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New Star Books author Stan Persky named recipient of the 7th annual Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

April 15th, 2010

British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Steven Point, will present the award at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala to be held at Government House in Victoria on April 24, 2010. The event will be hosted by broadcaster Shelagh Rogers.

“We have chosen Stan Persky as the recipient of the 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence because of the intellectual and moral integrity he brings to his work as a writer who engages with some of the most difficult questions facing society, and because of the great contributions he has made to the literary canon of Canada and British Columbia.

His numerous books and his trail-blazing efforts in creating literary journals and a forum for public engagement – not least New Star Books and the Georgia Straight – have helped develop British Columbia’s literary community into what it is today.

From his earliest days in the ‘New American Poetry’ community of San Francisco to his sojourn teaching philosophy at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Stan has cheerfully persisted in his role as literary colleague, mentor, guide, teacher and collaborator. From the real-world and digital versions of Toronto’s Dooney’s Cafe, and even from his part-time residence in Berlin, Stan has always taken British Columbia seriously. He has subjected British Columbia to thoughtful inquiry, and has held British Columbian literature to the highest standards.

Stan’s bravery as a philosopher, a polemicist and a storyteller leap from the pages of his twenty books, from Lives of the French Symbolist Poets and Topic Sentence: A Writer‘s Education, and from At The Lenin Shipyard: Poland and the Rise of the Solidarity Trade Union to Fantasy Government: Bill Vander Zalm and the Future of Social Credit and Buddy’s: Meditations on Desire. His grace as an essayist, his curiosity and independence of thought as a critic and newspaper columnist, and his exuberance as a civil rights activist and a leading voice of the gay community, have enriched us all.

Stan Persky is our Socrates. British Columbians can rightly boast that he is truly one of ours. We are enormously proud to offer him the recognition of the 2010 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.”

– Terry Glavin, jury member

The jury for this year’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award: Terry Glavin, author and journalist; Lynne van Luven, Associate Dean, University of Victoria; and Robert Wiersema, author.

This prize was established in 2003 by former Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, to recognize British Columbia writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the province. The recipient receives a cash award of $5,000 and a commemorative certificate.