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Earle Birney

bushedEarle Alfred Birney, OC , Ph.D , FRSC (13 May 19043 September 1995) was a distinguished Canadian poet. He was twice winner of the Governor General's Award for Literature (for David and Other Poems, 1942, and for Now Is Time, 1945).

Life

Born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised on a farm in Erickson, near Creston, his childhood was somewhat isolated. After working as a farm hand, a bank clerk, and a park ranger, he went on to college to study chemical engineering but graduated with a degree in English. He studied at the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of California, Berkeley and University of London.

Through a brief and quickly annulled marriage to Sylvia Johnston, he was introduced to Trotskyism. In the 1930s he was an active Trotskyist in Canada and Britain but drifted away from the movement during World War II. During the conflict he served as a personnel officer in the Canadian Army, which was also the occupation of the main character of his novel, Turvey (1949).

In 1970 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Birney died as a result of a heart attack.

Bibliography

  • David and Other Poems - 1942
  • Now Is Time - 1945
  • The Straight of Anian - 1948
  • Turvey - 1949
  • Trail of a City and Other Verse - 1952
  • Twentieth Century Canadian Poetry - 1953 (editor)
  • Down the Long Table - 1955
  • Ice Cod Bell or Stone - 1962
  • Near False Creek Mouth - 1964
  • The Creative Writer - 1966
  • Selected Poems: 1940-1966 - 1966
  • Memory No Servant - 1968
  • pnomes jukollages & other stunzas - 1969
  • The Poems of Earle Birney - 1969
  • Rag & Bone Shop - 1971
  • The Cow Jumped Over the Moon - 1972
  • The Bear on the Delhi Road - 1973
  • what's so big about GREEN? - 1973
  • Collected Poems - 1975
  • Alphabeings and Other Seasyours - 1976
  • The Rugging and the Moving Times - 1976
  • The Damnation of Vancouver - 1977
  • Ghost in the Wheels - 1977
  • Big Bird in the Bush - 1978
  • Fall by Fury & Other Makings - 1978
  • Spreading Time - 1980
  • Words on Waves - 1985
  • Essays on Chaucerian Irony - 1985
  • Copernican Fix - 1986
  • Last Makings - 1991
  • One Muddy Hand: Selected Poems - 2006 (edited by Sam Solecki)

Discography

References

Elspeth Cameron. Earle Birney: A Life. Toronto: Viking, 1994. ISBN 0-670-82874-2

External links

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