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George Bowering (1935-       )

George Bowering was born in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley in 1935. After finishing high school there he joined the RCAF as an aerial photographer from 1954-57. He received a B.A. in history from the University of British Columbia in 1960 and an M.A. in English in 1963. While at U.B.C. Bowering associated closely with four other like-minded writers: Frank Davey, David Dawson, James Reid and Fred Wah; together they founded TISH magazine, in 1961, under the tutelage of Warren Tallman. Through Tallman Bowering and 'the TISH group' came under the influence of U.S. writers such as Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson and Jack Spicer. His teaching (and graduate studies) assignments took him first to Calgary, then the University of Western Ontario and Sir George Williams (now Concordia) before returning to B.C. to take up a teaching position at Simon Fraser, from which he finally retired in 2001. His literary periodical dedicated to the long poem or serial poem, Imago, ran for ten years between 1964 and 1974 and he was also a contributing editor for Frank Davey's Open Letter.

      Bowering's ill-fated first book, Sticks and stones was published by Tishbooks in 1963 but few copies ever left the print shop. A much more assured debut was his Contact Press book, Points on the grid (1964), which was followed, in quick, prolific, succession by The man in yellow boots (1965), The silver wire (1966), Baseball (1967), Two police poems (1968), Rocky Mountain foot (1968), The gangs of Kosmos (1969), Sitting in Mexico (1970), George, Vancouver (1970), Touch (1971), Genève (1971), Autobiology (1972), Curious (1973), In the flesh (1974), At war with the U.S. (1975) Allophanes (1976), The catch (1976), The concrete island (1977), Another mouth (1979) Particular accidents (1980), Smoking mirror (1982), West Window (1982), A way with words (1982), The mask in place (1982), Kerrisdale Elegies (1984), Craft slices (1985), Seventy-one poems for people (1985), Delayed mercy (1987) Quarters (1991), and Urban Snow (1992).

      Bowering's fiction includes Mirror on the floor (1967), his first novel, Flycatcher & other stories (1974), Protective footwear (1978), A place to die (1983), Concentric Circles (1977), Burning Water (1980) (which won him his second Governor General's award to accompany the poetry award he won in 1969), Caprice, Shoot, and many critical works, as well as his attempt at popular history, Bowering's B.C.