New Brunswick Author Portal

Mary  Pratt
Categories: Female AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsSaint John River Valley


I was born in a house on St. John Street in Fredericton on March 15, 1935. I attended Mother Goose Kindergarten from the age of 3, and went on to Charlotte Street School, Fredericton High School and Mount Allison University from which I graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Christopher Pratt and I were married in 1957 in Fredericton. We have four children, John, Anne, Barbara and Edwyn. We divorced after 49 years and I married James Rosen in 2006. I live and paint in a house in St. John’s, NL.

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

Although I left New Brunswick when I was 20 years old and have never gone back there to live, the morals of my family, my teachers and the people in Fredericton who were friends of my family have shaped my perception of the world. There was an acceptance of hard work, a temperate life, and a somewhat frugal existence that fostered independent thinking. At the end of the Great Depression, the angst of World War I and the ravages of polio epidemics brought out neighbourhood generosity. Simple lives well lived. A quiet consideration of new ideas – but no hurry to accept them without question. Unapologetic provincialism I suppose. My work is marked by all of this.

What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?

Apart from Mary Grannan’s first two books of stories for children – my favourite New Brunswick book is a book of poetry by Bliss Carman – old fashioned, based on an English acceptance of the romantic – his writing is still “my New Brunswick”. Because my painting appears to celebrate the real world, Bliss Carman may be a strange choice – but perhaps it is only in my painting that I can come to terms with stark reality and after all is said and done – I prefer to accept Bliss Carman’s reality as my own.

Featured Publication

A Personal Calligraphy

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Source(s): Author