Award-winning author and former poet laureate of Canada, George Bowering is returning to his roots as part of Okanagan Reads, a Valley-wide reading project.
“George Bowering is one of Canada’s most celebrated writers,” said Okanagan Regional librarian Fern Teleglow, coordinator of Okanagan Reads. “Raised in Oliver, he has focused much of his work on British Columbia and in particular the Thompson-Okanagan. We’re excited to have him share with us the telling of some of the area’s history.”
Bowering will make four appearances at local branches of the Okanagan Regional Library, beginning with his hometown of Oliver Feb. 27 at 2 p.m., Summerland Feb. 28, Vernon March 1 at 7 p.m. followed by Kelowna March 2 at 2 p.m.
Bowering’s novel Shoot!, published by New Star Books, was chosen as the one book for Okanagan Reads, a project that encourages participants throughout the Valley to read the same book.
The western novel follows the adventures of the McLean Gang and brings to life the historical account of the murder of constable Johnny Ussher in the 1800s.
Known as “breeds,” mixed Scottish and Salish blood, the McLeans were outcasts of both cultures and destined to be outlaws.
Bowering received the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1969 and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1980. He was named Canada’s first poet laureate in 2002 and has published more than 80 books of fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry and has taught in universities across Canada.
He recently published his memoirs of his teenage years in the South Okanagan in Pinboy (Cormorant Books 2012).
Support for Bowering’s tour has been made possible by a Libraries and Literacy grant from B.C. Education.
Okanagan Reads runs until March 8. Readers can follow the dialogue at okanaganreads.ca and join the discussion on the library’s social media channels.