Title and statement of responsibility area
Andrew Suknaski fonds
General material designation
- Sound recording
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Suknaski, Andrew
Physical description area
54 audio cassettes.
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Poet and visual artist, Andrew Suknaski, was born on a homestead near Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan on July 30, 1942, to parents Julia (Karasinski) and Andrew Suknaski, Sr. To develop his interest in visual arts, Suknaski studied at the Kootenay School of Art in Nelson, British Columbia, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' School of Art and Design, receiving a diploma of Fine Arts from the Kootenay School in 1967. He also attended the University of Victoria, Notre Dame University in Nelson, B.C., the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University.
For a time, he worked as a seasonal worker across Canada, including being a farmhand and a night watchman. He wrote during his travels. He was editor for Anak Press and Deodar Shadow Press, among others. In 1969, he founded the underground magazine Elfin Plot in Vancouver and created concrete poems, exhibiting at the Expo in Buenos Aires in 1971. From 1977 to 1978, Suknaski was writer-in-residence at St. John’s College, University of Manitoba. Among his early works published in chapbooks, pamphlets and Al Purdy’s anthology, Storm Warning (1971), was the notable On First Looking Down From Lions Gate Bridge (1976). Suknaski’s first collection was Wood Mountain Poems (1976), edited by Al Purdy, followed by The Ghosts Call You Poor (1978) and In The Name of Narid (1981). Ghosts won Suknaski the Canadian Authors Association Poetry Award in 1979. Octomi (1976) and East of Myloona (1979) were published as small chapbooks. Montage for an Interstellar Cry (1982) and Silk Trail (1985) were the first and third parts respectively of a larger work that was to be called Celestial Mechanics. Suknaski’s poems have appeared in such anthologies as Number One Northern (1977) and Studio One: Stories Made for Radio (1990).
Sukanski also worked as a researcher for the National Film Board, contributing to such films as Grain Elevator (1981) by Charles Konowal and The Distinherited (1985) by Harvey Spak. Spak made a documentary of Suknaski in 1978 entitled Wood Mountain Poems, considered by Steven Scobie in The Land They Gave Away to be “the best critical statement we have on the poet’s life and work.” Suknaski’s Polish and Ukrainian heritage, his concern for First Nations, and the people and place of Wood Mountain feature strongly in his realist poetry.
Suknaski passed away in Moose Jaw on May 3, 2012.
Scope and content
In 1987, having wearied of transporting his personal papers during his frequent moves, Suknaski burned twenty years of records in a bonfire in his backyard. What remains of his papers encompasses the years 1977-1992. The collection comprises 15 linear feet. There are drafts of many of his published works as well as correspondence with literary figures like Eli Mandel, John Newlove, Robert Kroetsch and Kristjana Gunnars. The fond contains many unpublished poems and several drafts of the films that Suknaski worked on for the National Film Board And C.B.C. Perhaps the most valuable portion of the collection are the unpublished manuscripts that Suknaski worked on during the 1980s, including Divining the West , Ussuri Line and In Search of Parinti/History of the Roumanians in Western Canada .
Immediate source of acquisition
This collection is organized into 3 series
Recordings of Suknaski and Others, 1973-[ca. 1981]
"In Search of Parinti" Research, 1980-[ca. 1982]
The Suknaski fonds arrived at the University of Manitoba in very poor condition. The task of putting it into some semblance of order has been daunting. The material was separated into correspondence, published material & unpublished material.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
There are no restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
A finding aid can be downloaded from the fonds-level description by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.
Generated finding aid
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Finding aid created by Lewis St. George Stubs (August 1998). Encoded by Julianna Trivers (June 2002). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - TC 86 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
Revised by N. Courrier (October 2019).