Tom Wayman

Songs Without Price, by Tom Wayman, leader of the North American World Poetry Movement, is the fourth title in the lecture series. Tom Wayman was the 2007 Ralph Gustafson Chair of Poetry.

“Poetry, which nobody wants to buy, stands nearly alone in possessing the potential to speak the truth. Its location outside the rule of money gives it a perspective unique in our dollar-haunted society. Precisely because poetry has no cash equivalent, poetry is both literally and metaphorically priceless.”

Tom Wayman was born in 1945 in Hawkesbury, Ontario, a pulp mill town on the Ottawa River. Wayman’s father was a pulp mill chemist, so when he was seven he moved with his family to a small fishing and pulp mill town in British Columbia called Prince Rupert. Wayman later moved to Vancouver, where he finished high school and attended the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1966 with a B.A. in Honors English. During his time there he worked as a journalist with the Vancouver Sun, and on the UBC student newspaper The Ubyssey, where he was editor-in-chief from 1965-1966.

He later went to southern California and received his Master’s in English and Writing from the University of California at Irvine.

He has been a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor, University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, University of Winnipeg, and the University of Toronto. His most recent teaching endeavors include the Okanagan University College in Vernon and Kelowna, the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, Kwantlen University, and currently the University of Calgary.

Wayman was awarded the Canadian Author’s Association medal for poetry, the A.J.M. Smith Prize for distinguished achievement in Canadian poetry, and first prize in the USA Bicentennial Poetry Awards competition. His poetry has been published in literary magazines across the globe, including The Paris Review, Saturday Night, The Hudson Review, and Canadian Forum.

He has published seventeen collections of his poems, as well as numerous essays, short fiction, and a play titled, The Parts Yard.

Since 1989, Wayman has been the Squire of Appledore‚ his estate in the Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia, where he raises flowers and vegetables and enjoys a slow paddle around Slocan Lake.

1973: Waiting for WaymanToronto: McClelland & Stewart.
1974: For and Against the MoonToronto: Macmillan of Canada.
1975: Money and RainToronto: Macmillan of Canada.
1977: Free TimeToronto: Macmillan of Canada.
1980: Living on the GroundToronto: McClelland & Stewart.
1980: Introducing Tom Wayman: Selected Poems 1973-80Ontario Review.
1981: The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech. Thistledown Press.
1983: Counting the HoursToronto: McClelland & Stewart.
1986: The Face of Jack MunroHarbour Publishing.
1989: In a Small House on the Outskirts of HeavenHarbour Publishing.
1993: Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993Harbour Publishing.
1994: The Astonishing Weight of the DeadPolestar Press.
1997: I’ll Be Right Back: New and Selected Poems 1980-1996Ontario Review.
1999: The Colours of the ForestHarbour Publishing.
2002: My Father’s CupHarbour Publishing.
2007: High Speed Through Shoaling WaterHarbour Publishing.


Short fiction
2007: Boundary CountryThistledown Press.

1974: Beaton Abbot’s Got The Contract: An Anthology of Working PoemsNeWest Press.
1976: A Government Job at Last: An Anthology of Working PoemsMacLeod.
1981: Going For Coffee: Poetry on the JobHarbour Publishing.
1989: East of Main: An Anthology of Poems from East Vancouver. Pulp Press.
1991: Paperwork: Contemporary Poems from the JobHarbour Publishing.
2001: The Dominion of Love: An Anthology of Canadian Love PoemsHarbour Publishing.
2009: A Verse Map of VancouverAnvil Press.