John Robert Colombo
|Born||March 24, 1936|
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
|Occupation||Writer, folklorist, editor in chief, public speaker, radio and television personality|
|Genre||Folklore, science fiction, poetry, humour, aphorisms, reference, quotations, translations, armorial bearing, Canadian native studies, almanac, maps|
|Notable awards||Harbourfront International Literary Award,|
Honorary doctorate in literature by York University,
Member of the Order of Canada
John Robert Colombo, CM (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian author, editor, and poet. He has published over 200 titles, including major anthologies and reference works.
Colombo was born in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1936. He attended the University of Toronto, where he began to organize literary events in the late 1950s. He began writing and publishing poetry in the early 1960s; his first book of poetry Lines for the Last Days was illustrated by William Kurelek. His imprint Hawkshead Press published Margaret Atwood's first collection of poetry in 1963. He also facilitated the appearance of first books of fiction written by Hugh Hood and Alice Munro and the first mass-market publication of a science-fiction story by Robert J. Sawyer. He served as literary manager of the old Bohemian Embassy in Toronto and wrote poetry and also pioneered "found poetry" in the country. He then moved into editorial positions with some of Toronto's large publishing houses, including McClelland and Stewart and Hurtig. During that period, he edited George Grant's Lament for a Nation, and served as managing editor of the Tamarack Review, at the time the leading literary quarterly.
In the early 1970s, Colombo began working on the first of many anthologies, a collection of quotations from prominent Canadians titled Colombo's Canadian Quotations. Following the success of the quotations collection, Colombo went on to publish dozens of collections, ranging from bibliographies of Canadian reference works to collections of folk tales, stories of the paranormal, and UFO sightings. As of 2014, Colombo has published over 200 titles, making him the second-most prolific author in Canadian literary history. His anthology writing earned him the nickname "the Master Gatherer" amongst Canadian writers and literary critics. He has also been dubbed "Canada's Mr. Mystery" for his compilations of the paranormal. In the 1990s, Colombo began publishing his writing through his own imprint, Colombo and Company.
- Harbourfront International Literary Award
- Honorary doctorate in literature by York University
- Member of the Order of Canada
- The Centennial Medal
- The Order of Cyril and Methodius (first class)
- Esteemed Knight of Mark Twain
- A Fellow, Northrop Frye Centre, Victoria College, University of Toronto.
- Fetherling, Douglas. "John Robert Colombo". Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- Morley, Patricia. Kurelek, A Biography, Macmillan of Canada, 1986, page 151.
- Fulford, Robert (April 17, 1999). "A publishing giant – in his own mind, anyway". Globe and Mail.
- MacSkimming, Roy (2007). The perilous trade : book publishing in Canada, 1946–2006. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland & Stewart. p. 234. ISBN 9780771054945.
- Official website
- Canada Vignettes: Riverdale Lion, a 1979 visual interpretation by the NFB of the Colombo poem
- "John Roberto Colombo fonds - Search Research Collections". McMaster University Library. William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. Retrieved July 17, 2019.