Advisory Board

Professor Christopher Dewdney

Christopher Dewdney was born in London, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto, where he is a professor at York University. Appointed to the position of Jack McClelland Writer in Residence at the University of Toronto for the year 2009, he is the author of four books of nonfiction as well as eleven books of poetry. His father is the late Selwyn Dewdney, the renowned archaeologist, author, and historian.
 
“Because of my father’s concerns, I grew up with a prodigious amount of national history, natural history, and there was as much art around the house as there was science.”
 
That his poems reflect both an interest in art and science is borne out by the fact that his poetry can be found in either the poetry or natural history sections of book stores and libraries.
 
“My poetry,” Chris says, “is warped out of science. I think I’m a frustrated scientist in poetry and a frustrated poet in science. A lot of poets have an anti-science bias, a vision of themselves as romantics in a tower, but I don’t. I’m a naturalist, I believe that science and nature are one, that science is a perceptual tool which allows us to define nature more specifically. Science has to incorporate and mythologize as it happens. All poetry deals with information, finally.”
 
A four-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award, Chris won first-prize in the CBC Literary Competition for poetry. In 2005 his book, Acquainted With The Night: Excursions into the World After Dark was nominated for both a Governor General’s Award and The Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction, and was published in seven countries. He was winner of the $10,000 2007 Harbourfront Festival Prize. In 2008, HarperCollins published his most recent non-fiction title, Soul of The World: Unlocking the Secrets of Time.
 
Chris authored Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era, Children of the Outer Dark: The Poetry of Christopher Dewdney, Permugenesis: A Recombinant Text, The Natural History, The Radiant Inventory: Poems, and Spring Trances in the Control Emerald Night and the Cenozoic Asylum, and provided the foreword for The Garden at Night: Private Views of Public Edens.
 
In May 1994, McClelland and Stewart published Demon Pond. Quill & Quire wrote that in Demon Pond “Dewdney has undergone a transformation; his poetry has taken on greater humanity and been touched by love, while still in touch with the gods.”
 
In 1984 (together with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Michael Ondaatje and Tom Waits) he was featured in the internationally acclaimed documentary Poetry in Motion. He is an active figure in the North American literary scene, and he has been published in Germany, England, China, Spain, India as well as in the U.S. Recently he has appeared on TVO’s Imprint, CBC’s Newsworld and CITY TV as well as CBC Radio’s Morningside and The Arts Tonight.
 
Well known for his brilliance, wit and irreverence, Chris is a sought-after speaker and reader in both Canada and the United States.
 
Watch Christopher Dewdney and Soul of the World Trailer. Listen to his interview on BBC – Radio 4 – Excess Baggage – Graveyards and The World After Dark. Read International Festival of Authors: Q & A with Christopher Dewdney, Author Christopher Dewdney looks at time with “Soul of the World”, and Christopher Dewdney in the Transhuman Era.