Nose Hill

Grass language knows
silent flower wind
no trembled flutter
north of joy
anemone mundi mound
emble hair scab
grace oat keel
none shingle sky
June naze puzzle
imported sweet awn
cope tribe discont-
but abundant thrill
never rough hooked
dream street springing
spoke troop boat
w/ as ex hill
noon pond knot
having omph look
clusted node broom
first minute pendul
city locorice grazed
boulevard finger zome
tickled sweet pyramid
infloresces occur animal
then gna loop
feathered gravel home
new lawns rivers.

~ Fred Wah, Parliamentary Poet Laureate, 2011-2013

Fred Wah was born in 1939 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan to parents of Swedish and Chinese origin. He grew up in the West Kootenays in rural B.C. where his parents owned or ran several Chinese-Canadian cafés. Wah studied Music and English at U.B.C. (BA 1962) and took an MA in Linguistics and Literature at SUNY Buffalo in 1967. From 1967-1989, he taught at Selkirk College and David Thompson University Centre, Nelson while living in South Slocan, raising a family (with teacher and literary critic Pauline Butling), and writing more than a dozen books of poetry. They moved to Calgary in 1989, where he taught English and Creative Writing until his retirement in 2003. Currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, he divides his time between Vancouver and a seasonal home near Nelson.

Wah has received major literary awards in three genres: Waiting for Saskatchewan won the Governor General’s award, So Far won Alberta’s Stephanson Award, and is a door won the Dorothy Livesay prize for poetry; Diamond Grill received Alberta’s Howard O’Hagan Award for short fiction; and his essay collection, Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity won the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism in English Canada.

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