Al Purdy was born in Wooler, Ontario in 1918. He's known as a "poet of the people" writer, his roots firmly entrenched in the Canadian working class culture. During the Depression he rode the rods to Vancouver and worked there for several years as a labourer. Purdy loved to travel. He became well-known internationally not only for his poems but also as a TV and radio play writer, anthologist, editor, travel writer and book reviewer. He won the Governor General's Literary Award in the poetry category in 1965 with The Cariboo Horses and again in 1986 with Collected Poems, 1956-1986. In 1987 he won the People's Poet Award for the same book.

Al Purdy died in 2000