Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Canadian

The Book Collector

by (author) Tim Bowling

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Nov 2008
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2008
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 15
  • Grade: 10


From the salmon fishing grounds to the Special Collections library, from the vanishing rural world of pheasant hunting and canning along the banks of the Fraser River to the deck of the Titanic and the famous book collector's tragic fate, Tim Bowling's startling and powerful eighth collection of poems moves seamlessly between the riches of nature and the riches of art.

About the author

Tim Bowling has published numerous poetry collections, including Low Water Slack; Dying Scarlet (winner of the 1998 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for poetry); Darkness and Silence (winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry); The Witness Ghost; and The Memory Orchard (both nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award). He is also the author of three novels, Downriver Drift (Harbour), The Paperboy's Winter (Penguin) and The Bone Sharps (Gaspereau Press). His first book of non-fiction, The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory and the Death of Wild Culture (Nightwood Editions), was shortlisted for three literary awards: The Writers' Trust Nereus Non-Fiction Award, the BC Book Prizes' Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Alberta Literary Awards' Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction. The Lost Coast was also chosen as a 2008 Kiriyama Prize "Notable Book." Bowling is the recipient of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize, the National Poetry Award and the Orillia International Poetry Prize. Bowling was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. A native of the West Coast, he now lives in Edmonton Alberta. His latest collection of poetry is Tenderman (Nightwood), due out in fall 2011.

Tim Bowling's profile page

Editorial Reviews

...hauntingly imagined and deftly crafted.
--Owen Percy, Canadian Literature

The Book Collector is Edmonton-based poet Tim Bowling's eighth collection. Add to that three novels, a collection of interviews edited by him, and the 2007 memoir The Lost Coast, and you've got one industrious writer. He is also one of the most gifted poets in the country.
--Zachariah Wells, Quill & Quire

Bowling has a powerful elegiac voice that often recalls his childhood in the salmon fishing grounds of B.C. ... His work has an unusual sonic lushness.
--Maurice Mierau, Winnipeg Free Press

[Many of the poems] reflect on a past washed with the golden glow of remembrance ... and lament the inevitability of change and decay. There is a Dylan Thomas-like cast to many of these poignant, loping narratives, which remind us that Nothing Gold Can Stay: not wonder ... not times with parents, and not even, perhaps most devastatingly, a way of life and an ecosystem ...
--Janice Fiamengo, Journal of Canadian Poetry

Magical, yet very real.
--Prairie Books NOW

Librarian Reviews

The Book Collector

In his eighth book of poems Bowling looks unblinkingly at the onset of the first wave of adult memory. In contemplating this, he considers the sense of loss that accompanies the awareness of what is now past and will never be again. Some passages express gratitude for his childhood family and his current family as a father. The poems also consider the impact of place (in this case the Fraser River delta) and the wealth and permanence of its personal metaphors. Throughout the volume the poet asks difficult and sometimes unanswerable questions that guide his explorations, such as “How should I think of those gone?”, “What will the world be like without me?”, “Why is love not enough?”, Who holds your hand when you walked off into self?”

The author has also written three novels and the memoir The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory, and the Death of Wild Culture.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

Other titles by Tim Bowling