Fonds MG L 33 - David Adams Richards

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David Adams Richards

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  • Textual record

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  • 1968-1996 (Creation)
    Richards, David Adams

Physical description

2.7 m of textual records
59 computer disks

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Biographical history

Canadian poet and author David Adams Richards was born on 17 October 1950 in Newcastle, New Brunswick, the third of six children. At the age of 14, he read Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist", which, he maintains, influenced him to become a writer. In 1969, following graduation from Harkins High School, he studied literature for three years at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.

During this time, he participated in an informal writers workshop, the Ice House Gang, which met weekly in the McCord Hall Ice House. Members of the "gang", which included established writers such as Fred Cogswell, Kent Thompson, Alden Nowlan, Bill Bauer, Nancy Bauer, and Robert Gibbs, offered Richards encouragement and provided him with a critical forum for his writing. Among Richard's early literary influences were Faulkner, Buckler, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, and Nowlan.

In 1973, having published a book of poetry and short stories "One Step Inside" (1972) and, subsequently, a second book of poetry "Small Heroics" (1972), Richards left St. Thomas three credits short of a degree to take up writing full-time. Earlier that year Richards had won the Norma Epstein Prize for Creative Writing for the first five chapters of what was to become his first novel "The Coming of Winter" (1974). Three more published works followed within a few years: a second novel "Blood Ties" (1976), a collection of short stories "Dancers at Night : Stories" (1978), and a third novel "Lives of Short Duration" (1981). In 1983 Richards was named writer-in-residence at UNB, following the death of his long-time friend Alden Nowlan. He held that post until 1987.

A prolific author, Richards has a number of other works to his credit. His publications include: "Road to the Stilt House" (1985), "Nights Below Station Street" (1988), "Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace" (1990), "For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down" (1993), "A Lad From Brantford, and Other Essays" (1994), "Hope in the Desperate House" (1996), and numerous short stories and articles in various literary magazines and anthologies.

More recently, Richards has launched his screen-writing career. In 1987 his first film "Tuesday, Wednesday" premiered, a production of the New Brunswick film company Capitol Films. The screenplay for "Small Gifts" aired on CBC in December 1994 and received international acclaim at the New York Film Festival. In 1997 Richards is developing screenplays for "Nights Below Station Street" and "For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down". He has also written two unpublished plays, "The Dungarvan Whooper" and "Water Carriers, Bones and Earls : the Life of François Villon".

To date Richards's literary efforts have won him several awards and honours. In 1986 the Royal Society of the Arts awarded him a silver medal for his overall contribution to literature in Eastern Canada. Maclean's named him to its honour roll in 1988, and the following year Nights Below Station Street won the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction. In 1991 the Canadian Authors Association presented him with its literary award for fiction. He has also received the Canada-Australia Prize (1992) and the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English Literary Arts (1993). In 1990 St. Thomas University awarded him an honourary doctor of laws degree.

Custodial history

A preliminary inventory of this fonds was prepared by Lorna Knight, chief of the National Library of Canada's Canadian Literature Research Service prior to the fall of 1994.

Scope and content

This fonds documents the literary career of David Adams Richards. It includes personal documents; correspondence; and typescript drafts of novels, short stories, articles, plays, book reviews, and screen plays. The fonds also includes several photographs and floppy disks which primarily contain drafts of novels, screenplays, essays, and personal correspondence.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired by Archives and Special Collections Department in the fall of 1994.


Language of material

  • English

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The 59 computer disks have been copied to and are available in CD-ROM format.

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No restrictions

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

Information copied from Archives Canada Database 12 October 2012.

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