Astonishingly beautiful entrances into the personae of lost companions who reappear, animated by a voice in love with the music of their speaking.
About the author
Phyllis Webb was born on April 8, 1927 in Victoria, BC. She was educated at the University of British Columbia and McGill University. The first major publication of her poetry was in Trio, which also included poetry by Eli Mandel and Gael Turnbull. For many years she worked as a writer and broadcaster for the CBC, where she created the radio program Ideas in 1965 and was its executive producer from 1967 to 1969. Webb served as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta from 1980 to 1981 and taught at the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and the Banff Centre. She died on Salt Spring Island in November, 2021.Her 1980 work Wilson’s Bowl was hailed by Northrop Frye as “a landmark in Canadian poetry.” When the book was passed over for a Governor General’s Award nomination, a group of fellow poets—led by Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, bpNichol, and P.K. Page—collected $2,300 and sent it to Webb, stating that “this gesture is a response to your whole body of work as well as to your presence as a touchstone of true good writing in Canada, which we all know is beyond awards and prizes” (John F. Hulcoop).As Stephen Scobie once wrote, the work of Phyllis Webb “has always been distinguished by the profundity of her insights, the depth of her emotional feeling, the delicacy and accuracy of her rhythms, the beauty and mysterious resonance of her images – and by her luminous intelligence.”Phyllis Webb received the BC Gas Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, the Order of Canada in 1992, and the 1982 Governor General’s Award for Selected Poems: The Vision Tree.
- Short-listed, BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
“ Hanging Fire in no way hangs its own fire. These poems scintillate with the quick firings of a highly responsive intelligence, as at home in ‘the meaning meandering river of biologic “soup”’ as on politicized streets of Leningrad. The true locale for Phyllis Webb is the suspended moment of thought’s leap into the splay/spray of language with its inevitable weight of implications. Seductive drift, critical cavorting, fine lines, and prose tempered to the rhythmic mettle of a remarkable poet’s mind.” — Daphne Marlatt
Other titles by Phyllis Webb
A Dream in the Eye
The Complete Paintings and Collages of Phyllis Webb
The Collected Poems
Writing the Terrain
Travelling Through Alberta with the Poets
The Griffin Poetry Prize 2004 Anthology
A Selection of the 2004 Shortlist
Nothing But Brush Strokes
The Vision Tree