Case 4: A Tradition of Creative Writing: Drama, French, Music

Although this exhibit celebrates the role played by the Department of English in the history of Canadian Literature over 125 years, and thus focuses on Anglophone poetry, fiction, and criticism, the contributions of other departments at Queen’s also merit exploration. The Department of French Studies, for example, was home from 1959-79 to novelist Gèrard Bessette (1920-2005), whose Le Cycle (1971) earned a Governor General’s Award. He was also awarded Quebec’s highest literary honour, the Prix Athanase-David , in 1980. The Department of Drama is currently home to Queen’s National Scholar Daniel David Moses, award-winning First Nations poet and playwright. His new collection, A Small Essay on the Largeness of Light and Other Poems, appeared in 2012. The department also encourages creative writing through awarding the J.C.W. Saxton Prize in Playwriting each year to the student judged to have submitted the best original play. The School of Music reminds us of the interdisciplinary appeal of poetry: John Burge has set the works of a number of Canadian poets, including Margaret Avison, Bliss Carman, Stephen Heighton, Dennis Lee, Dorothy Livesay and Eugene McNamara. In 2009 he won the Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year for his Flanders Fields Reflections.