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Gary Geddes

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Gary Geddes

Award Received

Honorary Degree

Convocation Ceremony

Spring 2007 Convocation

For nearly 30 years, Gary Geddes has been one of Canada's most influential political poets, advocating justice and human rights through his prose.

Gary Geddes was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1940. Before taking up writing, travelling and academia, Mr. Geddes was as a gillnet fisherman, a water-taxi driver, and a worker at the B.C. Sugar Refinery. He went on to earn degrees in English and philosophy at the University of British Columbia, and his MA and PhD in English at the University of Toronto.

Geddes has taught English at Concordia University, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and the University of Victoria. In September 1998, he was appointed as the Distinguished Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University. He has had numerous appointments as writer in residence, including at the University of Alberta, Malaspina University College, University of Ottawa, and Green College at UBC.

Geddes has performed and lectured extensively around the world. He has published and edited more than 35 books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation and anthologies, along with launching several publishing companies. The National Library in Ottawa houses his archives. Among dozens of national and international awards,  Geddes can claim the Americas Best Book Award and the Gabriela Mistral Prize.

Most recently Geddes authored The Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things, non-fiction misadventure that finds him following the journey of a fifth-century monk across Asia and the Pacific, from war-torn Afghanistan to Guatemala. His book-length poem Falsework, based on the 1958 tragedy at Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver, is due out this year.

Geddes performed a reading from The Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things at Royal Roads University in 2006 for "Blueprint for Peace," a fundraiser for the Human Security and Peacebuilding program's Uganda residency.