Stan Persky was named winner of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. (B.C. Book Prizes)

Stan Persky, a Vancouver writer, media commentator and public intellectual, has been awarded the B.C. Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence.

The $5,000 award is given annually to a B.C. writer who has contributed to the growth of literary excellence in the province,

"His grace as an essayist, his curiosity and independence of thought as a critic and newspaper columnist, and his exuberance as a civil rights activist and a leading voice of the gay community, have enriched us all," jury member and last year's winner Terry Glavin said in a citation.

Persky was honoured for "trail-blazing efforts in creating literary journals and a forum for public engagement — not least New Star Books and the Georgia Straight," the  citation said.

New Star Books is a small publisher he helped found. Persky was an early staff member at Georgia Straight.

Persky has been media commentator for the CBC and literary columnist for The Globe and Mail, The Body Politic, This Magazine, Saturday Night and more recently the Tyee.

He is author of 20 books, including Fantasy Government: Bill Vander Zalm and the Future of Social Credit, Lives of the French Symbolist Poets, At The Lenin Shipyard: Poland and the Rise of the Solidarity Trade Union and Buddy's: Meditations on Desire.

Born in Chicago, Persky moved to Vancouver in 1966 and taught philosophy at Capilano University for many years.

Lt.-Gov. Steven Point is scheduled to present the award at Government House in Victoria on April 24 during the B.C. Book Prizes Gala.