Categories: Male Authors - Anglophone Authors - Poets - Novelists - Dramatists - Authors of Non-Fiction - Miramichi River
Source: Kent Nason, NFB.
Alden Nowlan was born at Windsor, N.S., on 25 January 1933 and died in Fredericton, N.B., on 27 June 1983. Largely self-educated, Nowlan was a former newspaperman whose many collections of poetry grew steadily in their power and intensity. Primary among them are Bread, Wine and Salt (1967, Governor General's Award), Playing the Jesus Game (1970) and Between Tears and Laughter (1971), all of them rich in regional sensibility and in affection for ordinary people but connected by Nowlan's intelligence, temperament and reading to a literary world far beyond folk culture. He was also a playwright, a story writer and, with Various Persons Named Kevin O'Brien (1973), a novelist; several other Nowlan books appeared posthumously. He was often at the centre of the literary community in Fredericton and Atlantic Canada generally; through the vivid example of his craftsmanship; through his work at University of New Brunswick, where he became writer-in-residence in 1969; and through his individualistic personality.
The Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English Language Literary Arts was created in his honour.
How has New Brunswick influenced your work?
Gregory M. Cook: How would you describe these Maritime people: what kind of people are they?
Alden Nowlan: Well, of course, people are affected by the place in which they live—societies of people as well as individuals. Obviously, the fish merchants in St. John’s, for example, are a different kind of people from the pulp cutters in Hants County, Nova Scotia. And both groups have some distinctly Maritime outlooks that differentiate them from people in Nebraska or California or Quebec…But, Lord, I don’t write about Maritime people in capital letters, as if they were some special species. I have certain feelings, certain responses—I could well have these same feelings and responses if I lived in Montreal, but I’d write them in a different way, simply because I’d have different experiences and see different things if I lived in Montreal.
|Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal - 1979|
|Canadian Authors Association Silver Medal - 1978|
|Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Dalhousie University - 1976|
|Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of New Brunswick - 1971|
|President’s Medal, University of Western Ontario - 1970|
|Governor General’s Literary Awards - 1967||In recognition of: Bread, Wine and Salt|
|Guggenheim Fellowship - 1967|
Alden Nowlan : Selected Poems