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REF NO.: 91

SUBJECT: Memorial University to celebrate the birthday of E.J. Pratt

DATE: Jan. 30

Feb. 4 is the birthday of E.J. Pratt, considered by many to be Newfoundland and Labrador’s – and Canada’s – greatest poet.
Next week, Memorial’s Faculty of Arts and Department of English will join forces with Running the Goat Books and Broadsides to celebrate Pratt’s 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 Pratt’s 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 Chamberlin’s 2009 The Snarl Around My Dory and Don McKay’s 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 Toronto’s Victoria College in 1917. In 1920 he took a post with the college’s 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.

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For more information, please contact Janet Harron, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts, Memorial University, at 709-864-8292 or


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