Page, P. K. (1916–2010) By Scott, Conrad
Patricia Kathleen Page described herself as a traveller, and invoked this status through both her poetry (under P. K. Page), and her visual art (under her married name, P. K. Irwin). Her experiences informed her work and changed her understanding of both poetic and artistic production: as she learned the former, she more fully developed the latter. Travel gave her other means with which to satisfy her creative output, but most importantly, travel necessarily made her an observer; perception has been her primary interest from poetry to paint to prose. As she comments in her non-fiction essay ‘A Writer’s Life,’ ‘I believe art has two functions: a lower and a higher. The lower is invaluable. It shows us ourselves — Picasso’s Guernica, for example. The higher — more valuable still, in my view — gives us glimpses of another order’. Alternatively a poet, writer, and artist (and prolific on all counts), P. K. displayed a supremely imagistic and visual quality that underlines her devotion to observing the world in new ways and to self-reflection. Page has had her written work published in over three dozen books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction (including children’s literature), and has had her visual art collected in several permanent collections in Canada — including those of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.