P.K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry

2008 Winner

The Malahat Review is pleased that the winner of this year’s P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry is Jeff Latosik of Toronto for his poem, "Cactus Love", which appeared in the Winter 2007 issue of The Malahat Review. Jeff Latosik’s award-winning poem was chosen for this prestigious award by Gary Geddes.

photo of Jeff Latosik

The P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry recognizes the excellence of The Malahat Review’s contributors by awarding a prize of $1,000 to the author of the best poem or sequence of poems to have appeared in the magazine’s quarterly issues during the previous calendar year. The winner, to be chosen by an outside judge who is recognized for his or her accomplishment as a poet, is announced annually just prior to the publication of The Malahat Review’s Spring issue.

Of Jeff Latosik’s poem, Geddes says “‘Cactus Love’ is a probing meditation on the role of resistance in affairs of the heart, that moves quietly from perception to perception and with a cumulative effect that is based on a careful manipulation of minute particulars of sound and a series of low-key, but telling figures of speech, such as ‘the lover you’ve kissed all the light from’ and ‘your own armourless life.’ Although it’s not exploited in the poem, there’s a subtly implicit link here, for those who ponder the placement of words, between armour and amour, the French word for love, one small letter making all the difference.”

Jeff Latosik's work has also appeared in The Antigonish Review. After a lengthy undergraduate degree, he spent time teaching English in South Korea but has now re-located to Toronto. He is a student of the Guelph-Humber MFA program for Creative Writing and, when not reading or writing, he enjoys making collages and learning simple versions of complicated songs on the guitar.

Gary Geddes is the editor and author of more than thirty-five books and the recipient of a dozen national and international literary awards. His most recent books include the bestselling non-fiction titles Sailing Home and Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things and two books of poetry, Skaldance and Falsework, the latter about the collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver.

The P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry honours the celebrated Victoria poet’s contribution to Canadian letters. It is made possible by a financial donation to The Malahat Review by P. K. Page in recognition of her long association with the magazine and as a gesture of her deep appreciation of her peers in the local and national literary communities.

P. K. Page was born in England in 1916 and came to Canada in 1919. Educated in England, Calgary, and Winnipeg, she studied art in Brazil and New York. She first came to the attention of the readers of Canadian poetry in the 1940s through her association with and regular appearances in Preview, a Montreal-based literary magazine key to the establishment of modernism in Canada. Her first important publication, Unit of Five, an anthology published by Ryerson in 1944, was followed by an impressive series of books of poetry, fiction, and memoir that display a characteristic love of ideas and a distinctive use of language that have won her admirers around the world. Her contribution was recognized early, when The Metal and the Flower (McClelland and Stewart) won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for 1954. Her recent books of poetry include Hologram (1994), The Hidden Room: Collected Poems (1998), Hand Luggage (2006), The Filled Pen: Selected Non-fiction of P. K. Page (2006), and Up on the Roof (short fiction, 2007). Under the name P K. Irwin, her paintings and drawings have been exhibited widely and are held in public and private collections across Canada.

For more information about the P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry and how you may support it through a donation, please email The Malahat Review.

Previous P.K. Page Founders Award for Poetry Winners