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Anne Szumigalski


SZUMIGALSKI, Anne Howard (1922–1999)
Writer, Educator

Anne Howard Szumigalski (nee Davis) was born to parents Mary Winder Allen and Herbert Edward Davis on January 3, 1922 in London, England. She had four sisters and two brothers. During the war Anne served as an interpreter and welfare officer with the British Red Cross Civilian Relief organization and in 1951 Anne and her husband, Jan Waclaw Szumigalski, moved to Canada and to Saskatoon in 1956, where they raised four children.

In Saskatoon Anne was instrumental in the founding of both the Saskatchewan Writer's Guild and the literary journal Grain but also found time to mentor many young poets.

Szumigalski won awards for her writing including: The Saskatchewan Poetry Prize, Saskatchewan Senior Arts Award, the Okanagan Short Story Award, and in 1995 Szumigalski was awarded the Governor General's Award for Poetry for Voice which featured paintings by Marie Elyse St George. In 1989 she was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and the Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1990.

Szumigalski wrote fifteen books of poetry and a memoir, The Voice, the Word, the Text (1990) as well as Z, a play about the Holocaust. Her poetry collections include Woman Reading in Bath (1974), A Game of Angels (1980) and Rapture of the Deep (1991). She also produced four voice poems for the CBC.

Anne Szumigalski died in 1999 and a final posthumous book, A Woman Clothed in Words, edited by her literary executor Mark Abley, appeared in 2012.Grain has also established the annual Anne Szumigalski Editor's Prize which is awarded in her memory.

Edited by Katherine Bitney,
October 2020

Archival Collections (Finding Aids in PDF format)


91-95 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1932-199

92-29 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1968-1991

2006-42 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1982-1997

2009-48 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1990-1998

2009-70 - Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts: 1990 (bronze bust) awarded to Anne Szumigalski: 1990

2011-2 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1939-2010

2017-47 - Photographs of Anne Szumigalski, 1951-1989