[From Series Two Turvey]
Born in Calgary, Earle Birney graduated from the University of British Columbia with first class honours in English Language and Literature in 1926, subsequently taking his MA and PH.D at the University of Toronto. He has taught at the Universities of California, Toronto and London (where he was Royal Society Research Fellow). He is former editor of Canadian Forum and Canadian Poetry Magazine and was for a year (1945-46) supervisor of foreign language broadcasts for the CBC. Since 1946 he has been a Professor of English at the University of British Columbia.
His experiences as both an officer and in the ranks during the Second World War furnished him material for his novel Turvey (1949) which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour that year. His reputation as a poet was established by David and Other Poems (1942), and Now Is the Time (1945), both of which received the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Other books include Straits of Anian, Down the Long Table (a novel) and Ice Cold Bell or Stone (1962).
Books in the NCL: