Currie, Robert 1937-
CURRIE, Robert 1937-
PERSONAL: Born September, 1937, in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada; son of Duncan L. (an accountant) and Jean M. (a teacher) Currie; married Gwendolyn Emma May Grieve, August 18, 1962; children: Bronwen, Ryan. Education: University of Saskatchewan, B.S.P., 1961, B.A., 1964, B.Ed., 1966.
ADDRESSES: Home—Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Offıce—Central Collegiate, Ross St., Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
CAREER: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, lecturer in pharmacy, 1961-62, pharmacist at university hospital, 1962-63; Central Collegiate, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, teacher of English, 1966—. Thunder Creek Publishing Cooperative, founding coeditor.
MEMBER: League of Canadian Poets, Saskatchewan Writers Guild (chair, 1973-74).
AWARDS, HONORS: Ohio State Award for Radio Drama, Ohio State University, 1977, for "What about What I Want?" from the radio play "Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Be?"; first prize for poetry, Saskatchewan Writers Guild contest, 1978, for "And Mother Called Him the Stallion Groom," and 1981, for "CPR Ice Gang—1959"; first prize for children's literature, 1979, for "What's Smooth and Brown and on the Bathroom Plug?"; Founders Award, 1984, for "contributions to the literature and the literary community of Saskatchewan"; third prize for poetry from national literary competition, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 1980, for Brother (suite of related poems).
Quarterback (poetry), Delta, 1970.
Sawdust and Dirt (poetry), Fiddlehead Poetry Books (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada), 1973.
The Halls of Elsinore (poetry), Sesame Press (Windsor, Ontario, Canada), 1973.
Moving Out (poetry), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1975.
Diving into Fire (poetry), Oberon Press (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1977.
(Editor, with Gary Hyland, Barbara Sapergia, and Geoffrey Ursell) Number One Northern (poetry), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1977.
Yarrow (poetry), Oberon Press (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1980.
Night Games, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1983.
(Editor, with Gary Hyland and Jim McLean) OneHundred Per Cent Cracked Wheat, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1983.
Learning on the Job (short stories), Oberon Press (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1986.
Klondike Fever, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1992.
Things You Don't Forget, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1999.
Teaching Mr. Cutler (novel), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 2002.
Work represented in anthologies, including Going for Coffee, edited by Wayman, Harbour Publishing (Madeira Park, British Columbia, Canada), 1981; The Spice Box, edited by Sinclair and Wolfe, Lester & Orpen Dennys (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1981; Saskatchewan Gold, edited by Ursell, 1982; Tributaries; and Poetspeak. Contributor to magazines, including Canadian Forum, Wascana Review,Grain, Nebula, and Fiddlehead. Founder and editor of Salt, 1969-77.
Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Be?, CBC-Radio, 1976.
Pitch, Patch, Pepper, CBC-Radio, 1977.
Moose Jaw: The Struggle and the Sioux, CBC-Radio, 1979.
North of Moose Jaw, CBC-Radio, May,
SIDELIGHTS: Robert Currie once told CA: "I believe that poetry represents a heightened response to life, experience closely observed, highly imagined, then touched somehow by an indefinable magic as it is preserved on paper.
"In this unpoetic age, the poet must find a way to flourish in harsh climate and barren soil, working with detail and image, with memory, metaphor, language, kicking all the while against the odds. He must write poems because that is what he does best, and poems—even in the worst of times (perhaps especially in the worst of times)—have the power to touch others.
"My most satisfying experience as a writer came while working on Yarrow. It came with the discovery that through poetry I could achieve the qualities of a solid, well-built piece of fiction, the richness, depth, and sense of development of a novel. I knew that each part must stand on its own, but my novel could be many poems.
"It was like shucking off a straitjacket. I was no longer limited to what could be done in a single poem. Instead, poems could build on one another, play off one another, contradict one another, the tensions growing from poem to poem, themes resonating back and forth, truths emerging even in the silences between the poems. Here was a new freedom to create. Narratives, lyrics, dramatic monologues, portrait poems came spinning out until I'd created a whole family—a family that demanded its own life, arguing, loving, aging, torn by conflicts that I'd never even planned."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Cooley, Dennis, editor, Replacing, ECW Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1980.
Booklist, June 15, 1990, review of Yarrow, p. 1968.
Books in Canada, May, 1992, review of KlondikeFever, p. 60.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 2000, review of ThingsYou Don't Forget, p. 172.
Canadian Literature, winter, 2000, review of ThingsYou Don't Forget, p. 177; autumn, 2001, review of Things You Don't Forget, p. 236.
CM: Reviewing Journal of Canadian Materials forYoung People, November, 1992, review of Klondike Fever, p. 301.
Queen's Quarterly, winter, 1987, review of Learning on the Job, p. 1042.
Quill & Quire, October, 2002, Steven Manners, review of Teaching Mr. Cutler, p. 32.*