Spotlight On: George A. Walker


This week on the blog, we’re featuring George A. Walker in honour of the launch of his latest book of wood engravings, Trudeau: La Vie en Rose. (Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook—we’d love to see you there!)

Who is George A. Walker?

  • A Toronto-based artist, educator and publishing professional
  • Has been publishing through his private press since 1984
  • Has run printmaking classes at OCAD U since 1985
  • Was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2002
  • Has been shortlisted for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards / IndieFab Awards, the Independent Publisher (IPPY) awards, the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada and the Doug Wright Awards. The Wordless Leonard Cohen Songbook won the 2015 Alcuin Award for best limited edition.

What has he worked on?

What are people saying about him?

  • `The delicacy and intelligence of George Walker’s print-making seems to have come to us from a bygone age. Fortunately, we have George with us now.’ — Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman
  • `The Wordless Leonard Cohen Songbook demands close and careful viewing. In this, it is like cinema, or the photographic work of a Richard Avedon or Diane Arbus. Each image is full, suggestive and rich in context and style.’ —Norman Ravvin, The Canadian Jewish News
  • `By eschewing words, Walker’s woodcuts are allowed to stand as simple and powerful gestures to a life story that any amount of words would be unable to tell in any case.’ —Jeremy Luke Hill
  • `The simplicity of the woodblock medium can make the narrative difficult to follow, but this turns out to be Walker’s great strength. He challenges his reader with a poetic ambiguity that makes for an active, rewarding read.’ —Maisonneuve
  • `George Walker is one of the most unusual wood engravers in the country, and works in a distinctly contemporary idiom. Using a dentist’s drill, he routs out deep grooves which create bold graphic white lines, providing a brilliant black-white contrast.’ —Patricia Ainslie, Glenbow Museum

What should I read next?

Other books in the Wordless Novels series:

  • Steven McCabe’s Never More Together: a dystopian commentary on truth, complicity and social consciousness
  • Megan Speers’s Wanderlust: a look at the punk counterculture in 1990s Sault Ste. Marie
  • Marta Chudolinksa’s Back + Forth: a tale of belonging, assimilation, distance … and time and space
  • Stefan Berg’s Let That Bad Air Out: a wordless tribute to the live of jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden

Where can I find more information about George A. Walker?


portraitHope you enjoyed this feature on the inimitable talent of George A. Walker. Looking forward to seeing you all at the launch. RSVP via Facebook or email me at sig

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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.