Lecture Hall Dedication Marks Gustafson Legacy

October 19, 1999 - 5:00pm

A special moment for Canada was celebrated in Nanaimo October 19 when one of the nation’s most honoured poets was remembered with the first fruits of an endowment in his memory.

Malaspina University-College dedicated lecture theatre in the Arts and Sciences building (355) to be The Ralph Gustafson Lecture Theatre. The dedication took place at the inaugural reading by Patricia Young, the first Poet-In-Residence of the Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry.

The dedication was the first of its kind at Malaspina. Ralph Gustafson, who died in 1995, wrote more than two dozen books of poetry, a collection of essays and a book of short stories. He compiled the first anthology of Canadian poetry, and was also a respected music critic. The Governor-General’s Award for poetry and the Order of Canada were among many honours he received. His life and work were the subjects of a film by The National Film Board of Canada, and his poetry readings were recorded by The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

An endowment from his estate now provides for a Poet-In-Residence at Malaspina University-College each year. The first poet to win the post is Patricia Young of Victoria who has published seven collections of poetry and has won the B.C. Book Prize and the League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Contest. Her most recent book is What I Remember From My Time On Earth.

Patricia Young presented a special reading to mark the inauguration of the Poet-In-Residence, and during her time at Malaspina will also give several other readings to students and will work with students and faculty in Malaspina’s Creative Writing department.



Contact: Roger Prior, (250) 740-6212.

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