November 12, 2002
We have one now. A Poet Laureate I mean. Our first. And now we can hold our head up among the other nations similarly endowed.
Ours has two. Years, that is, to “write poems for state occasions”. Can we then expect epistles to the Esquimaux on the occasion of a royal visit to the north? Or sonnets in honor of the recently appointed Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food?
Nope. He’s a lifelong baseball fan, for one thing, with a knack for poking holes in pomposity. And he’s a Mac guy as well. So I like the odds…
When interviewed on CBC this morning Vancouver poet George Bowering was considering the possibility of a Parliamentary Poetry Program, where Alliance MPs would write cowboy ballads, and Conservative MPs would pen turgid 18th century epics. While the Liberals would dutifully dash off poems in praise of their Great Leader…
$12,000 a year, plus $10,000 for travel — tax money well spent, in my opinion. Congratulations George!
From a 1999 interview:
If you had a time machine where/when would you go to?
I would go to Paris and watch the pages of Ulysses coming off the press.
Yep - that’s my guy.