P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry


The Malahat Review is pleased to announce the establishment of the P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry in honour of the celebrated Victoria poet’s contribution to Canadian letters.

The P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry is made possible by a financial donation to The Malahat Review by P. K. Page in recognition of her long association with the magazine and as a gesture of her deep appreciation of her peers in the local and national literary communities on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday later this month.

The P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry recognizes the excellence of The Malahat Review’s contributors by awarding a prize of $1000 to the author of the best poem or sequence of poems to have appeared in the magazine’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 Marilyn Bowering of Sooke, B.C.

“It is a great honour,” says John Barton, editor of The Malahat Review, “for the magazine to have the opportunity to give out an award in P. K.’s name. 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 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, 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 sixteen other countries. In 2007, it celebrated 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 the P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry and how you may support it through a donation, please contact Karen Whyte at 250-721-6696 or by email at kwhyte@uvic.ca.