Bernice Lever (Bowen Island, BC), a founder of WAVES, literary magazine from 1972-1987, has published her eleventh poetry book,(Imagining Lives, Black Moss, 2012), a teaching CD: The Colour of Words, and much short prose. Her committee work has involved her in Canadian Authors Association, League of Canadian Poets, Federation of BC Writers and local writer groups. She has read poems, (some were prize winners), across Canada, USA and on 4 other continents. She has won four Lifetime Achievement awards, including CAA’s Sangster Award. As Writer-in-Residence for Can Authors – Vancouver, she continues editing and marketing manuscripts for others which she began at Dundurn Press, Toronto. 1980’s. Retired from Seneca College’s English Department, Toronto, she now gives writing workshops across Canada, when she is not writing poetry or watching the deer walk by the seashore of Howe Sound.
When Pandora’s Collective hosted an evening in her honour on February 4, 2015, Alan Twigg of B.C. BookWorld sent the following message: “I’m delighted you are honouring a positive force such as Bernice. If only everyone could be so public-spirited and supportive of others. It is people such as Bernice who encourage the rest of us to veer towards a path of service from time to time, to see a bigger picture beyond ourselves. Her story about choosing family over literature at a critical juncture in her life, back in the days when she was friendly with Margaret Laurence, perhaps accounts for why she remains so vivacious as a writer to this day. She has saved the best for last. I find her poetry both sophisticated and moving. Someone like Bernice can never retire. Because there will always be other people to help, more work to do, more poems to write. Bernice has amazing grace and she is a stalwart presence. In an era when emerging writers expect to be celebrated after just a few years in writing school, they expect to have agents, they expect to have their writing taken serious after only one or two books, Bernice is a reminder of a different era in which one didn’t make oneself into a product; instead one steadfastly assumed that slow and steady could win the race, even if you were born in Smithers. In my books, Bernice has won the race. She has dedicated her life in equal parts to family and writing. That takes courage, stamina and helluva lot of dignity. I salute her.”