into the gutter, paper would get skewed, pages would offset off on one another, and so forth.” Some of the approximately fifty copies were missing poems or drawings. Bowering has two copies of this original printing; Sticks & Stones was later re-published by Talonbooks in 1963.
Bowering received his M.A. from UBC in 1963. He curtailed his Ph.D studies at University of Western Ontario to become Writer in Residence at Sir George Williams University, Montreal, 1967-68.
Bowering won his first Governor General’s Award (for poetry) in 1969 for two collections, Rocky Mountain Foot and The Gangs of Kosmos; and his second was received (for fiction) in 1980 for Burning Water, a witty and fanciful historical novel that recalls Captain George Vancouver, his surveying crew and the botanist Menzies on the West Coast in the late eighteenth century.
Bowering has published more than 70 books of various genres. His approach to making new books is invariably experimental. “Ideologically,” he once told George Fetherling for a Vancouver Sun article in 2003, “I’m opposed to the lyric.”
Bowering’s novel of the B.C. Interior, Caprice, is an offbeat ‘western’ with an emancipated female heroine, set in the Okanagan, and his eccentric view of political and social life, A Short Sad Book, has been categorized as a novel only for lack of a better definition. His novel about the racist pursuit and capture of the McLean Gang in the B.C. Interior, Shoot!, has been described as a comic novel about murder and hanging.
Bowering’s collection of ten short stories, mostly about the Sixties in British Columbia, The Box, is introduced by archival photographs and freely mix writing genres that include biography, autobiography, parable, letters and drama. He has also produced irreverent, ‘mock naive’ histories of British Columbia, Canadian Prime Ministers and Canada.
In 2002 George Bowering accepted the post of Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate (the Canadian Authors Association had designated various Poet Laureates much earlier, including Bliss Carman), and moved to Ontario in 2003 to serve his term. During this period he unsuccessfully tried to stimulate an initiative for Canada Post to produce stamps that honour poets. He was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2003 and inducted into the Order of British Columbia in 2004. He returned to live in Vancouver where, among his many enthusiasms, he continues to be an avid baseball and softball fan. Baseball Love (2006) recalls his days as a youthful sports reporter in Oliver and his playing days in the Kozmic League of the 1970s. It has been described as a “picaresque memoir of a road trip with his fiancée through the storied ballparks of a poet’s youthful dreams.”
Bowering’s memoir Pinboy (Cormorant 2012) recalls his sexual awakenings at age fifteen in the south Okanagan where he finds himself enamoured of three choices: his first love, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and one of his high school teachers. It was nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. Bowering has never won a B.C. Book Prize since the awards were introduced in 1985.
Having produced more books than some people read in a lifetime, George Bowering has consistently maintained his George Woodcockian pace of productivity, like a home run hitter trying to outdo Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth. Bowering has joked with Alan Twigg that he and “the other George” (George Fetherling) are in the same prolific league.
In 2012, Bowering released another engaging and varied collection of essays and memoirs, Words, Words, Words (New Star) including recollections of Nat Bailey Stadium, Vancouver Mounties’ pitcher George Bamberger and his own Kozmic League team, the Granville Grange Zephyrs.
With a new introduction by his long-time friend Lionel Kearns, George Bowering’s second attempt at a novel, Mirror on the Floor, set in Vancouver in the mid-1960s, was re-released by Anvil Press in 2014. It follows the carousing adventures of a UBC grad student named Bob Small and his roommate, George Delsing, as they encounter dockworkers, unemployed loggers and retired seamen on the Downtown Eastside, exploring the city in Small’s “poor old over-travelled yellow Morris Minor.” Outside the city lock-up, Small meets Andrea, a troubled young woman to whom he is attracted, and soon he is bumping into her everywhere he goes. Originally published in 1967 by McClelland and Stewart, Mirror on the Floor provides a vivid portrayal of Vancouver as it used to be–when it was little more than a provincial town with a rough waterfront.
According to publicity materials, George Bowering’s 36th book of poetry, The World, I Guess (New Star, 2015) “shows Canada’s original poet-laureate still in MVP form as he approaches his 80th birthday. The centrepiece of Bowering’s new book is a long poem, “The Flood,”; a complex, discursive poem whose subject is poesis and whose interest is in the world around the writer. But the book ends with a suite of translations of the “modern”; Canadian poetry canon, from Charles G.D. Roberts and Archibald Lampman to Irving Layton and Phyllis Webb.”
Bowering’s thematic study of some British Columbia novels appeared in BC Studies, Summer, 1984 (#62). It later served as the keynote essay for a composite collection of writing from BC Studies entitled Home Truths.
Roy Miki of SFU has published an extensive bibliography of Bowering’s work. His wife Angela Bowering (née Luoma), who died of cancer in 1999, collaborated with him on two literary projects. With his second wife, Jean Baird, a former professor, magazine publisher and director of Canada Book Week for the Writers’ Trust of Canada, Bowering co-edited The Heart Does Break: Canadian Writers on Grief and Mourning (Knopf 2009), containing twenty original essays.
On April 21, 2015, in front of the Point Grey Library in Vancouver, Bowering, at 79, had a cardiac arrest. Had this happened almost anywhere else, he would likely have died. But one of the alert people at the bus stop started CPR immediately, school student Ivy Zhang called 911 immediately and there was a fire hall one block away. Rushed the hospital, Bowering was induced into a coma for twelve days. After three frightening weeks, he was back at home. By June, despite his broken ribs and broken sternum, the rehab department at VGH said Bowering was in better shape post-incident than most other 79-year-olds without an incident. “The team doing the assessment have all sorts of tests for strength, balance, etc.,”; said his wife, Jean Baird. “On the second assessment day they asked George if he could jump. He jumped. They said they’d never had another before who was able to jump.”; The walker was returned in early June. He began using a cane, improving his muscle tone. By the end of June he was back at Nat Bailey watching Vancouver Canadians baseball again with tickets to the jazz festival. And he was writing again.
A magic-powered ring from ancient Rome surfaces amid the Poets’ Club at thirteen-year-old Harry’s school in Bowering’s juvenile novel Attack of the Toga Gang (Dancing Cat 2015) giving rise to malevolence from a centuries-old, secret organization known as the Toga Club.
While lobbying the provincial government to assist the federal government in creating a major national park for the south Okanagan, Bowering drew from forty books he had published since 1960 for a anthology of his own writing about his beloved homelands, Writing the Okanagan (Talon 2015).
His correspondence with Charles Demers about fatherhood is The Dad Dialogues (Arsenal Pulp 2016).
In 2018, Bowering co-published a volume of poetry Some End/West Broadway (New Star $18) with George Stanley. Back to back, one half of the flip book, titled Some End, continues with Bowering’s short length, formally organized poetry of recent years.
Writing and Reading by George Bowering (New Star Books $18)
Review by Heidi Greco (BCBW 2020)
First of all, a disclosure of sorts: Although I was a student at Simon Fraser University, and was aware of George Bowering’s presence in the English department, I never took a class from him. Thus, I don’t have any axe to grind with him over a low mark or other grievance. I did however have more than a passing acquaintance with a number of the people he writes about in these essays, and I can only attest that he presents them with fairness and wonderful insightfulness.
My favourite of these are his essays about Joe Rosenblatt and Robert Kroetsch who, aside from their wicked sense(s) of humour, bear little resemblance to each other, especially in their writing. His description of Rosenblatt at SFU, pacing along the back of a room, “…dressed in ominous attire, doing some of the loudest mumbling you have ever heard, in a language you would leap to associate with deep-sea mammals” is so true to life, it makes me miss him intensely.
He’s every bit as spot-on when it comes to Kroetsch, and his excitement over getting to be the author’s minder for a day is palpable. “Oh boy! Here was the funniest and smartest writer in the land, and he was on record as being an admirer of the great bullshit artists in prairie beer parlours and horse barns. I’d bring him home and feed him and persuade him to accept a beer and turn him loose.” Although things don’t go exactly as expected, Bowering learns something else about Kroetsch: “When he sat there with a bit of a smile and listened, he was teaching you what you needed to learn.”
And maybe that’s what these essays do too, as they aren’t just all memories of friends now gone. I find myself thinking about this book as a kind of course-presented-in-pages with Bowering the professor at the podium.
He begins gently, with ‘essays’ extending a page or less in length, maybe as a kind of welcome, helping us to settle in and get comfortable with what he has to say. But these pieces move quickly into naming names. At first, the widely familiar: Allen Ginsberg or Leonard Cohen. But it isn’t long before he’s mentioning those writers best known by other writers, Donato Mancini or Oana Avasilichioaei (though for the piece on her, he pokes his tongue firmly in cheek and titles it “Poly Oana craquer”).
Sometimes, he?s a bit of a show-off, though probably not intentionally so. I suspect it?s just that his head is so full from having read nearly every author on the planet, some of what might seem like name-dropping must simply fall out automatically. I?ll admit he had me running to Mr. Google to check out more than one of the writers and works he tosses off so casually?as if they were everyday references, common as Coca-Cola.
He can also be a contrarian. And it shows in some of the essays — a few of which make it seem as though he’s having an argument with himself. I’d like to take him on over at least one of his pronouncements, but then, I suppose that’s why he’s got a new book of essays and I don’t.
Another role he undoubtedly inhabits is that of elder statesman of the literary arts. While it must be hard to be one of the last men standing among his contemporaries, he remains unafraid to rail at the right wrongs. His short essay (a mere one page) called “Tough Times and the Arts” should be required reading for every politician in the country.
We can’t forget the title Bowering gave this book, Writing and Reading, as it’s not simply a book about writing. He offers what could be called instruction on what reading means — reminding us that it’s more than deciphering letters on a page, that it requires a certain involvement from us as participants in the thought processes therein contained. As he puts it, “A little difficulty in reading can wake you up,” and then goes on to explain the occasional necessity “…to re-read and sometimes re-re-read to figure out” some challenging passage.
He rambles now and then (but then, who of us doesn’t), yet overall grants us some remarkable insights into what poetry is (and isn’t). In an essay about one of his own poems, he manages to come up surprised over making a new discovery in it. And it’s exactly this sort of wide-eyed freshness that makes it easy to keep coming back to this book, dipping into it for a little bit more, a little bit more. I suppose that’s one of the beauties about a book like this. You don’t need to read it front to back. You can poke around, sampling a bit of this, and then go back for a bit more of that when you’re ready.
But back to this notion of reading the book as if it were a university course. The longest (and densest) essay, the second-last piece in the book, serves as a kind of final exam. It even ends with a challenge to the reader, reminiscent of a term paper assignment or a take-home exam question. After a wide-ranging discussion of several poems about Vancouver, he offers this: “If you wanted to write an essay about the way Vancouver poetry could transport rather than derange the senses, you might want to compare Apollinaire’s snow-covered railway train with [George] Stanley’s No. 99 Broadway bus, ride both poems to the end of the line.”
The final essay, in fact an interview constructed with himself by himself, feels a bit like the celebratory closure to a thought-provoking course — an evening at the pub with the prof who’s led you down a path filled with quandaries and questions, ideas that have even led to a few quarrels. But hey, you can’t say it wasn’t an interesting journey.
Heidi Greco lives in Surrey. Her most recent poetry collection is Practical Anxiety, published by Inanna in 2018.
Mirror on the Floor, Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1967 / Reprinted by Anvil Press, 2014.
A Short Sad Book, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1977.
Burning Water, Toronto, New York, General, 1980, 1983. Penguin, 1994.
En eaux troubles, Montreal, Quinze, 1982. Transl. L.-Philippe Hèbert.
Caprice, Toronto, New York, Viking/Penguin, 1987, 1988. 2nd Ed. 1994. [New Star reissued 2010. 978-1-55420-053-5 : $19.]
Harry’s Fragments, Toronto, Coach House Press, 1990.
Shoot!, Vancouver, New Star, 2009. Toronto, Key Porter, 1994.
Parents From Space, Montreal, Roussan, 1994. 2nd ed. 1996. Toronto, Scholastic, 1996 (YA).
Piccolo Mondo, Toronto, Coach House Books, 1998 (collaboration).
Diamondback Dog, Montreal, Roussan, 1998. (YA)
Pinboy (Cormorant 2012)
Attack of the Toga Gang, Dancing Cat, 2015 (YA) 978-1-77086-442-9
No One (ECW 2018) $19.95 978-1-77041-288-0
Flycatcher & other stories, Ottawa, Oberon, 1974.
Concentric Circles, Windsor, Black Moss, 1977.
Protective Footwear, Toronto, M&S, 1978.
A Place to Die, Ottawa, Oberon, 1983.
The Rain Barrel, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1994.
Standing on Richards, Viking, 2004
The Box (New Star, 2009)
Ten Women (Anvil, 2015) $20 9781772140316
Sitting in Mexico, Calgary, Beaver Kosmos, 1965.
Baseball, Toronto, Coach House Press, 1967.
George, Vancouver, Kitchener, Weed/Flower, 1970.
Geneve, Toronto, Coach House, 1971.
Autobiology, Vancouver, New Star, 1972.
Curious, Toronto, Coach House, 1973.
At War With the U.S., Vancouver, Talon, 1974.
Allophanes, Toronto, Coach House, 1976.
Ear Reach, Vancouver, Alcuin, 1982,
Kerrisdale Elegies, Toronto, Coach House, 1984; Talonbooks, 2008.
Elegie di Kerrisdale, Rome, Edizioni Empiria. Transl. Annalisa Goldoni. 1996.
His Life: a poem, Toronto, ECW Press, 2000.
My Darling Nellie Grey (Talonbooks, 2010) 0889226342, $39.95
Collections of Poems (including gathered long poems):
Sticks & Stones, Vancouver, Self-published, 1962; Tishbooks, 1963; Talonbooks, 1989
Points on the Grid, Toronto, Contact Press, 1964.
The Man in Yellow Boots/ El hombre de las botas amarillas, Mexico,
Ediciones El Corno, 1965.
The Silver Wire, Kingston, Quarry Press, 1966.
Rocky Mountain Foot, Toronto, M&S, 1969.
The Gangs of Kosmos, Toronto, House of Anansi, 1969.
Touch: selected poems 1960-1969, Toronto, M&S, 1971.
In the Flesh, Toronto, M&S, 1974.
The Catch, Toronto, M&S, 1976.
Pem & Other Baseballs, Windsor, Black Moss, 1976.
The Concrete Island, Montreal, Vehicule Press, 1977.
Another Mouth, Toronto, M&S, 1979.
Particular Accidents: selected poems, Vancouver, Talon, 1981.
West Window: selected poetry, Toronto, General, 1982.
Smoking Mirror, Edmonton, Longspoon, 1982.
Seventy-One Poems for People, Red Deer, RDC Press, 1985.
Delayed Mercy & other poems, Toronto, Coach House, 1986.
Sticks & Stones, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1989.
Urban Snow, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1992.
George Bowering Selected: Poems 1961-1992, Toronto, McClelland & Stewart,1993.
Blonds on Bikes, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1997.
Poemes et autres baseballs, Montreal. Tryptique, 1999 (collaboration).
Changing on the Fly: The Best Lyric Poems of George Bowering (Polestar, 2004).
Vermeer’s Light: Poems 1996-2006, Talonbooks, 2006.
Teeth (Mansfield 2013)
The World, I Guess (New Star Books, 2015) $21.00 978-1-55420-096-2
Some End/West Broadway (New Star 2018) $18 978-1-55420-145-7. One half of book contains poems by George Bowering; other half of book has poems by George Stanley
Taking Measures (Talonbooks 2019) $49.95 978-1-77201-237-8
Al Purdy, Toronto, Copp Clark, 1970.
Robert Duncan: An Interview (Coach House / Beaver Kosmos 1971)
Three Vancouver Writers, Toronto, Open Letter/Coach House, 1979.
A Way With Words, Ottawa, Oberon, 1982.
The Mask in Place, Winnipeg, Turnstone Press, 1983.
Craft Slices, Ottawa, Oberon, 1985.
Errata, Red Deer, RDC Press, 1988.
Imaginary Hand, Edmonton, NeWest Press, 1988.
Left Hook: A Sideways Look at Canadian Writing (Raincoast, 2005)
Horizontal Surfaces (BookThug, 2010)
Words, Words, Words (New Star 2012) $19 978-1-55420-066-5
Writing the Okanagan (Talon 2015) $24.95 978-0-88922-941-9
Writing and Reading: Essays by George Bowering (New Star Books 2019) $18.00 9781554201549
How I Hear Howl, Montreal, Beaver Kosmos, 1967.
Two Police Poems, Vancouver, Talon, 1969.
The Sensible, Toronto, Mississauga, 1972.
Layers 1-13, Kitchener, Weed/Flower, 1973.
In Answer, Vancouver, William Hoffer, 1977.
Uncle Louis, Toronto, Coach House, 1980.
Spencer & Groulx, Vancouver, William Hoffer, 1985.
Quarters, Prince George, Gorse Press, 1991. (Winner, bp Nichol chapbook award 1991)
Do Sink, Vancouver, Pomflit, 1992. (Winner, bp Nichol chapbook award, 1992).
Sweetly, Vancouver, Wuz, 1992.
Blondes on Bikes, Ottawa, Above Ground, 1997.
A, You’re Adorable, Ottawa, Above Ground, 1998, 2004.
6 Little Poems in Alphabetical Order, Calgary, House Press, 2000.
Some Writers, Calgary, House Press, 2001.
Joining the Lost Generation, Calgary, House Press, 2002.
Lost in the Library, Ellsworth, ME, Backwoods Broadsides, 2004.
Rewriting my Grandfather, Vancouver, Nomados, 2005.
Crows in the Wind, Toronto, BookThug, 2006.
A Knot of Light, Calgary, No Press. 2006.
Montenegro 1966, Calgary, No Press, 2007.
U.S. Sonnets, Vancouver, Pooka, 2007.
Eggs in There, Edmonton, Rubicon, 2007.
Some Answers, Mt. Pleasant, ON, LaurelReed Books, 2007.
Horizontal Surfaces, Edmonton, Olive Collective, 2007.
Tocking Heads, Edmonton, above/ground, 2007.
There Then, Prince George, Gorse Press, 2008.
Animals, Beasts, Critters, Vancouver, JB Objects, 2008.
Valley, Calgary, No Press, 2008
Fulgencio, Vancouver, Nomados, 2008.
According to Brueghel, North Vancouver, Capilano, 2008.
Shall I Compare, Penticton, Beaver Kosmos, 2008.
A Little Black Strap, St. Paul, Unarmed, 2009.
Los Pájaros de Tenacatita: Poems of la Manzanilla Del Mar, Castlegar: Nose-in-Book Publishing, 2013
Sitting in Jalisco 2016
That Toddlin? Town 2016
David in Byzantium, 2019
The Moustache: Memories of Greg Curnoe, Toronto, Coach House, 1993.
A Magpie Life, Toronto, Key Porter, 2001.
Cars, Toronto, Coach House Books, 2002.
Baseball Love, Talonbooks, 2006
How I Wrote Certain of my Books (Mansfield Press 2011) $19.95
The Diamond Alphabet: Baseball in Shorts (BookThug 2011)
The Hockey Scribbler (ECW 2016) $19.95 978-1-77041-289-7
No One (ECW 2018) $19.95 978-1-77041-288-0
History & Non-Fiction
Bowering’s B.C. A Swashbuckling History, Toronto, Viking, 1996. Penguin, 1997.
Egotists and Autocrats, Toronto, Viking, 1999. Toronto, Penguin, 2000.
Stone Country, Toronto, Viking, 2003.
The Dad Dialogues: A Correspondence on Fatherhood (and the Universe) co-written with Charles Demers (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016). $17.95 / 9781551526621
The Home for Heroes, Vancouver, Prism, 1962.
What Does Eddie Williams Want?, Montreal, CBC-TV, 1966.
George Vancouver, Vancouver, CBC radio network, 1972.
Sitting in Mexico, Vancouver, CBC radio network, 1973.
Music in the Park, Vancouver, CBC radio network, 1986.
The Great Grandchildren of Bill Bissett’s Mice, Vancouver, CBC radio network,1989.
Editor Of (Books):
The 1962 Poems of R.S. Lane, Toronto, Ganglia Press, 1965.
Vibrations: poems of youth, Toronto, Gage, 1970.
The Story so Far, Toronto, Coach House, 1972.
Imago Twenty, Vancouver, Talon, 1974.
Cityflowers, by Artie Gold, Montreal, Delta Canada, 1974.
Letters from Geeksville: letters from Red Lane 1960-64, PrinceGeorge, Caledonia Writing Series, 1976.
Great Canadian Sports Stories, Ottawa, Oberon, 1979.
Fiction of Contemporary Canada, Toronto, Coach House, 1980.
Loki is Buried at Smoky Creek: selected poems of Fred Wah, Vancouver, Talon,1981.
My Body was Eaten by Dogs: selected poems of David McFadden, Toronto, M&S, New York,CrossCountry, 1981.
“1945-1980,” in Introduction to Poetry: British, American, Canadian, David and Lecker, Toronto, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1981.
The Contemporary Canadian Poem Anthology , Toronto, Coach House, 1983.
Sheila Watson and The Double Hook: the artist and her critics, Ottawa, Golden Dog Press, 1984.
Taking the Field:the best of baseball fiction, Red Deer, RDC Press, 1990.
Likely Stories: a postmodern sampler, Toronto, Coach House Press, 1992. With Linda Hutcheon.
An H in the Heart: Selected works of bpNichol, Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1994. With Michael Ondaatje.
And Other Stories, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 2001.
The 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology (Anansi, 2008) 978-0-88784-789-9
The Heart Does Break: Canadian Writers on Grief and Mourning (Random, 2009). With Jean Baird.
Editor or Co-Editor Of (periodicals):
Tish, Vancouver, 1961-63.
Imago, Calgary, London, Montreal, Vancouver, 1964-1974.
Beaver Kosmos Folios, Calgary, London, Montreal, Vancouver, 1966-75.
[For other authors pertaining to the TISH movement, see abcbookworld entries for Dawson, David; Davey, Frank; Hindmarch, Gladys; Kearns, Lionel; Marlatt, Daphne; McLeod, Dan; Reid, Jamie; Tallman, Warren; Wah, Fred. Outside, on the periphery of the TISH vortex, were Belford, Ken; bissett, bill; Brown, Jim; Copithorne, Judith; Coupey, Pierre; Gadd, Maxine; Gilbert, Gerry; Kiyooka, Roy; Lane, Pat; Lane, Red; Lawrence, Scott; McKinnon, Barry; Mayne, Seymour; Newlove, John; Persky, Stan; Robinson, Brad. The alleged American focus of TISH no longer generates debate. TISH graduates have become mainstream in universities.]
About George Bowering:
A Record of Writing: an annotated and Illustrated Bibliography of George Bowering, by Roy Miki, Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1989, 401 pp.
Essays on Canadian Writing, George Bowering issue, ed. Ken Norris, 1989, 127 pp.
George Bowering: Bright Circles of Colour, by Eva-Marie Kroller,Vancouver, Talonbooks, 1992, 128 pp.
George Bowering and His Works, by John Harris, Toronto, ECW Press, 1992, 62 pp.
Bowering’s Books, a special issue of TCR, The Capilano Review 3.24 Fall 2014. Co-edited by Jenny Penberthy and Aurelea Mahood
He Speaks Volumes: A Biography of George Bowering (Talonbooks 2018) by Rebecca Wigod $24.95 9781772012064
University of Calgary, 1963-66; Sir George Williams University (now Concordia Univ.), 1968-71; 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.
Parliamentary Poet Laureate, 2002-2004.
Officer, Order of Canada, 2003.
Honorary Degree (D.Litt.), University of Western Ontario, 2003.
Order of British Columbia, 2004
Griffin Poetry Prize, shortlisted, 2005.
Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, 2011.
Shortlisted, Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, 2013, and British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, 2013, both for Pinbboy