Ladner-raised poet scores literary hat trick
Ladner-born and raised author Tim Bowling has just completed a hat trick of poetry prizes with his win at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala.
Bowling walked away with his third Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry on June 9 for his most recent collection, Tenderman. Only one other poet, Monty Reid, has won the prize as many times in the award's history.
Bowling, who now lives in Edmonton, also won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for Dying Scarlet (Nightwood Editions, 1998) and Fathom (Gaspereau, 2007), and he has been nominated for the prize an additional four times.
A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, his other honours include the Canadian Authors Association National Poetry Prize, the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize, and two other Alberta Literary Awards: the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. He has also been a finalist for two Governor General's Literary Awards for Poetry and the Nereus Writers Trust Non-Fiction Prize.
In Tenderman, Bowling outlines the central tension that acts as a vital force in the collection—the dichotomy between the sensitive poetic observer and the tough working-class subject.
The tenderman (the term for a crewman on a salmon packing boat), who represents an unromantic, fiercely independent everyman, acts as unintentional muse to the collection; the poems are often delivered through dialogues between poet and fisherman, reminiscences of their shared childhoods, or narratives delivered by the tenderman himself.
The Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry is one of five Alberta Literary Awards, administered by the Writers Guild of Alberta, which recognize and celebrate the highest standards of literary excellence from Alberta authors. The award comes with a prize of $1,500.
The other nominees were Rosemary Griebel for Yes (Frontenac House) and Michael Penny for Particles (McGill-Queens University Press).