Creative Voices- Oral Histories of the Arts Community in Newfoundland & Labrador

This project, lead by Stephanie McKenzie, is intended to capture established voices in the province's vibrant arts community, through interviews with authors, artists, musicians, and other performers, to ensure these voices and stories are preserved. Stephanie McKenzie has worked in the Newfoundland and Labrador arts scene, as well as other areas of study, for over two decades. Amongst other things, she was co-editor, with Martin Ware, of An Island in the Sky: Selected Poetry of Al Pittman. McKenzie was also the co-founder and co-producer of The April Rabbit, an annual event held in Corner Brook from 1998-2013, which showcased and promoted emerging writers, artists, and musicians. She was also Artistic Director of The March Hare, Atlantic Canada's largest literary festival, from 2014 until its final year, in 2018. McKenzie is a professor in the English Programme, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University.

Conversation with Rex Brown
The March Hare is a former poetry festival in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. It was Atlantic Canada's largest poetry festival prior to 2018.[1] It started in 1987 or 1988 as an evening of poetry and entertainment at the Blomidon Golf and Country Club in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, designed to appeal to a general audience. The Hare took place in early March each year. Loosely associated with the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University through the leadership of poet-organizer Al Pittman and the involvement of other writers who taught at Grenfell, the Hare was equally the brain-child of teacher Rex Brown and club manager George Daniels. Although still anchored in Corner Brook, the event has evolved into a moveable feast of words and music that annually travels to St. John's and Gander, Newfoundland, Toronto, Ontario, and other venues, provincial, national and international. In 2007, The March Hare visited seven centres in Ireland, including Dublin and Waterford.[2] In 2011, March Hares were mounted in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Interview with Joe Byrne
Joe Byrne is a Newfoundland folk musician from Placentia Bay. He was a member of The Breakwater Boys along with his brother Patrick, Rufus Guinchard, Baxter Wareham, and Clyde Rose. The group performed across the country in the 1970s, promoting the Newfoundland publishing company, Breakwater Books. He is also a member of the Pat and Joe Byrne Band with his brother and Wareham. The group released the album Towards the Sunset (1983).

Interview with Mary Dalton
Mary Dalton is an award-winning Newfoundland poet born in 1950 in Harbour Main. Dalton was a Professor in the English Department at Memorial University, and designated Professor Emerita after retiring. As the founder of the annual SPARKS Literary Festival in 2009, she has had a major role in the Newfoundland and Labrador arts community. Dalton has won numerous awards for her poetry, including: Provincial Arts and Letters Awards for Poetry (1997, 2002, 2006); TickleAce/Cabot Award for Poetry (1998); E. J. Pratt Poetry Award (2005); Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Poetry (2005). Her books of poetry include: The Time of Icicles (1989), Allowing the Light (1993), Merrybegot (2003), Red Ledger (2006), Between You and the Weather (2008), Hooking: A Book of Centos (2013), Waste Ground (2017).

Interview with Tom Dawe
Tom Dawe is an award-winning Newfoundland author and visual artist, best known for his poetry. He was born in 1940 in Long Pond, Manuels, Conception Bay. Dawe was a Professor in the English Department at Memorial University until his retirement in 1988. He was a founding editor of the literary magazine, TickleAce, one of the co-founders of the publishing company, Breakwater Books, and an editor of The Livyere folklore journal. He also worked on Scruncheons, a creative writing journal at the University, and helped organize some of the first poetry readings on campus. He is a winner of multiple Provincial Arts and Letters Awards, including a special gold medal for visual arts in 1973; recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts Achievement Award (1999); Bruneau Award (2008); Canadian Authors' Association Poetry Award (2010), Heritage and History Book Award (2010); The Order of Canada (2011); and The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador (2012); American Folklore Society Aesop Accolade (2018). He was appointed Poet Laureate of the City of St. John's from 2010-2013. Among his books of poetry are: Hemlock Cove and After (1975), In A Small Cove (1978), Island Spell (1981), In Hardy Country (1993), Sea Foam Swings in the Bluebell (2005), Caligula's Horse (2009), Where Genesis Begins (2009), and New and Collected Poems (2019). His children's books include: A Gommil from Bumble Bee Bight (1982), Lings and Things (1986), Winter of the Black Weasel (1988), The Wonderful Dogfish Racket (2013), An Old Man's Winter Night: Ghostly Tales (2015), Spirited Away: Fairy Stories of Old Newfoundland (2017). His poetry has appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.

Interview With Stan Dragland
Stan Dragland (1942-2022) was a prolific Canadian author with close ties to the Newfoundland arts community. After retiring, Dragland moved to St. John's where he continued his writing career. Dragland co-founded poetry publishing company, Brick Books, was the founding editor of the literary magazine Brick, and the poetry editor for publisher McClelland & Stewart. He was awarded the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism (1994); bpNichol Chapbook Award (2002); the Newfoundland and Labrador Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award (2005) for his memoir Apocrypha: Further Journeys; Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Nonfiction (2019); and in 2020, was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Interview with Bernice Morgan
Bernice Morgan (nee Vardy) is a Newfoundland author born in 1935 in St. John's. Her most well-known novel is Random Passage (1992) which, along with the sequel Waiting for Time (1994), was adapted into a CBC television mini-series in 2002. Additional publications include the anthology From This Place: A Selection of Writing by Women of Newfoundland and Labrador (1977) and Topography of Love (2000). She has received multiple Provincial Arts and Letters Awards; Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize (1995); Canadian Authors' Association Literary Prize for Fiction (1995); Artist of the Year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (1996); and received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University in 1998. Morgan has been very active in the province's arts community. She served on the board of the Provincial Arts Council, the editorial board of Killick Press, the executive of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland Writers' Guild.


Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), Memorial University

Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University