UBC Library and Archives

A Talk from the Bottom of the Box: Reflections of an Award-winning Poet for Youth Lawson, JonArno


Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies (SLAIS). JonArno Lawson is the author of a range of books for all ages, from collections of poetry for teens to single poem picture books. He also is a writer of non-fiction. He will discuss his creative and publishing process and read from his books. Lawson lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. His most recent books are Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box (Porcupine’s Quill), illustrated by Alec Dempster, and Enjoy it While it Hurts (Wolsak & Wynn), which he illustrated himself. In 2013 he won the PRISM non-fiction award for a piece he wrote called Horse Cam. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious award for children’s poetry, The Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. The 2009 jury stated that his award-winning A Voweller’s Bestiary, From Aardvark to Guineafowl (And H) (illustrated by Lawson; Porcupine’s Quill), is a nonconventional daunting experiment. The poems have a lively rigor. “Not just a fine book of poetry – also a benchmark, a signpost gesturing toward the future of the genre. Indeed, [it] is not just this year’s best book of children’s poetry, it is one of the year’s best books of poetry period.” The 2007 jury stated that Lawson’s Black Stars in a White Night Sky (illustrated by Sherwin Tija; Pedlar Press) is a “beautifully designed book filled with well-crafted poems. Lawson is in a class by himself: he plays, but he does not pander. His book is a lot of smart fun because it keeps changing gears…. Lawson bravely engages with the dark side of childhood—not excessively or ghoulishly, but just enough to remind us that it’s not all lollipops and turkey pie.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International