Born in Calgary in 1944, Barry McKinnon moved to Prince George in 1969 and explored his environs in PulpLog, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1992. His preceding book, The the, was nominated for a Governor-General's Award for 1980. McKinnon won the bpNIchol Chapbook Best Poetry Award for Arrythmia in 1994. His chapbook Surety Disappears was the runner-up for the bp Nichol Award in 2008. An earlier work entitled The Centre was reissued in an expanded version as The Centre: Poems 1970-2000 (Talonbooks, 2004). In the Millennium (New Star, 2009) is a thirteen-part collection of McKinnon's poetry drawn from a ten-year period.

McKinnon received his BA from Sir George Williams University in Montreal, where he studied with Irving Layton, and his MA from the University of British Columbia. He taught English at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, from where he also operates Gorse Press. McKinnon published Victoria Walker's Suitcase which received the Livesay Prize for poetry in 1990. A veteran of the Vancouver poetry publishing scene in the late 1960s, he has also published ten interviews with B.C. poet-publishers in a book-length edition of Open Letter. McKinnon wrote mainly in the long poem/serial sequence. Over the years he amassed a sizeable archive of "really good smelling" small press items such old issues of Tish magazine and gestetnered books.

He died on October 30, 2023.


Does a man have to break down.

Mystery. Limited edition of 26 copies.

The golden daybreak hair: poems. Toronto: Aliquando Press, 1967.

The carcasses of spring. Talonbooks, 1971

Stamp collection. Vancouver: Blewointmentpress, 1973.

He will sing before he disappears.

The death of a lyric poet: poems & drafts. Prince George, B.C.: Caledonia Writing Series, 1975.

Sex at thirty one: (a poem). Prince George, B.C.: Caledonia Writing Series, 1977.

Birth. Gorse Press: 1979.

A Draft: for John Harris. Gorse Press: 1979.

The organizer. Gorse Press: 1979.

Birch: for Bill Bailey. 1978.

The the (fragments). Repositoy/Gorse Press, 1979.

The the. Coach House Press, 1980.

Sex at 38. Gorse Press, 1984.

Thoughts/Sketches. Tatlow/Gorse Press: 1985.

The Caledonia writing series: (a chronicle). Gorse Press: 1989.

I wanted to say something. Red Deer College Press: 1990.

Pulplog. Caitlin Press: 1991.

Arrhythmica. Gorse Press: 1994.

The Centre. Caitlin Press: 1995.

Bolivia/Peru, 2004. Winner of bp nichol Chapbook Award for 2004.

The Centre: Poems 1970-2000: Talonbooks, 2004.

In the Millennium. New Star: 2009. $19 ISBC 978-1-5542-047-4

[BCBW 2010] "Poetry"