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Al Purdy was born December 30, 1918 in Wooler, Ontario. He served a long apprenticeship as a poet, finally breaking through with The Cariboo Horses, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award in 1965. From that time forward he was able to support himself full-time by writing. He and his wife Eurithe travelled widely while alternating their permanent residence between British Columbia and Ontario. Purdy published 33 books of poetry, a novel, an autobiography, and nine collections of essays and correspondence. His Collected Poems won a second Governor General’s Award in 1986. He died April 21, 2000, in Sidney, British Columbia. The Al Purdy A-Frame Association established a poet-in-residence program in the house Purdy built in Ameliasburg, Ontario.

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