Randall Maggs is a Canadian poet and former professor of English Literature at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College of Memorial University, in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. He is one of the organizers and now artistic director of the March Hare, the largest literary festival in Atlantic Canada.
Maggs was born in Vancouver. The son of an Royal Canadian Air Force officer, his family lived on bases in Western Canada while he was growing up. He later joined the forces himself as a pilot. He left to travel through Europe and North Africa and then return to university to do graduate work at Dalhousie and the University of New Brunswick.
Academic and writing career
Maggs' poetry has appeared in the 1994 collection, Timely Departures (Breakwater) and in several reviews and anthologies, such as Poetry Ireland Review, Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada and Stephen Brunt's The Way It Looks from Here: Contemporary Canadian Writing on Sport and the March Hare Anthology (Breakwater, 2007). He has co-edited two anthologies of Irish and Newfoundland & Labrador poetry: However Blow the Winds (WIT & Scop, 2004) and The Echoing Years, published in 2007.
A collection of poems, entitled Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems, was launched in early 2008 at Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame and included in the Globe and Mail’s “Top 100 Books” for that year. A short film was produced with Randall Maggs, based on his book. Titled "Night Work: A Sawchuk Poem" the 4-minute film was premiered at the launch of the book, screened at the Atlantic Film Festival, and toured nationally with Moving Stories Film Festival. The short is directed by Justin Simms, with a screenplay by Greg Spottiswood, co-produced with Judith Keenan of BookShorts Literacy Program. In 2009, Night Work won the Winterset Award and E.J. Pratt Poetry Prize, and in 2010, the Kobzar Literary Award.
Maggs' close connection with Ireland was recognized in the Spring of 2007 when he was awarded a Coracle Fellowship to work in that country. An accomplished woodworker, he took part in the 2001 Ireland/Newfoundland exhibition, Wood: A Sculptual Investigation. The Black Rod used in Canadian Senate ceremonies is one of his pieces.
Poem of the month
- Fowler, A. (2007). The March Hare: An Introduction. Originally published in The March Hare Anthology. St. John’s, NL: Breakwater Books. Retrieved on: 2011-09-19.
- Arts Hamilton (September 21, 2008) Randall Maggs. The Lit Live Reading Series. Retrieved on: 2011-09-19.
- Winterset in Summer, Literary Festival. 2011 - Randall Maggs - writer bio. Retrieved on: 2011-09-19.
- Leslie Vryenhoek and Pamela Gill (April 5, 2007). Coracle Fellowships awarded. Memorial University: Gazette. Retrieved: 2013-12-02.
- Government of Canada Randall Maggs. The Parliamentary Poet Laureate. Poems of the Month Program. Retrieved on: 2013-12-02.
- Government of Canada. Poem of the Month. Parliamentary Poet Laureate. Retrieved on: 2013-12-02.