Di Brandt

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Di Brandt (born 31 January 1952) is a Canadian poet and scholar.


Di Brandt grew up in Reinland, a traditionalist Mennonite farming village in southern Manitoba, Canada, which she left at the age of seventeen. She studied English Literature at the Universities of Manitoba (BA Hons 1974, PhD 1993) and Toronto (MA 1975). She has taught Canadian Literature and Creative Writing at the Universities of Winnipeg (1985–95), Manitoba (1983-1993), Alberta (1996–97), Windsor (1997-2005) and Brandon MB (2005–present). She was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta in 1995-96, and SSHRC Research Fellow in Canadian Literature at the University of Alberta in 1996-98. She has given literary readings, lectures, performances and workshops across Canada and around the world, including at the Universities of Trier, Germany; Graz, Austria; Aarhus, Denmark; Chiba, Japan; Canada House in London, UK; the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo; the Arts and Cultural Centre in Jerusalem, Palestine; Chateau de Lavigny, Switzerland; and the 13th International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Colombia, in 2005.


Di Brandt has published eight collections of poetry:

  • SHE: Poems inspired by Laozi, with ink drawings by Lin Xu (Brandon, MB: Radish Press, 2012). Chapbook.
  • The Lottery of History (Brandon, MB: Radish Press, 2008). Chapbook.
  • Walking to Mojacar, with French and Spanish translations by Charles Leblanc and Ari Belathar (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2010),
  • Now You Care (Toronto: Coach House Press, 2003),
  • Jerusalem, beloved (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1995),
  • mother, not mother (Toronto: Mercury Press, 1992),
  • Agnes in the sky (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1990), and
  • questions i asked my mother (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1987).

Di Brandt's poetry has been adapted for television, radio, video, dance, sculpture and theatre. questions i asked my mother was a bestseller in Canada. Di Brandt's poetry has been the subject of numerous scholarly essays and monographs.

Di Brandt's essay collections and literary critical studies are:

  • So this is the world & here I am in it (Edmonton: NeWest Press 2007).
  • Dancing Naked: Narrative Strategies for Writing Across Centuries (Toronto: Mercury Press 1996).
  • Wild Mother Dancing: Maternal Narrative in Canadian Literature (Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press 1993).
  • Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women's Poetry (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 2011), ed. with Barbara Godard.
  • Re:Generations: Canadian Women Poets in Conversation (Windsor, ON: Black Moss Press 2006), ed. with Barbara Godard.

Di Brandt's collaborations include:

Di Brandt's numerous prizes and recognitions include:

Di Brandt served as Poetry Editor at Prairie Fire Magazine and Contemporary Verse 2 during the 1980s and 90s. She also served as Manitoba and Prairie Rep at the League of Canadian Poets National Council and the Writers' Union of Canada National Council for several years during these same years.


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