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Literary Collections Essays

The Filled Pen

Selected Non-Fiction of P.K. Page

by (author) P.K. Page

edited by Zailig Pollock

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
Jan 2007
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    Jan 2007
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    Dec 2007
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P.K. Page is best known as one of Canada's finest poets, but over the course of her career she has also written a number of essays – meditations – on her life and work, on the nature of art and the imagination, and on Canadian works of literature, painting, and film that have had special significance for her. As lovers of her poetry would hope and expect, these essays are beautiful, intelligent, moving, and delightfully quirky. The Filled Pen brings together the most important of these essays, including two previously unpublished: A Writer's Life and Fairy Tales, Folk Tales: The Language of the Imagination.. Zailig Pollock, Page scholar and professor of English at Trent University, has edited and annotated this collection for admirers of Page's work, general readers, and academics alike.


The essays, which cover a period of approximately forty years, reflect Page's enduring concerns as a verbal and visual artist with the power of art and the imagination to transcend the barriers that limit our perceptions of the world and our sympathies with our fellow human beings. Page is more interested in posing questions than imposing answers; and fascinated as she is by a wide range of ideas, from ancient mysticism to modern neurophysiology, it is images, endlessly evocative and suggestive, that matter to her most. Her comments on A.M. Klein from "A Sense of Angels", one of the most moving and perceptive tributes by one poet to another, apply very much to the P.K. Page we see in The Filled Pen: "For all his interest in the immediate world ... for all his acceptance of ideological and psychological theory, he seemed to reach beyond both to a larger reality."

About the authors

P. K. Page has written some of the best poems published in Canadaover the last five decades. In addition to winning the Governor General's awardfor poetry in 1957, she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in1999. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including tenvolumes of poetry, a novel, selected short stories, three books for children,and a memoir, entitled Brazilian Journal, based on her extended stay in Brazilwith her late husband Arthur Irwin, who served as the Canadian Ambassador therefrom 1957 to 1959. A two-volume edition of Page's collected poems, The Hidden Room (Porcupine's Quill), was published in 1997. In addition to writing, Page paints, under the name P. K. Irwin. She has mounted one-woman showsin Mexico and Canada. Her work has also been exhibited in various group shows, andis represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery ofCanada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Victoria Art Gallery, amongothers. P. K. Page was born in England and brought up on the Canadian prairies. She has livedin the Maritimes and in Montreal. After years abroad inAustralia, Brazil and Mexico, she now makes her permanent home in Victoria, British Columbia.

P.K. Page's profile page

Zailig Pollock is Professor of English Literature, Trent University.

Zailig Pollock's profile page

Other titles by P.K. Page

Other titles by Zailig Pollock