Bruce Hunter

Guest Speaker for the Calgary Women’s Literary Club on November 21, 2017

Bruce Hunter is renowned in Canada for his support of emerging and established authors. We had the honour of his visit with the Calgary Women’s Literary Club in his last week’s tenure as the Calgary Public Library’s Author in Residence! Bruce has been offering public programs and readings while mentoring aspiring writers, giving advice and feedback on their manuscripts.

Bruce is now retired after 24 years of teaching English and Liberal Studies at Seneca College (Toronto) – including time teaching at The Banff Centre, York University and Richmond Hill in Ontario. He continues to write and teach workshops, notably on creativity and disability. Currently, he is working on a history of our province and city, called The Gibson Girls. He shared poignant photos of some of Alberta’s own Gibson Girls, some from the Glenbow and some from his family’s collection.

For a delightful article, see Wikipedia’s

Gibson Girls

Bruce is a native Calgarian from a pioneer Alberta family. His great-great-grandfather settled on land near Dunbow Road, south of Calgary. His great-grandfather was a poet and writer, who wrote the first history of B.C. in 1897. He said he spent “the apex of his childhood” on 8th Street and 14th Avenue! His great aunts would have known Annie Davidson. Bruce, who is hearing impaired, described his childhood surrounded by three generations of Scottish women who “bathed him in sound” and six younger brothers and sisters. The augmented sensations of sight, smell and touch contribute much to his life and writing. Bruce was interested in social justice and attended classes at Mount Royal College (now Mount Royal University) before dropping out. Loving science, he became a horticulturalist at Olds College, always writing poetry in his spare time. He attended the Banff School of Fine Arts as a student of W.O. Mitchell, to whom he has written an homage in his award-winning novel, In the Bear’s House (2009). Later, he graduated in film and humanities at York University and began to teach at Seneca College, Toronto. He has published five books of poetry, essays, reviews, interviews and a collection of short stories, Country Music Country (1996), which was broadcast on CBC radio. The Calgary Public Library website notes that his writings have appeared in over seventy publications and he has been translated into Italian, Mandarin and Romanian. We will be eagerly awaiting publication of The Gibson Girls.

Janet Halls