New Brunswick Author Portal

Michael  O.  Nowlan
Categories: Male AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsAuthors of Non-FictionSaint John River Valley

photo of author
Source: Author


Michael O. Nowlan was born in Chatham, New Brunswick on September 1, 1937. Education includes graduation from St. Thomas College High School, degrees from St. Thomas University (B.A. 1959) and the University of New Brunswick (B.Ed. 1964 and M.Ed. 1986). In 1977, he obtained a diploma for children's writing from the Institute of Children's Literature, Redding Ridge, Connecticut. He was in public education in New Brunswick from September 1961 until he retired in June 1994. He taught at Loggieville Rural High School 1961 62, at St. Thomas High School (Chatham) 1962 1964, and Oromocto High School 1964 1988. In Oromocto he was English Department Head 1971 78 and vice principal 1978 1988. In March 1988, he was seconded to the Department of Education as Consultant for English Language Arts, and in June 1989 he became Assistant Director in the Curriculum Development Branch, a position he held until retirement.

Nowlan has published hundreds of articles in newspapers and journals in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain, and he has 20 books to his credit. His latest book is Listen to the Cricket: a book of Haiku (Cogswell Books, 2006), and his major work was A Century of Service: A History of the Knights of Columbus in New Brunswick (Faye Editions, 2004). Listen to the Cricket consists of a lengthy essay with explains the history of the development of the haiku in Japan and eventually to where it became an international literary form, and there are 80 - 90 original haiku by Nowlan. A Century of Service examines how the Knights of Columbus came to New Brunswick and the many ways the organization has been an influential force in the lives of New Brunswickers.

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

New Brunswick has influenced my work in several ways. First, there was the New Brunswick literary scene, especially in Fredericton where several poets encouraged me and suggested avenues for publication. The Daily Gleaner and The Atlantic Advocate also had an impact as instruments for freelance reporting, writing book reviews, articles, and numerous commentaries. Those influences enabled me to move into a larger world of publishing in bigger markets. I guess I can say the New Brunswick influence allowed me to hone my skills.

What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?

I have no specific New Brunswick book among my favourites, but the poetry titles of the late Fred Cogswell will always stand out as significant. The novels of David Adams Richards are also high on my list of favourites, especially Mercy Among the Children. Cogswell’s poetry has great imagery and a powerful message of the human condition while Richards’ novels capture life as it is/was lived in small-town New Brunswick - life with which those who experience it may easily identify.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

Highlights of my writing career are many but what stands out is the recognition of my work that has been anthologized in Canadian school text books and in one textbook in Australia.

Literary Prizes

Special certificate, Writers’ Unit 30 of the American Philatelic Society - 2004
Certificate of honour, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick - 1999

Featured Publication

Listen to the Cricket: A Book of Haiku

Find this author in the New Brunswick public libraries catalogue.

Source(s): Author