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George Woodcock was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was raised and educated in England, where, in the late 1930s, he met many members of London's literary circle, including Dylan Thomas, Roy Campbell, Herbert Read and George Orwell. Woodcock returned to Canada in 1949 and joined UBC's Department of English seven years later. He became editor of the newly-formed journal Canadian Literature and served until his retirement in 1977. In Canada, Woodcock is best known as a poet, critic, dramatist and social commentator, while in England, he is recognized as an author of travel books, political commentator and biographer. Throughout his career, Woodcock has received numerous awards and honorary degrees.