P.K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry

2013 Winner

The University of Victoria, on behalf of The Malahat Review, is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry: Matthew Tierney of Toronto, ON, for his poem, “Re the Individual Wellbeing,” which appeared in the Spring 2012 issue (178) of The Malahat Review. Matthew Tierney's award-winning poem was chosen by Barry Dempster.

The P. K. Page Founders’ Award for Poetry recognizes the excellence of The Malahat Review’s contributors by awarding a prize of $1000 to the author of the best poem or sequence of poems to have appeared in the magazine during the previous calendar year. The winner, selected by an outside judge who is recognized for his or her accomplishment as a poet, is announced prior to the publication of The Malahat Review’s Spring issue.

Of Matthew Tierney’s poem, Dempster says, “The music in Matthew Tierney’s 'Re the Individual Wellbeing' knocks down the walls between words, but never just for the sake of innovation. There’s a narrative to be untangled, a voice that goes beyond recognition, and an openness that manages to shut itself into amazing atmospheres. The language keeps reaching up off the page and dragging you deep inside the lines. Listen: rustle, Tagalog, throb, blunderbluss, tincture, distraught, yawning, Bach. Some crazy assonance going on here amidst content that swerves between life and death. It’s a risk of a poem written with hurtling grace.”

Matthew Tierney

Matthew Tierney is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Probably Inevitable (Coach House Books). His second, The Hayflick Limit, was shortlisted for a Trillium Book Award. He is a former winner of the K.M. Hunter Award, and has placed his poems in numerous journals and magazines across Canada and the U.S. He lives in Toronto.

Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award, is the author of sixteen books. His collection The Burning Alphabet won the Canadian Authors’ Association Chalmers Award for Poetry in 2005. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Ontario Premiers Award for Excellence in the Arts. He is also Acquisitions Editor for Brick Books. A new collection from Brick Books and a novel from Pedlar Press will be published in the fall of 2013.

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 (1916-2010) was born in England 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.

Read an interview with Matthew Tierney.

Previous P.K. Page Founders Award for Poetry Winners