A conversation with George Bowering

Eloína Prati dos Santos


George Bowering was born in PentictonBritish Columbia in 1935 and grew up in the nearby town of Oliver. He is one of Canada’s most prolific writers, with over one hundred books to his credit, not including more than thirty chapbooks. A poet, novelist, essayist, critic, professor, historian, and editor, he is also an enthusiastic supporter of emerging writers. His writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and Romanian. He has twice won the Governor General’s Literary Award – for poetry (1969) and for fiction (1980) –, the bpNichol Chapbook Award for Poetry (1991 and 1992), the Canadian Author´s Association Award for Poetry (1993), holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of British Columbia (1994) and University of Western Ontario (2003), was  the recipient of the Order of Canada (2003) and the Order of British Columbia (2004)., and was appointed the first Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2202-2004).  He also received the Lieutenant Governor´s Award for Literary Excellence (2005) and The Pandora Collective Distinctive Body of Work Award (2011).

His writing is quite experimental and his sharp witted, skeptical take on human nature and politics is definitely provocative in his discussing of what might be original about B. C. and the Canadian poet within a Eurocentric culture. A representative sample of his poetry can be found in Rocky Mountain Foot (1969), The Ganges of Kosmos (1969), Autobiology (1972), Selected Poems: Particular Accidents (1980), West Window (1982), The Kerrsidale Elegies (1984), Delayed Mercy and other poems (1987), Vermeer´s Light: Poems 1996-2006 (2006) and The World, I guess (2015). Like the work of the U.S. poets he admires – William Carlos Williams and Robert Creeley – Bowering’s poems, even at their most extended and philosophical, use vernacular, everyday language, and focus on immediate aspects of everyday life. From his fiction, A Short Sad Book (1977) and the historical trilogy about British Columbia, Burning Water (1980), Caprice (1988) and Shoot! (1994) stand out. He has also published seven collections of critical essays, five memoirs, three books of historical nonfiction and six plays.



George Bowering; canada

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15210/interfaces.v17i2.11756


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ISSN eletrônico: 1984-5677

ISSN impresso: 1519-0994