Anne Szumigalski was born in London, England and immigrated to Saskatchewan in 1951. She lived in Saskatoon for over forty years and was a major influence behind the vibrant literary activity in Saskatchewan. She was an internationally known and highly respected poet, essayist and editor who was regularly invited to give readings around the world in places as diverse as Oxford, Boston and Malaysia.
The author of fifteen books, including the post-humously published Fear of Knives, Anne won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1995 for Voice, a collaboration with visual artist Marie Elyse St. George. She published nine collections of poetry including Woman Reading in Bath, Doctrine of Signatures, Dogstones and Rapture of the Deep. In addition, her poetry appeared in countless Canadian and international journals and magazines. Her poetry was also published in numerous anthologies, including Out of Place, Soho Square III and Towards 2000. Anne collaborated with Terrence Heath on four radio dramas, a play for voices entitled Wild Man’s Butte, and on the poetry collection Journey/Journée. She also edited a collection of Caroline Heath’s poetry entitled Why Couldn’t You See Blue?
Over the years, Anne was the recipient of many major literary awards and prizes, including two Saskatchewan poetry awards, two Writers’ Choice Awards and two nominations for the Governor General’s Award. Anne received a Founders’ award from the Saskatchewan Writers Guild in 1984, was named “Woman of the Year” by the Saskatoon YWCA in 1989 and was honoured with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and a Life Membership from the League of Canadian Poets. Anne’s passing in April 1999 was mourned by all those she had touched.