Author and farmer Brian Brett wins B.C. literary honour

Noted West Coast author, poet and local food advocate Brian Brett is the latest recipient of British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor's Award for literary excellence.
Salt Spring Island, B.C.-based author, poet and farmer Brian Brett is the 2012 winner of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for literary excellence. (Michael Schoenholtz/Douglas & McIntyre)

Noted West Coast writer Brian Brett is the latest recipient of British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor's Award for literary excellence.

The three-member jury unveiled Brett — an author, poet and local food advocate — as the 2012 winner Tuesday evening. Established in 2003, the award celebrates B.C. writers who have contributed to the development of literary excellence in the province.

In Trauma Farm, Brian Brett recounts his experiences tending his small, affectionately named farm on Salt Spring Island, B.C. (Douglas & McIntyre)

"Brian Brett is the kind of man the 21st century needs. He sets a great example as a person who is mindful about the earth and its pure products, and equally mindful about the language we have been bequeathed," former poet laureate and jury member George Bowering said in a statement.

Bowering, the prize's 2011 recipient, was joined on the jury by B.C. bookseller Evelyn Gillespie and writer and cultural commentator Max Wyman.

Brett will receive the prize, which awards $5,000 in cash, during the B.C. Book Prize gala in Vancouver on May 12.

A former chair of the Writers' Union of Canada, Brett's award-winning work has spanned fiction, poetry, memoir and literary criticism. The Vancouver-born author also teaches creative writing through the UBC's online studies program.

His most recent release was 2011's Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life, in which he recounts his two decades tending his small, affectionately named farm on Salt Spring Island, B.C. Blending memoir and natural history, the book also explores our connection to the natural world, rural life and the food we eat.