Friday, August 20, 2010

Remembering... Milton Acorn

In many ways Milton Acorn was the quintessential Canadian; born in Prince Edward Island, he lived in Toronto, moved to Montreal following military service in World War II, and latterly found himself in Vancouver, where he lived for years before returning to the place of his birth.

PhotobucketAcorn's contribution to the social and cultural life of Vancouver can be seen every Thursday, when new issues of The Georgia Straight are released. Although the paper he helped to found has since strayed far from its counter-cultural roots (a person like I, for instance, could not write for them today because I lack the adequate formal education) it still functions as a pretty effective hammer against the city's free enterprise* over-class.

Acorn died on this day in 1986, broken-hearted over the death of a beloved sister and having spent most of his life wracked with pain from wounds he sustained in the war, living with bi-polar disorder, and diabetic besides. Nicknamed 'The People's Poet', in his life he published 18 volumes of verse; in death the annual Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award was established by Ted Plantos in his memory.

*'Free enterprise' is code in BC for 'rabidly fascist'.

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