Charles Marion Lillard

Charles Marion Lillard, poet, historian, publisher, teacher, logger, fisher (b at Long Beach, Ca 26 Feb 1944; d at Victoria, BC 27 Mar 1997). The son of a fishing couple, Charles Lillard spent much of his childhood on the waters off the southeast coast of Alaska.

Lillard, Charles Marion

Charles Marion Lillard, poet, historian, publisher, teacher, logger, fisher (b at Long Beach, Ca 26 Feb 1944; d at Victoria, BC 27 Mar 1997). The son of a fishing couple, Charles Lillard spent much of his childhood on the waters off the southeast coast of Alaska. He is best-known as a chronicler of the Pacific Northwest.

Charles Lillard's first collection of poetry, Cultus Coulee (1971), was published while he was a student at the University of British Columbia, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts. Almost without exception, Lillard's verse is tied to the West Coast; it is a reflective, though unsentimental, rendering of the culture, mythology, and natural beauty of the region. He wrote a total of eight volumes of poetry, including Circling North (1988), awarded the 1989 BC Prize for Poetry (now the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize). His final collection, Shadow Weather: Poems Selected and New (1997), was shortlisted for the GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD.

Charles Lillard was a prolific author and wrote several histories, including Seven Shillings a Year: The History of Vancouver Island (1986). The Brother XII (1989), co-written with Ron MacIsaac and Don Clark, departs from the conventional view of the mysterious Vancouver Island cult leader, BROTHER TWELVE, as a charlatan and thief. Charles Lillard was dedicated to making original writing by early British Columbians more accessible. He edited several volumes, including The Ghostland People (1989), a collection of writings about Haida Gwaii, and Warriors of the North Pacific: Missionary Accounts of the Northwest Coast, the Skeena and Sitkine Rivers, and the Klondike, 1829-1900 (1984).

At the time of his death, Charles Lillard was working with Terry Glavin on a history of CHINOOK JARGON, a language Lillard had used on occasion in his poetry. Completed by Glavin, the book was published as A Voice Great Within Us (1998).