Suknaski, Andrew

Suknaski, Andrew, b 30 July 1942 near Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan. (Photo: Andrew Suknaski.) Poet. The son of Ukrainian-Polish immigrants, Suknaski received a diploma in fine arts from the Kootenay School of Arts (1967). He continued his studying at a number of post-secondary institutions and, for a time, was a migrant worker. His poems began appearing in chapbooks, pamphlets, and anthologies in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The inclusion of some of his poems in the Al Purdy-edited anthology, Storm Warning, marked Sukanski’s debut on the national literary stage. His first major collection was published in 1976 as Wood Mountain Poems (a revised and expanded edition of a 1973 work by the same name). It was a breakthrough for Suknaski and established him as an important new voice in Canadian prairie literature. In 1977–8 he was writer-in-residence at Saint John's College, University of Manitoba, and in 1978 a documentary film about him appeared under the title Wood Mountain Poems. Among his other collections are The Ghosts Call You Poor (1978), East of Myloona (1979), In the Name of Narid (1981), Montage for an Interstellar City (1982), and Silk Trail (1985). Subsequent health problems put an end to his literary activity. In 2006 a 30th-anniversary edition of Wood Mountain Poems was published. Suknaski’s papers can be found at the University of Manitoba archives.

Balan, Jars. “Voices from the Canadian Steppes: Ukrainian Elements in Andrew Suknaski’s Poetry,” Studia Ucrainica 4 (1988)
Ledohowski, Lindy. “Andrew Suknaski and the Canadian Literary Canon,” JUS, Vol. 30, no 2 (Winter 2005)

[This file was updated in 2007.]

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