Margaret Avison was born in Ontario. She attended public school in Western Canada, high school and university in Toronto. She spent eight months in Chicago in 1956-57, on a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. She has worked in libraries, publishing houses, universities, archives, and missions, was writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario in 1972-73. In 1985 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.  She was awarded three honorary degrees and two Governor General’s Awards for Poetry (for Winter Sun and No Time).  In 2003 she was the winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the CAA Jack Chalmers Poetry Award and received a Globe 100 citation for her book Concrete and Wild Carrot.

“…Margaret Avison is a national treasure. For many decades she has forged a way to write, against the grain, some of the most humane, sweet and profound poetry of our time.” – from the 2003 Griffin Poetry Prize Judges’ Citation

She lived in downtown Toronto until her death in 2007.


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