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John B. Lee, BA'74, BEd'75, MA'85

Western News | September 30, 2010

Alumni Award of Merit, Professional Achievement Award recipient 2010

John B. Lee’s time in London and at Western gave him his first taste of “city life,” and pushed him to expand his career horizons.

“I went out into the world with the lifeline of learning and experience garnered at Western,” Lee says.

A high school teacher for 13 years, Lee chose to leave teaching for a full-time career as an author, and travelled the world reading his poetry, presenting writing workshops, teaching university students and serving as a writer-in-residence at libraries and schools throughout Canada.

With more than 50 books published and editor of seven anthologies, including two best-selling works, Lee is a recipient of more than 70 prestigious international awards for his writing. He is the only two-time recipient of the People’s Poetry Award.

Marty Gervais, Black Moss Press president, calls Lee probably Canada’s most prolific poet. “John set out to be a writer and found the only way to do that was to sit down and devote himself to that task every day of his life,” Gervais says. “At the same time it freed him to be the teacher, the mentor, the inspirer, and there are so many people who unabashedly will say how much he influenced and shaped their lives.”

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