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Michael
Crummey

Michael Crummey is a poet and fiction writer. He has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for River Thieves, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for The Wreckage, and for the Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction (twice) for Galore and Sweetland. Crummey is also the inaugural recipient of both the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the Writers’ Trust Fellowship, as well as the winner of the Timothy Findley Award. Born in Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador, he lives in St. John’s.

Videos

Michael Crummey on The Innocents

Award History

2019 Finalist

Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for The Innocents

Jury Citation

"In this cruel and beautiful adventure tale and meditation on survival, solitude, and adolescent desire, The Innocents lays bare the lives of two children orphaned in a desolate cove on Newfoundland’s northern coast. By turns touching and harrowing in its portrayal of siblings trapped in a pitiless struggle against human nature and nature itself, this novel is a page-turning masterclass in landscape writing and the longings and sorrows of the human heart. Crummey’s fine ear for the vernacular and the poetic casts a preternatural beauty over this terrifying world that lingers long after the story has ended."

— 2019 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Dennis Bock, Michael Kaan, and Suzette Mayr)

Jury Citation

“In book after book, Michael Crummey sifts the human saga, marrying romance with the brutalities of life made by the sea or life in a company mining town or life in a lonely trapper’s cabin far from civilization. His women are rich and complex creations, creatures who lust, and feel, and struggle with loyalty, and bitterly keep their counsel. His people die with a mournful clarity, bodies washed up from the ocean or wasting in dismal hospitals or blasted in confused frontier skirmishes. Death haunts these books. But so do love and desire, the human ferment that supplies Crummey’s work with a fundamental generosity, a glowing, wistful hopefulness.”

— 2007 Timothy Findley Award Jury (Joan Barfoot, Douglas Glover, Jack Hodgins)

2005 Finalist

Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for The Wreckage

Program History

Jury Citation

“Of the cacophony of voices carrying across the wind from Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years, none is so vibrant, so perceptive, and so damn fun, as that of Michael Crummey. A poet of tremendous skill and a novelist of the truest heart, his books capture the outports and villages, the islands and waters, the people and language that make the province unlike anywhere else in Canada. Yet his work is universal, too. He writes about family and loneliness, love and loss, childhood and aging, with a storyteller’s flair for the dramatic and a poet’s ear for words. Simply, he is a beautiful writer.”

— 2015 Writers’ Trust Fellowship Jury

Works recognized by WT

Galore

Hard Light

Little Dogs

River Thieves

Sweetland

The Wreckage