The Essential P.K. Page
selected by Arlene Lampert and Théa Gray
P. K. Page needs no introduction. This is a poet who writes in many genres and on an infinite number of subjects. The source of her poetry is always love – whether in vivid portraits of her inner and outer landscapes; startling insights into the past, the present, the future; illumination of some tiny detail of ordinary life; or admonishments for our neglect of the earth and of each other. Page is an alchemist who turns language into pure gold, a magician who dazzles with sleight of mind. The Essential P. K. Page is perceptive, elegant, romantic (yet never sentimental), sometimes downright funny, wholly conscious.
P. K. Page wrote some of the best poems published in Canada over the last seven decades. In addition to winning the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1957, she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1999. She was the author of more than two dozen books, including ten volumes of poetry, a novel, short stories, eight books for children, and two memoirs based on her extended stays in Brazil and Mexico with her husband Arthur Irwin, who served in those countries as the Canadian Ambassador. In addition to writing, Page painted, under the name P. K. Irwin. She mounted one-woman shows in Mexico and Canada. Her work was also exhibited in various group shows, and is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Victoria Art Gallery, among others.