Marilyn Bowering is an award-winning writer whose first novel, To All Appearances A Lady, was a New York Times Notable Book of 1990. Her second novel, Visible Worlds (1997) was short-listed for the prestigious Orange Prize, nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Visible Worlds was praised by The Independent as “a tour de force … a wonderful piece of storytelling” and by The New York Times Book Review as “a vast, sprawling feast of a book.” Marilyn Bowering’s third novel, Cat’s Pilgrimage is a psychological map in the form of an album of human and animal stories, a “rich act of the imagination that alternately dazzles, puzzles and thrills.” (Ottawa Citizen). Her novel What it Takes to Be Human is also a map—of survival in a world where human qualities are increasingly under threat. The Globe and Mail called it “a great novel… [Bowering] does not seek moments to be brilliant: those moments just arrive.” Bowering’s poetry includes Human Bodies: Collected Poems 1987-1999 and a book of story and memoir poems, Soul Mouth. With Threshold (photographs by Xan Shian), Marilyn Bowering explores an encounter with a 17th century female Scottish Gaelic Bard. What Is Long Past Occurs in Full Light includes illustrations by the late Ken Laidlaw and conversations with a border collie, Dostoevsky, Gogol and others. It is available now from Mother Tongue Publishing. Marilyn Bowering has received many poetry prizes including the Ruth and David Lampe Poetry Competition, the Gwen MacEwen Poetry prize, the Pat Lowther Prize, the Dorothy Livesay Prize, several National Magazine Awards, two nominations for the Governor General’s award, and shortlisting for the Prix Italia and the Sony Award. An opera, Marilyn Forever (composer Gavin Bryars ), has received production premieres in Canada, the United States, Australia, Austria, the United Kingdom and Germany. Marilyn’s first full-length work of non-fiction, More Richly in Earth: A Poet’s Search for Mary MacLeod, will be published by MQUP in 2024.
Bowering’s work has been translated into a number of languages including Spanish, Finnish, German, Romanian, Russian, Greek and Punjabi.
Marilyn Bowering was born in Winnipeg and grew up in Victoria, BC. She has lived in various parts of Canada and in Greece, Scotland and Spain and now makes her home on Vancouver Island.