George Bowering was born in Penticton, where his great-grandfather Willis Brinson lived, and Bowering has never been all that far from the Okanagan Valley in his heart and imagination. Early in the twenty-first century, he was made a permanent citizen of Oliver. Bowering has family up and down the Valley, and he goes there as often as he can. He has been asked during his many visits to Okanagan bookstores over the years to publish a collection of his writing about the Valley.
Writing the Okanagan draws on forty books Bowering has published since 1960 – poetry, fiction, history, and some forms he may have invented. Selections from Delsing (1961) and Sticks & Stones (1962) are here, as is “Driving to Kelowna” from The Silver Wire (1966). Other Okanagan towns, among them Rock Creek, Peachland, Vernon, Kamloops, Princeton, and Osoyoos, inspire selections from work published through the 1970s and on to 2013. Fairview, the old mining site near Oliver, is the focus of an excerpt from Caprice (1987, 2010), one volume in Bowering’s trilogy of historical novels. “Desert Elm” takes as its two main subjects the Okanagan Valley and his father, who, as Bowering did, grew up there. With the addition of some previously unpublished works, the reader will find the wonder of the Okanagan here, in both prose and poetry.
About the author
George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate and co-founder of the avant-garde poetry magazine TISH, was born in the Okanagan Valley.
A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction.
In 2002, Bowering was recognized by the Vancouver Sun as one of the most influential people in British Columbia.
In 2011, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence in British Columbia.
A lyricism that is spring-sweet and without boast or threat … Bowering has poured all his considerable power into one vessel, and he must be read.” – Globe and Mail
“Bowering is both highly skilled in the formal aspects of poetry and perfectly accessible to the average reader … A delightful collection that may inspire readers to seek out Bowering’s earlier work.” – Booklist
“One of Canada’s most original writers.”
– Calgary Herald
Other titles by George Bowering
Good Morning Poems
a start to the day from famous English-language poets
Objects, Food, Rooms
Writing and Reading
Selected Serial Poems
if wants to be the same as is
Essential Poems of David Bromige