Nowlan, Alden

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Nowlan, Alden

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Poet Alden Nowlan was born at Windsor, Nova Scotia, on 25 January 1933. Largely self-educated, Nowlan was named writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, in 1968 and held that post until his death in 1983. The university awarded him an honourary Doctor of Letters degree in 1971.

Nowlan's poems, largely about ordinary people, received popular acclaim in his day. In 1967 his Bread, Wine and Salt won the Governor General's Award. Other works include Playing the Jesus Game (1970) and Between Tears and Laughter (1971). Nowlan also wrote plays, short stories, a novel and a column for the Saint John Telegraph Journal.

While at UNB Nowlan, with St. Thomas University professor Leo Ferrari and writer Raymond Fraser, organized The Flat Earth Society of Canada. Attempting to promote critical thinking, the society disputed one thing that "scientific Western civilization" considers indisputable -- namely, that the earth is round. Nowlan wrote several tractates for the society which set out its views. He also worked with the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission, writing the book, Campobello: The Outer Island. Alden Nowlan died at Fredericton on 27 June 1983.

Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia, 1988; New Brunswick Authors, 1984

Alden Nowlan


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