Stan Persky Wins Lt Gov Award

Posted by Daniel on Apr 9, 2010

Great to see that Stan Persky is this year's winner of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.

I don't know Stan well (we've met a couple of times and once shared a podium at a dual reading where I got the impression he didn't share my interest in Canadian history), but I've always been a secret admirer. This goes back to the 1960s when we attended Bob Rowan's philosophy class at UBC together. I sat in the back row trying not to be noticed, while Stan sat in the front engaging Rowan in Socratic dialogue and generally dominating the class (in a good way). I learned as much from listening to their arguments than I did in all my other classes put together.

In the 1970s and early 1980s Stan wrote a series of books about BC and Vancouver politics that combined journalism and history in a unique and readable blend. At the same time he was a regular guest on Peter Gzowski's CBC morning radio show, informing the country what was going on in BC. I was living in Ottawa at the time and Stan's reports were a lifeline to events back home. (Is it curmudgeonly to recall that CBC Radio used to take on the job of explaining the country to itself, instead of chattering about celebrities?)

Anyway, my point is that Stan has been an important contributor to BC's political and literary culture since the '60s and his award is well deserved.