The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

 

Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. For assistance in exploring this site, please click here.

If you have feedback regarding this entry please fill out our feedback form.

Szumigalski, Anne (1922–99)

Anne Szumigalski.
Estate of Anne Szumigalski

Governor General’s Award winning Saskatchewan poet Anne Howard Szumigalski was born on January 3, 1922 in London, England but spent almost fifty years of her life in Saskatchewan. During World War II she worked as a medical auxiliary, interpreter, and welfare officer with the British Red Cross throughout Europe. There she met her husband, Jan Waclaw Szumigalski. In 1951, the Szumigalskis and their two young daughters moved from Wales to Saskatoon. In 1956, they purchased a home in the Mayfair area where Anne lived for the rest of her life. Woman Reading in Bath , Anne’s first solo book of poetry, was published in 1974. Throughout her life, she published twelve books of poetry, one book of memoirs and essays (The Word, The Voice, The Text), and one play (Z: A Dramatic Meditation on Oppression, Desire and Freedom). Z has been produced for the stage twice, won the Saskatchewan Book of the Year award in 1995, and a new edition was published posthumously. Anne Szumigalski enjoyed performing and did so often, providing voice, acting, and dancing for various performances. She wrote radio dramas, words for dance, and a liturgy.

Szumigalski was especially well known in the Saskatchewan writing community for her long and involved service to it and its members. She was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, the Saskatchewan Writers’ and Artists’ Colonies, the literary journal Grain (for which she also worked on the editing staff for nine years), the Saskatchewan Moving Collective (a dance group), and the AKA artist-run centre in Saskatoon. She taught for ten years at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, and was the first writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library as well as a writer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Public Library. Among her many awards were two nominations for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and one winning nomination (for Voice, 1995), a Founder’s Award from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Woman of the Year for 1988 (YWCA), and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. She died in Saskatoon from complications due to cancer on April 22, 1999.

Frances Bitney

Print Entry

Further Reading

Clark, J.L. 1997. “Anne Szumigalski: Biography in Outline,” Prairie Fire 18: 14–16.
This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
Ce site Web a été conçu grâce à l'aide financière de
Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.