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Jaques, Edna (1891-1978)

Lecturer, author and poet, Edna Jaques was a popular figure throughout Canada. Her poems sometimes depicted the harsh beauty of the Prairies, but above all they celebrated the daily experiences of domestic life. Born in Collingwood, Ontario, on January 17, 1891, she moved with her family to a homestead southeast of Moose Jaw in 1902. Her education included business college in Vancouver; in 1921 she married Ernest Jamieson, and they had one daughter. The family later homesteaded in the Tisdale area; but after four years Jaques returned south, and she and her daughter lived at various places in Saskatchewan and elsewhere. Jaque’s reputation as a popular poet grew rapidly during the 1930s. She had always loved poetry, and at 14 had first published poems in the Moose Jaw Times. In 1932 this newspaper produced her first two poetry collections, which sold quickly. Subsequent volumes did well too, and her poems appeared in newspapers across Canada; her best-known poem, “In Flanders Now,” was placed in the chapel at Arlington Cemetery near Washington, DC. She also wrote newspaper and magazine articles. A popular speaker, Jaques’s first appearance was at the Moose Jaw Women’s Canadian Club (1929); her touring ventures, often supported by the Women’s Canadian Club, burgeoned, and she spoke regularly to diverse audiences across Canada. She died on September 13, 1978, in Toronto.

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Further Reading

Jaques, E. 1977. Uphill All the Way. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books.
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