Lowther, Patricia Louise

Patricia Louise Lowther, née Tinmuth, poet (b at Vancouver 29 July 1935; d there 24 Sept 1975). Pat Lowther grew up in North Vancouver. Although she left school at age 16, she later devoted herself to the promotion of poetry, lecturing in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She also worked hard for the advancement of the NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY, for which she was constituency secretary. Lowther was elected co-chair of the LEAGUE OF CANADIAN POETS in 1974 and subsequently to the BC Arts Council. Pat Lowther was murdered in 1975. Her husband, Roy Lowther, was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime. Lowther's death, just as she was establishing herself as a major poet, was mourned by the Canadian literary community. Fellow poet Dorothy LIVESAY described the tragedy as "a body blow to the cause of poetry in Canada."

Socialist politics and the politics of sex form the 2 pivotal aspects of Pat Lowther's work. Widely anthologized, Lowther published 4 collections of poetry: This Difficult Flowering, 1968; The Age of the Bird, 1972; Milk Stone, 1974; and A Stone Diary, posthumously, in 1977. Another manuscript was discovered in 1996 and published under the title Time Capsule. Lowther's life and brutal death is the subject of the 2002 documentary film Water Marks. Her contributions to Canadian literature are commemorated in The Pat Lowther Award, given annually by the League of Canadian Poets for a new poetry collection by a Canadian woman.