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Andrew Suknaski Biography | Poet

Photo of Andrew Suknaski

Andrew Suknaski (July 30, 1942 – May 3, 2012) was a Canadian poet and visual artist. He was born on a homestead near Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan and studied at a number of institutions, receiving a diploma of Fine Arts from the Kootenay School of Art in 1967. He was an editor for Anak Press and Deodar Shadow Press, and founded the underground magazine Elfin Plot in Vancouver in 1969. From 1977 to 1978, he was writer-in-residence at St. John's College, University of Manitoba. His early works were published in Al Purdy ’s anthology Storm Warning (1971). His first collection was Wood Mountain Poems (1976), edited by Purdy, followed by The Ghosts Call You Poor (1978) and In The Name of Narid (1981). Ghosts won him the Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Award in 1979. Suknaski also worked as a researcher for the National Film Board of Canada, contributing to such films as Grain Elevator (1981), by Charles Konowal, and The Disinherited (1985), by Harvey Spak. In 1978, Spak made a documentary about Suknaski, Wood Mountain Poems. Suknaski’s Polish and Ukrainian heritage, his concern for First Nations people and for the history and culture of the Canadian Prairies are strongly reflected in his work. He stopped writing in the 1980s and died in Moose Jaw on May 3, 2012.

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