Avison's many publications include the middle school textbook History of Ontario (1951), a medical biography, a collaboration in translation from the Hungarian of The Plough and the Pen: Writings from Hungary 1930-1956 (1963), and a collection of her lectures titled A Kind of Perseverance (1994). It is for her richly dense and demanding poetry, however, that she was most well known and celebrated.
Maragaret Avison won the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD for her first collection of poetry, Winter Sun (1960). With this work Avison established herself as a difficult and introspective poet given to private images and subtle shadings of emotion that challenge and frustrate the reader. These complexities in her writing conceal a deeply religious and vulnerable sensibility.
In 1966 Avison published The Dumbfounding, a more accessible record of spiritual discovery, and a more revealing account of the unmasked, narrative "I." This was further developed in Sunblue (1978), a combination of social concern and moral values fused by religious conviction and a continuing restatement of personal faith. She won her second Governor General's Award in 1990 for No Time. Her 2002 collection, Concrete and Wild Carrot, garnered Avison the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize. In addition to the three volumes of her collected works published in 2003, 2004, 2005, Avison brought out a collection of new poems in 2006, titled Momentary Dark.
Margaret Avison was an Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA, and was the recipient of the Leslie K. Tarr Award for her outstanding contribution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada.
Author MICHAEL GNAROWSKI Rev: KAREN GRANDY
Links to Other Sites
A profile of award-winning Canadian poet Margaret Avison from Canadian Poetry Online.
The Porcupine's Quill
Check out the online catalogue from The Porcupine's Quill, Canadian publisher of award winning fiction for adults and younger readers.
Guide to Canadian Literary Papers at York University Archives
This website offers online biographies of prominent Canadian writers and a guide to related archives maintained by York University Archives and Special Collections. Click on the menu on the left side of the screen for information about specific authors.