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Marilyn Bowering

Marilyn Bowering

Photo: Xan Shian

Marilyn Bowering was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Victoria, BC. She received her M.A. Degree from the University of Victoria where she studied with Robin Skelton. A novelist, poet, and librettist, her work has been published and performed internationally. Her first novel, To All Appearances A Lady, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her second novel, Visible Worlds , was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her most recent novel is What It Takes To Be Human. Her poetry has twice been short-listed for the Governor General’s Award: her most recent book of poetry is What Is Long Past Occurs in Full Light. Bowering has taught fiction and poetry at the University of Victoria and at Vancouver Island; and has  held a variety of short-term residencies from St. John’s to Wallawa. She was a Fulbright Scholar at NYC.  Her opera about Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn Forever) with the composer, Gavin Bryars has received new productions in the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria and Germany. New fiction and a literary investigation/memoir are in progress.

British Columbia


What Is Long Past Occurs in Full Light (poetry). 2019, Mother Tongue Publishing
Threshold (poetry), with photographs by Xan Shian. 2015, Leaf Press
Soul Mouth (poetry), short listed for the Pat Lowther Prize.. 2012, Exile Editions
Green (poetry) . 2007, Exile Editions
What It Takes To Be Human (novel). 2006/2007, Penguin Canada, Fall, 2006; Maia Books (UK), Summer, 2007
Das Grune Glastein (novel) , German edition of Cat’s Pilgrimage,. 2006, Random House
Calendar Poems, translated into Punjabi by Ajmer Rode. 2005, Third Eye Publications,
Cat’s Pilgrimage (novel). 2004, HarperCollins


Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, 1998.
Pat Lowther Award for poetry, 1997.
Long Poem Prize, Malahat Review, 1994.
Shortlisted, Sony Award and the Prix Italia for radio drama.
National Magazine Award for Poetry, Silver, 1978, 1989.
Canada-US Fulbright Award, 2008
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: