People / Pat Lowther

Writer, educator. Pat Lowther (née Tinmuth) was born in Vancouver on July 29, 1935. She began writing poetry at a young age and published her first poem when she was ten years old, in the Vancouver Sun. Although Lowther left school at age sixteen, she continued writing. After the dissolution of her first marriage in 1957, Lowther’s career began in earnest. The two recurrent themes in her work are sexual politics and socialism. This Difficult Flowring (Very Stone House), Lowther’s first collection of poetry, was released in 1968. Four years later, Lowther published The Age of the Bird (Blackfish Press), a long poem expressing her concerns for South American revolutionary politics. Her next book of poetry, Milk Stone (Borealis Press, 1972) quickly followed. This work, with its sensuous meditations on motherhood, love, and humanity, confirmed Lowther’s reputation as an important Canadian talent.

At this time, Lowther was lecturing on creative writing at the University of British Columbia, elected co-chair of the League of Canadian Poets and the British Columbia Arts Council. In 1975, Oxford University Press accepted her latest collection of poems, A Stone Diary. In September of that year, Lowther went missing. Her body was found three weeks later and her husband, Roy Lowther, was convicted of her murder in 1977. Final Instructions: Early and Uncollected Poems (Orca Sound Publications, 1980) and Time Capsule: New and Selected Poems (Polestar Books, 1996) were published posthumously. In 1980, the Canadian League of Poets established the Pat Lowther Award. The award is given annually for a new poetry collection by a Canadian woman.