George McWhirter

Born in 1939 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, George McWhirter grew up on the Shankill Road. He attended Queen’s University in Belfast, where his classmates included Seamus Heaney, and later completed a Masters degree at the University of British Columbia. McWhirter lived in Spain from 1965 to 1966, when he moved to Canada where he taught high school in Port Alberni, making an abrupt transition from Barcelona to living in a log cabin by Sproat Lake. He is the author of twenty books, many of which have won major awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the MacMillan Prize for Poetry, the Canadian Chapbook Poetry Competition Winner, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the FR Scott Prize for Trans- lation. In 2005, George McWhirter retired as a professor in the Creative Writing Department at UBC. In 2007 he was inaugurated as the first Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver.