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W.P. Kinsella Awarded 15th George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award

For Immediate Release, June 9, 2009

(Vancouver, B.C.) – W.P. Kinsella is the next name to be inscribed onto a commemorative plaque in the Writers' Walk at Vancouver’s Library Square honouring recipients of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kinsella is the 15th established writer to be honoured for an outstanding literary career related to British Columbia. He received the award on June 9 at Vancouver Public Library’s Central Library where Mayor Gregor Robertson read a proclamation in Kinsella’s honour. The award also includes a $3,000 cash prize.

Kinsella is a recipient of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award and the Leacock Medal for Humour. He has also received the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.

In proclaiming June 9 Vancouver Author Appreciation Day honouring Mr. Kinsella, Mayor Robertson commended his extensive and impressive body of work which includes the novels Shoeless Joe, Dance Me Outside, The Moccasin Telegraph and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy.

"Although W.P. Kinsella now lives in the Fraser Valley, he has called Vancouver home and we are fortunate that he left his native Alberta for BC," said Mayor Robertson.

"In addition to the numerous awards and accolades for his work, Mr. Kinsella’s expression from Shoeless Joe, ‘If you build it, he will come’, has become part of our every-day speech."

The City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library and the non-profit Pacific BookWorld News Society sponsor the annual George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award.

“W.P. Kinsella is one of our few writers whose work requires little or no introduction,” says Alan Twigg, BC BookWorld publisher and Woodcock Award founder. “Like Alice Munro and Douglas Coupland, he has earned his reputation beyond the stratum of self-elected literary aristocrats. People read and enjoy his work around the world.”

The Woodcock Award celebrates an author whose enduring contribution to the literary arts in British Columbia spans several decades, said Library Board Chair Joan Andersen.

"W.P. Kinsella's writing has had a significant impact on the North American literary landscape. His talent and dedication have made him one of the most successful and prolific writers in Canada. His books are borrowed frequently from the library," she said.

"Throughout his career, Mr. Kinsella has inspired and encouraged emerging writers. His work is taught in numerous writing and reading programs. He is a most-deserving recipient of this prestigious award."

In 1993, Mr. Kinsella told Maclean’s magazine: "My life is not interesting. What you can invent is much better than anything that's actually happened to you."

In 1994, following civic events held to recognize the literary career of celebrated Vancouver writer George Woodcock, BC BookWorld, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library and the non-profit Pacific BookWorld News Society jointly sponsored and presented an annual prize to a senior BC author whose enduring contribution to the literary arts spans several decades. The initial corporate sponsor was BC Gas, later renamed Terasen. In 2007, the Terasen Lifetime Achievement Award was renamed the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award.

Previous recipients include Joy Kogawa (2008) bill bissett (2007), Jack Hodgins (2006) and Alice Munro (2005). Further information is available at www.georgewoodcock.com.

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