Dragland, Stanley Louis

Stanley Louis Dragland, literary critic, editor, novelist, poet (b Calgary, AB 2 Dec 1942). Born and raised in Calgary, Stan Dragland studied at the University of Alberta, where he received a BA and MA. He earned a PhD from Queen's University in 1970. He has taught at the University of Alberta, The Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk (England), the University of Western Ontario and the Banff Centre Writing Studio. After 29 years in the English department at Western, he received Emeritus status in 1999 and retired to St. John's, Nfld. Stan Dragland's extensive work creating, publishing, critiquing and teaching Canadian writing has made him an influential figure in Canadian letters.

While a professor at the University of Western Ontario, Stan Dragland published a number of revealing critical studies that explore how the racial politics of Duncan Campbell SCOTT'S sympathetic "Indian poetry" relate to Scott's role as the deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs. Characteristic of Dragland's critical writing and of his own approach to creative writing, his book Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9 (1994) explores the nuanced intersection of literature and life. Rather than merely castigating Scott for playing a major role in one of the country's worst chapters, or ignoring the violence by focusing exclusively on Scott's "humane" collection of literature on First Nations subjects, Dragland argues that Scott's literary triumphs were bought at the expense of Canada's aboriginal peoples. Floating Voice won the 1994 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism. Stan Dragland has also edited a collection of essays on Duncan Campbell Scott and produced an edition of Scott's short story collection In the Village of Viger and Other Stories (1973).

Stan Dragland is noted for his extensive work as an editor and for promoting the importance of SMALL PRESSES in Canada. He was the founder of the poetry publishing house Brick Books in 1975, for which he still works as publisher and editor, and a founding editor of the literary review magazine Brick in 1977. He served as poetry editor for McClelland & Stewart from 1993 to 1996. Dragland has also edited a selected works of Christopher DEWDNEY'S poetry (with Michael ONDAATJE), and edited 2 collections of essays: Approaches to the Work of JamesREANEY (1983) and Stuart Pierson's Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland (2006).

Stan Dragland also writes fiction and poetry. His first book was Wilson MacDonald's Western Tour, 1923-4 (1975), a "critical collage" that strategically combines a rich array of letters, clippings, and other found ephemera surrounding the Canadian poet Wilson MACDONALD. His first novel, Peckertracks: a Chronicle (1978), was shortlisted for the 1978 Books in Canada First Novel Prize. Apocrypha: Further Journeys (2003), a literary memoir that presents and dramatizes his decades of experiences with and changing responses to literature, won the 2005 Newfoundland and Labrador Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award. Stan Dragland's short book of prose poems Stormy Weather: Foursomes (2005) was shortlisted for the 2007 EJ Pratt Poetry Award.