Friday, March 9, 2007

George McWhirter

A few weeks ago, I attended a gathering at the home of George McWhirter and his wife Angela. I stayed a little while after everyone else had hustled home, to chat with George and Angela, who are warm, funny, delightful people. So I was glad to learn the other day that George had been named as the inaugural poet laureate for the city of Vancouver, a decision which yesterday was made official. I have ambivalent feelings about the idea of poets laureate in general, largely because poor choices are so often made (see Canada's first two incumbents, George Bowering and Pauline Michel), but I'm pleased my new city has at least made a sensible selection.

Before I left the McWhirters', George and I traded books and I've been reading his Book of Contradictions with pleasure since. There's a shambling irreverence in the humour and often exuberant imagery of his poems that I find quite endearing. Here is his poem Overboard.

Another article on George's laureateship.

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