Lilburn, Tim



Phone number: (250) 721-7311
Department: Writing

Research description:

- Poetry and essay writing
- Writing essays on desire, ecology, Platonism, the European struggle to settle, on becoming autochtonous in North America, and poetics.
- Writing poetry on landscape, especially the aspen parkland of northeast Saskatchewan, on philosophy and mystical theology.

Expertise Profile
To poet and essayist Tim Lilburn, poetry is a form of contemplative thinking, not a decorative art.

The reflective thought process that comes with writing poetry is just as crucial as philosophical rationality, he says. Poetry, his genre of expertise, is a form of probe - one that can provoke individual, social and political transformation.

Dr. Lilburn is particularly interested in what makes poetry beautiful. Part of it lies in the depth of reflection and the power of discovery. Part of it also resides in the desire to create an art that rouses new thoughts and feelings in people, enough to spark a turn in a life.

In the Department of Writing at UVic where he teaches, Dr. Lilburn trains aspiring poets - his students - to nurture an appetite for excellence and push to surpass themselves.

Attitudes he believes are good for any writer are intense curiosity and a willingness to "waste time" in prolonged observation.

Dr. Lilburn also encourages his students to explore a second genre, just as he did with essay writing. He likes this second area for its welcoming nature - anyone can write essays and from any particular angle.

Dr. Lilburn is the author of several collections of poems and two influential essay collections. His most recent book, Assiniboia, describes a very different Western Canada than the one in which we live in now. Written to be staged as a massive opera, sections of his poem have been publicly performed with dancers and choirs.

Related Links
Dr. Lilburns's website:

Poems from Dr. Lilburn's book, Assiniboia:

International activities:

Dr. Lilburn gives lectures and readings at universities, libraries, festivals and cafes across Canada, the U.S., Berlin, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Harbin, Shan-tou and Hong Kong in China.

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