Victoria poet, teacher Lorna Crozier honoured at UVic tonight

Patrick Lane, Esi Edugyan and other prominent Canadian writers will read poems tonight honouring local poet Lorna Crozier.

The public event, A Literary Celebration of Lorna Crozier, is at 7 p.m. at the University of Victoria’s David Lam Auditorium.

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It recognizes Crozier’s contributions to UVic’s Department of Writing, from which she recently retired after two decades. In her honour, the Faculty of Fine Arts has established the Lorna Crozier Scholarship, to be awarded annually to an undergraduate in the writing department.

“Lorna is a brilliant poet — we all know that — but she truly was a brilliant teacher,” said Joan MacLeod, chair of the writing department. She added: “I love the idea of the scholarship, because it’ll be like having a little piece of Lorna still with us.”

The event will be hosted by Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter. As well as reading poems inspired by or dedicated to Crozier, writers will share personal anecdotes. The roster also includes Jane Urquhart, Steve Price, Brad Cran, Carla Funk and Melanie Siebert.

School of Music professor Alexandra Pohran Dawkins will perform her piece on the English horn, A Musical Offering — For Lorna.

For the price of admission ($20), each audience member will receive a copy of a poem signed by Crozier for the occasion.

Born in Swift Current, Sask., Crozier published her first poem in the literary magazine Grain, something that turned her life toward poetry.

Her first collection, Inside in the Sky, was published in 1976. Since then, she has authored 14 books of poetry, including The Garden Going on Without Us, Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence, Inventing the Hawk, Everything Arrives at the Light, Apocrypha of Light, What the Living Won’t Let Go, and Whetstone.

Tickets for the event are available at the University of Victoria ticket centre 250-721-8480.

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