Alice Major Receives Honorary Degree from University of Alberta

The University of Alberta Press is proud that Alice Major received an honorary degree from the University of Alberta on November 20, 2019.

Alice Major is a pillar of the Edmonton arts community, and has won several awards including: The National Magazine Award Gold Medal, Pat Lowther Award, Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction, and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Golden Pen Award.

The University of Alberta Senate donated Old Spookes’ Pass and Other Poems (1884) by Isabella Valancy Crawford to the Bruce Peel Special Collections to commemorate the awarding of an honorary degree to Alice. It is sometimes described as the first book of poetry by a woman to be published in Canada.

From the nominators’ letters:

“It is my pleasure and privilege to nominate Alice Major for an honorary doctorate with the University of Alberta. Alice is a lauded international poet and a local community builder. As a community leader who has spent her career uplifting other writers, she is highly deserving of this recognition.”

“In addition to her extraordinary talent as a writer, Major is a tireless literary community builder, in Edmonton, in the province, nationally, and beyond. If you are a writer who is fortunate enough to have Alice Major introduce you at a literary event, you will experience an inclusive warmth as well as insightful analysis of your work.”

“Alice has dedicated her life to her writing craft and has enriched many with her work, which inspires and engages. Her commitment to her work and her community sets a standard and has left a legacy that inspires others to use their voice for the betterment of their community and field. Alice’s work and commitment to community reflect the vision of the University of Alberta to inspire the human spirit…. I highly recommend her and consider her to be well deserving of Alberta honorary degree.”

“She has embraced new young poets, helping them find their voice. She is willing and ready whenever asked to help with artistic endeavours. She stands out as one who has given so much to this city. It is easy to donate money if you have it, but dedicating your time, knowledge, and abilities is all too often not recognized.”