Feb. 4 is the birthday of E.J. Pratt, considered by many to be Newfoundland and Labradors and Canadas greatest poet.
Next week, Memorials Faculty of Arts and Department of English will join forces with Running the Goat Books and Broadsides to celebrate Pratts life and work at a special event at the LSPU Hall.
The event will feature local poets Don McKay, Mark Callanan, Tom Dawe and Mary Dalton giving brief readings of Pratts poetry.
The Pratt Lecture series (inaugurated in 1968) has featured major writers and thinkers such as Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney, Ursula LeGuin and Northrop Frye. A selection of these published lectures will be on display during the celebration.
Running the Goat Books and Broadsides has published two recent Pratt lectures Ted Chamberlins 2009 The Snarl Around My Dory and Don McKays 2010 The Speakers Chair: Field Notes on Betweenity, in letterpress editions. Both will be available for sale at the event.
Born in Western Bay in 1882, Pratt earned a PhD in theology from the University of Torontos Victoria College in 1917. In 1920 he took a post with the colleges English department where he taught for many years. The library at Victoria College is named in his honour. Pratt received numerous honours and awards in his lifetime, including three Governor General awards for poetry and eight honorary degrees, including one from Memorial University. He died in 1964.
A Celebration of E.J. Pratt will be held at the LSPU Second Space Gallery from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4. It is a free event; all are welcome.