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George Bowering

George Bowering

Former location, Cecil Hotel, 1336 Granville St.

  • Author: Mary
  • Date Posted: May 15, 2016
  • Category:
  • Address: Plaque is on lamppost in front of 1332 Granville St.

George Bowering

Photo credit: Thea Bowering


Location: Plaque is on lamppost in front of 1332 Granville St.

UBC TISH poet Dan McLeod devised the name for the newspaper he now owns, Georgia Straight, over beers at the Cecil with Michael Morris and Glen Lewis in 1967. As the closest pub to UBC, the Cecil Hotel attracted a literary crowd in the Sixties, many of whom were associated with the TISH poetry movement. Most noteworthy was George Bowering, who later became the first Poet Laureate of Canada.

He went to the Cecil after work to drink a dream, drop a poem —

From Summer 1979. Vancouver

“Well, there was the early Sixties crowd of college guys,” Bowering recalls. “Then there was the late Sixties to late Seventies crowd of writers and hangers-on, and it was known across the country that we started on pub night about 10 pm, when the kids left. One night even Susan Musgrave came, and she tipped over a glass of beer and we told her the convention was that she had to buy a round. And that night we had five tables lined up. But we told her we were only kidding. Roy Kiyooka would come. Gladys Hindmarch. Dwight Gardiner. Brian Fisher. George Stanley. Brian Fawcett. Peter Huse. Stan Persky. Gill Collins. Mike Barnholden. Gerry Gilbert always snuck his own food in. Maxine Gadd.” The Cecil Hotel closed in 2010 after 101 years of operation, having turned into a strip club in the mid-1970s.

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“Well, there was the early Sixties crowd of college guys,” Bowering recalls. “Then there was the late Sixties to late Seventies crowd of writers and hangers-on, and it was known across the country that we started on pub night about 10 pm, when the kids left. One night even Susan Musgrave came, and she tipped over a glass of beer and we told her the convention was that she had to buy a round. And that night we had five tables lined up. But we told her we were only kidding. Roy Kiyooka would come. Gladys Hindmarch. Dwight Gardiner. Brian Fisher. George Stanley. Brian Fawcett. Peter Huse. Stan Persky. Gill Collins. Mike Barnholden. Gerry Gilbert always snuck his own food in. Maxine Gadd.” The Cecil Hotel closed in 2010 after 101 years of operation, having turned into a strip club in the mid-1970s.

He went to the Cecil after work to drink a dream, drop a poem —

From Summer 1979. Vancouver

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