Author Tags: Aboriginal Authors, Poetry
The son of indigenous rights activist Chief Philip Paul, a co-founder of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the National Native Brotherhood, Philip Kevin Paul grew up on the Saanich Peninsula as a member of the WSÁ,NEC First Nation. He received a B.A. from the University of Victoria in writing and English. His writing appeared in various anthologies prior to the publication of Taking the Names Down from the Hill (Nightwood, 2003), winner of the Dorothy Livesay Prize for best book of poetry by a B.C. author. He accepted his award at the BC Book Prizes gala on May 1, 2004 at Victoria’s Government House, with a speech in both English and his traditional aboriginal language, SENCOTEN. He described his debut collection as an elegy to Saanich and to his parents, while thanking his adopted 'poetry parents' Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier. It was followed by By the Length of One Life (Nightwood 2007)
As an amateur lightweight boxer, he was once ranked fifth in B.C. and 13th in Canada. Paul has worked as an instructor at the Saanich Adult Education Centre and he lives on his native homeland in Brentwood Bay.
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Taking the Names Down from the Hill
Taking the Names Down from the Hill (Nightwood, 2003)
By the Length of One Life (Nightwood, 2007)
Little Hunger (Nightwood, 2008)
Paul Nominated for GG
Press Release (2009)
Nightwood Editions is pleased to announce that Philip Kevin Paul’s second book of poetry, Little Hunger, has been shortlisted for a 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award. His first book of poetry, Taking the Names Down from the Hill, won the 2004 Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry.
The 2009 Governor General’s Literary Awards finalists include authors, illustrators and translators from ages 27 to 78. The English and French awards are in the categories of fiction, non‑fiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation. In total, 70 books are shortlisted. Winners for each category receive $25,000.
In Little Hunger, his second book for the WSÁ,NEC (Saanich) Nation of Vancouver Island, Paul continues to draw upon the rich oral culture and traditions of his people.
>From the eye of a whale rising from the deep, to an albino pigeon being nursed back to health, Paul's work addresses nature, family and traditions that get passed on from generation to generation. A raccoon’s eyes become "holy doors of lost keys" and sockeye swim upstream. With elegance and wisdom, Paul speaks of "the stories gone sad, / singing to the hunger that made them, / running past the voices no longer speaking."
Philip Kevin Paul is a member of the WSÁ,NEC Nation from the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island. His work has been published in BC Studies, Literary Review of Canada, Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets and An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English. Paul has worked with the University of Victoria's linguistics department to ensure the preservation of the SENCOTEN language.
The other nominees for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry are David W. McFadden for Be Calm, Honey (Mansfield Press), Sina Queyras for Expressway (Coach House Books), Carmine Starnino for This Way Out (Gaspereau Press) and David Zieroth for The Fly in Autumn (Harbour Publishing). The winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 17 at La Grande Bibliothèque de Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in Montreal.