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Honoured B.C. author Gary Geddes to read, conduct workshop at Oxygen this weekend

Tom Wayman
By Tom Wayman
September 28th, 2011

One of B.C.’s most honored writers, Victoria poet, non-fiction author and editor Gary Geddes, will read from his work at Nelson’s Oxygen Art Centre, 320 Vernon St. (alley entrance), on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. 

The next day Geddes will conduct a poetry workshop at Oxygen from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Sept. 30 reading is free and open to the public.  Cost for the Saturday workshop is $50.  The fee includes editorial feedback from Geddes on two poems from each workshop participant who registers and submits work by Sept. 25. 

Interested people can email two poems on which they would like Geddes’ response; poems should be sent to Eileen Pearkes:, with “Geddes workshop poems” in the email subject line. 

The workshop registration fee is payable by cash or cheque at the workshop.

Geddes, whose books include the seminal 1975 anthology of B.C. literature, Skookum Wawa, as well as a number of college textbooks including 15 Canadian Poets Times 3, was the recipient of the B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award for lifetime achievement in 2008. 

His books of his own poems include Falsework (2007), about the 1958 collapse of Vancouver’s Second Narrows Bridge during its construction. 

He has also written a bestselling memoir, Sailing Home, about returning to B.C. in 1998 after 20 years teaching writing at Montreal’s Concordia University.

In 2007, Geddes received an honorary degree from Victoria’s Royal Roads University.  “His uncompromising stand for human dignity and his elegant prose has made this one-time gillnet fisherman one of Canada’s most important literary figures,” the Royal Roads citation said.

Geddes’ reading and workshop in Nelson is jointly sponsored by the Kootenay School of Writing and the Oxygen Art Centre.

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