Phyllis Webb, poet, broadcaster (b at Victoria 8 Apr 1927). Author of several books of poetry and one of broadcast scripts, essays and reviews, Webb is a writer of stature in Canadian letters. Her work is brilliantly crafted, formal in its energies and humane in its concern.
Phyllis Webb, poet, broadcaster (b at Victoria 8 Apr 1927). Author of several books of poetry and one of broadcast scripts, essays and reviews, Webb is a writer of stature in Canadian letters. Her work is brilliantly crafted, formal in its energies and humane in its concern. In Webb's poetry there is a sadness about the pomposities of human nature, variegated with a visionary sympathy with natural life and landscape, and with the human impulse toward freedom. Webb's political activities, her work as a public-affairs broadcaster and her interest in political theory infuse her work with a concern for public life.
Webb attended UBC (BA) and McGill. Her first collection of poems appeared in Trio (1954). Even Your Right Eye was published in 1956, and in 1957 she won a grant enabling her to study drama and theatre in France. In 1962, The Sea Is Also a Garden appeared, followed by Naked Poems, a series of intense, haiku-like poems, in 1965. From 1964 to 1969, Webb worked at CBC Toronto, first in public affairs and then, 1967-69, as executive producer of the program "Ideas." Returning to the West Coast in 1969, Webb eventually took up permanent residence on Saltspring I. In 1971, her Selected Poems 1954-65 was published. Wilson's Bowl (1980) is an important collection of poems written during the 1970s. Talking (1982) is a collection of some of Webb's reviews, articles and CBC broadcasts, and another selection of poems, The Vision Tree, appeared the same year. Water and Light, a series of poems corresponding with the ghazal form of Persian poetry, was published in 1984. Other books include Hanging Fire (1990) and Nothing but Brush Strokes (1995). She has taught at UBC, U Vic, U of A and the Banff Centre.