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Date: November 16, 2006

New Award Honours Renowned Poet P.K. Page

Celebrated Canadian poet P.K. Page marks her 90th birthday later this month, but the distinguished woman of letters is the one handing out the presents. In recognition of her long association with the University of Victoria’s literary magazine The Malahat Review, her deep appreciation of her peers in the local and national literary communities, and her milestone birthday, Page has established a new award in her name.

The P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry will present a prize of $1,000 to the author of the best poem or sequence of poems to have appeared in the Review’s quarterly issues during the previous calendar year. The winner, to be chosen by an outside judge who is recognized for his or her accomplishment as a poet, will be announced annually in The Malahat Review’s spring issue. The judge of the inaugural award is Sooke, BC writer Marilyn Bowering.

“It is a great honour for the magazine to have the opportunity to give out an award in P. K.’s name,” says John Barton, editor of The Malahat Review. “She is one of Canada’s most respected and truly iconic poets whose accomplishments have been an inspiration to several generations of writers. It is a great pleasure for me to see her long association with The Malahat Review formalized in this significant way, an association that will be recognized and celebrated each time the winner of the P. K. Page Founders’ Award is announced in the years to come.”

P. K. Page was born in England in 1916 and came to Canada in 1919. Educated in England, Calgary, and Winnipeg, she studied art in Brazil and New York. She first came to the attention of the readers of Canadian poetry in the 1940s through her association with and regular appearances in Preview, a Montreal-based literary magazine key to the establishment of modernism in Canada. Her first important publication, Unit of Five, an anthology published by Ryerson in 1944, was followed by an impressive series of books of poetry, fiction, and memoir that display a characteristic love of ideas and a distinctive use of language that have won her admirers around the world.

Her literary contribution was recognized early when The Metal and the Flower (McClelland and Stewart) won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for 1954. Her recent books of poetry include Hologram (1994), The Hidden Room: Collected Poems (1998), Hand Luggage (2006), The Filled Pen: Selected Non-fiction of P. K. Page (forthcoming in 2006), and Up on the Roof (short fiction, forthcoming in 2007). Under the name P K. Irwin, her paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely and are held in public and private collections across Canada.

The Malahat Review (www.malahatreview.ca), the University of Victoria’s internationally known literary quarterly, publishes poetry and fiction by emerging and established writers from Canada and abroad. The magazine is read across North America and in 16 other countries. In 2007, it will celebrate its fortieth anniversary. Since 1967, the magazine has published poetry and fiction by emerging and established writers from Canada and abroad, often at crucial points in their careers. Many internationally respected writers made their first important forays into print in this beloved magazine, including Victoria native Susan Musgrave and Man Booker Prize-winner Yann Martel.

For more information about or to make a contribution to the P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry, please contact: Karen Whyte at (250) 721-6696 or by email at kwhyte@uvic.ca.
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Media contacts:
Chris Thackray (Development Office) at (250) 721-6247, or thackray@uvic.ca
John Barton, (Editor of The Malahat Review) at (250) 721-8524 or malahat@uvic.ca.

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