The F.E.L. Priestley Lecture Series presents: Gary Geddes

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The F.E.L. Priestley Lecture Series presents Gary Geddes with his talk, Flying Under the Radar: Politics, Poetry and Peace.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 7:30 to 9 p.m. | PE264, 1st Choice Savings Centre Room

If, in the speaker’s words in W.H. Auden’s elegy, “In Memory of W.B. Yeats,” "poetry makes nothing happen,” what then are its uses?  I’d want to make a case both for the usefulness, political significance, and healing powers of poetry and, by implication, other forms of engaged writing.

Gary Geddes has “long been considered one of Canada’s most important men of letters.” He has written and edited 50 books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation, and anthologies and won a dozen national and international literary awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), the British Columbia Lt-Governor's Award for Literary Excellence, and the Gabriela Mistral Prize. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, UBC’s Green College, Ottawa University and the Vancouver Public Library. He lives on Thetis Island, B.C. with his wife, the novelist Ann Eriksson.


The F.E.L. Priestley Lecture was endowed in 1987, in memory of Professor Priestley, whose 50-year academic career began as a teacher in a one-room school in Pine Coulee, and ended when he retired from University College, University of Toronto, in 1972.

The purpose of the lecture series is to invite internationally renowned scholars and authors to campus to further the tradition of the humane letters, in particular in the disciplines of the history of ideas, literature, philosophy, and history.

It provides an opportunity to advance the humanist tradition and intellectual values that Professor Priestley cherished and promoted in his works and in the classroom. 

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Kent Peacock | |

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