Award-winning poet lectures at VIU Oct. 20

October 17, 2011 - 7:22am

The community is invited to the annual Gustafson Distinguished Poets Lecture at Vancouver Island University Oct. 20.

This year’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet is Jan Zwicky of Quadra Island, an award-winning poet, essayist, philosopher and musician. Zwicky received the Governor General's Award in 1999 and the Dorothy Livesay Award in 2004.

Zwicky’s lecture, entitled "Auden as Philosopher: How Poets Think," explores the concept that poets know the world in a distinctive way that challenges corporate, technological culture.

“The underpinnings of Jan Zwicky’s work are the earth itself – its beauty and reality; and music and philosophy,” said Marilyn Bowering, poet, novelist, and instructor at VIU.

“Jan lives the principles on which her poems are founded; she’s a rare being: gifted, warm and human and utterly authentic. We’re extraordinarily lucky to have her.”

The gala evening event takes place on at VIU’s Nanaimo campus on Oct. 20 at 7:30 in Bldg. 355. A reception featuring a fine assortment of wines and appetizers will follow the lecture. Everyone is welcome to this free event. Book clubs are encouraged to come early for group seating.

Students are welcome to meet with Zwicky at a special student event on Oct. 19 at 1:30, Bldg. 355, Rm. 211, Nanaimo campus. At this informal reading and conversation, students will have an opportunity to discuss her poetry as well as their own. A dedicated teacher, Zwicky has served on the faculty of several universities and the Banff Centre Writing Studio.

Funding for these events is provided by the Ralph and Betty Gustafson Trust which is managed by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Previous poets in the series have included Dionne Brand, winner of the 1997 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and Carol Ann Duffy, the 2009 Poet Laureate of Britain.

Jan Zwicky's books are available through the Nanaimo campus Bookstore. For more information, please contact or check the website:

Tags: In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email