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Margaret Avison was born in 1918 in Galt, Ontario, raised in Regina, Calgary and Toronto, where she completed high school in 1936. She continued her studies at University of Toronto earning a B.A. in 1940 and an M.A. in 1963. Her work has been recognized with two Governor General’s Awards for Poetry (Winter and Sun and No Time), by three honorary doctorates and by an officership in the Order of Canada. One of the poems in Concrete and Wild Carrot (‘Prospecting,’ retitled from ‘An-astronomy’) was awarded first place in the category of the Canadian Church Press Awards for 2000. Her other publications include The DumbfoundingsunblueSelected PoemsA Kind of Perseverance (prose) and Not Yet but Still. She was most recently honoured with the the Leslie K. Tarr Award for outstanding contribution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada.

The Porcupine’s Quill published a collection of Margaret Avison’s in three volumes under the title Always NowRead more about the collection on the Porcupine’s Quill Web site. Avison also completed a collection entitled Momentary Dark, published in early 2006.

Margaret Avison died in July, 2007. Numerous moving tributes to her and her work have been published, including ones in the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail.

Concrete and Wild Carrot

Brick Books
2003 Winner
Canada

Judges’ Citation

If beauty, as Alfred North Whitehead defines it, is ‘a quality which finds its exemplification in actual occasions,’ and if beauty is more completely exemplified in ‘imperfection and discord’ than in the ‘perfection of harmony,’ then Margaret Avison’s Concrete and Wild Carrot is an occasion of beauty.

If beauty, as Alfred North Whitehead defines it, is ‘a quality which finds its exemplification in actual occasions,’ and if beauty is more completely exemplified in ‘imperfection and discord’ than in the ‘perfection of harmony,’ then Margaret Avison’s Concrete and Wild Carrot is an occasion of beauty. Avison’s poetry is also alive in its sublimity and its humility: ‘wonder, readiness, simplicity’ – the gifts of perception Avison attributes to her Christian faith – imbue every poem in this book with a rare spirit of disorderly love. Margaret Avison is a national treasure. For many decades she has forged a way to write, against the grain, some of the most humane, sweet and profound poetry of our time.