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Marty Gervais

Charles Henry "Marty" Gervais' (born 1946) is a Canadian poet, photographer, professor, journalist, and publisher of Black Moss Press.

Gervais has also published plays, children's books, non-fiction and, most recently, a book of photography, A Show of Hands: Boxing on the Border (2004). In 1998, he won the prestigious Toronto’s Harbourfront Festival Prize for his contributions to Canadian letters and to emerging writers. In 1996, he was awarded the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award for his book, Tearing Into A Summer Day. That book was awarded the City of Windsor Mayor’s Award for literature. Gervais won this award again in 2003 for another collection, To Be Now: New and Selected Poems. Gervais has also been the recipient of 16 Western Ontario Newspaper Awards for journalism.

His first published novel, Reno, appeared in 2005 from Mosaic Press. Another book, Taking My Blood, charting his time in a hospital, and including photographs he took while he was there, came out in 2005.

Gervais is the subject of one episode in the Bravo television series Heart of A Poet.

In 2006, another book, Wait For Me, was launched on the west coast at readings in Victoria, British Columbia, and Salt Spring Island.

Gervais lives in Windsor, Ontario. Born in Windsor, Ontario Oct. 20, 1946.

Education B. A., University of Guelph, 1971 M.A., University of Windsor,1972

Positions Held in Publishing:

Black Moss Press Publishing: founded Black Moss Press in 1969 and has served as publisher and editor ever since

The Windsor Review: appointed managing editor in 2000 and still serving in that position

Positions Held in Journalism:

Newspapers: The Globe and Mail, 1966, copy The Daily Commercial News, 1967, copy clerk The Weekly Standard, Windsor, Ont., editor and writer The Chatham Daily News, 1972-1973, reporter The Windsor Star Bureau Chief, Leamington, 1974-1976 Reporter (Education, general assignment), 1976-1979 Religion Editor and Book Editor, 1979-1991 Entertainment Writer 1991-1996 Columnist, 1996- Radio: CBC Morningside regional correspondent for Peter Gzowski

Positions Held in Teaching Creative Writing, St. Clair College, 1969-1970 English, St. Clair College, 1973-1975 Creative Writing (summer workshops), Canadore College, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000 University of Windsor, appointed Resident Writing Professional, 1996 Resident Writing Professional 1996 to the present Lecturer 1995 to the present

Selected Publications

  • Sister Saint Anne (Bandit) 1968; poetry
  • Other Marriage Vows (Sun Parlour) 1969; poetry
  • A Sympathy Orchestra (Fiddlehead Books) 1970; poetry
  • Bittersweet (Alive) 1972; poetry
  • Tish: A Movement (Alive) 1974; essay
  • Poems for American Daughters (Porcupine’s Quill) 1976; poetry
  • Baldoon (Porcupine’s Quill) 1976; play
  • The Writing Life (Firefly Books) 1976; essays
  • Up Country Lines (Penumbra Press) 1979; poetry
  • The Believable Body (Fiddlehead Books) 1979; poetry
  • The Rumrunners: A Prohibition Scrapbook (Firefly Books), 1980
  • Public Fantasy (Sequel Press) 1983; poetry
  • Into A Blue Morning, Edited by Al Purdy (Hounslow Press) 1982
  • The Fighting Parson (Porcupine’s Quill) 1983; play
  • The Pope in Canada (The Windsor Star, 1984); essays
  • Voices Like Thunder (Third World Resource) 1984
  • Letters from the Equator (Penumbra Press, 1986).
  • Autobiographies (Penumbra Press, 1989).
  • Scenes from the Present: New Selected Poems . (Penumbra Press, 1991).
  • People in Struggle: The Life and Art of Bill Stapleton (Penumbra Press, 1992); biography
  • The Border Police: 125 years of Policing in Windsor (Penumbra Press, 1992), history
  • Seeds in the Wilderness . (Quarry Press, 1994); essays
  • Playing God (Mosaic Press, 1994); poetry
  • From America Sent: Letters to Henry Miller (Quarry Press, 1995); fiction
  • Tearing Into a Summer Day (Mosaic Press, 1996); poetry
  • The Science of Nothing (Mosaic Press, 2000); poetry
  • The Working Man’s Choir (FoxMar) 2002; history
  • To Be Now: New and Selected Poems (Mosaic Press, 2003); poetry
  • A Show of Hands (Benchmark Publishing) 2004; photography
  • Reno (Mosaic Press) 2005; novel
  • Wait For Me (Black Moss Press), 2006; poetry
  • My Town:Faces of Windsor, (Bibiloasis) 2006, non-fiction

Included in Major Anthologies:

Storm Warning: The New Canadian Poets, Edited by Al Purdy (McClelland and Stewart) 1970 Soundings: New Canadian Poets, Edited Jack Ludwig (Anansi) 1970 Touchstones 2, Edited M. G. Benton (Musson) 1974 Whale Sound, Edited by Greg Gatenby (J.J. Douglas), 1977 The Poets of Canada, Edited by John Robert Colombo (Hurtig) 1978 Tributaries: An Anthology Writer to Writer, Edited by Barry Dempster (Mosaic Press) 1978 To Say The Least: Canadian Poets From A to Z, Edited P.K. Page (Press Porcepic) 1979 Whales: A Celebration, Edited by Greg Gatenby (Prentice-Hall), 1983

Film Scripts Il Coro Italiano (Essex), 2000 Odyssey Project (University of Windsor), 2004 premiered at the Capitol Theatre

Photographic Publications:

American Photo Magazine, Toronto pictures, 1998 Descant, “Moroccan Scenes” (North Africa issue, Vol. 114) Fall 2001 Descant, “Seven North” (Fourteen Tales, Vol. 120) Spring 2003

Photographic Exhibits:

Dreaming With Open Eyes, Artspeak Gallery, 2001, A Show of Hands: Boxing on the Border, The Art Gallery of Windsor, August-December 2004, The Next Step, Leddy Library, University of Windsor, January, 2006

Exhibit Honoring Marty Gervais:

Marty Gervais: A Retrospective at The Windsor Community Museum in Windsor running from May 2007-January 2008. This exhibit of selected columns from his MY TOWN column in the Windsor Star are being exhibited, along with a major look at Marty Gervais' writing career. Besides photographs of him growing up in Windsor and Bracebridge, and meeting John Diefenbaker (a photograph included), there is a selection of memorabilia that includes Marty Gervais' first typewriter, a journalist's pad, notebooks, a Canadian National Exhibit ribbon of a painting that took honorable mention at the 1956 CNE when he was 10 years old, and a number of other items. At the launch for this event, Peter Hrastovec, a Windsor lawyer, called Marty Gervais "an icon for this city (Windsor) and one who is the master story teller."


Milton Acorn Memorial People's Poetry Award, winner, 1996; runnerup, 1990, 1992. The Harbourfront Festival Prize, 1998. 16 Western Ontario Newspaper Award Ontario Reporters' Association Award, two years. Top Ten Religion Pages in North America, 1982, 1985. 25 Most Creative Artists Express Magazine (Windsor) 1997 The Mayor’s Award for Literature for the City of Windsor, 1997, 2003

Archival Files:

Marty Gervais’s archives (correspondence, manuscripts, tape recorded interviews with authors and religious figures) are stored at McMaster University

Major Biographical and Critical Commentary featured in Selected Publications and Film:

Toronto: A Literary Guide by Greg Gatenby (McArthur and Company) 1999 The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, Second Edition, Ed. Eugene Benson and William Toye (Oxford),1997 Dreaming With Open Eyes: A Short Film on the photography of Marty Gervais (FoxProductions), 2001 The Danforth Review, interview with Gervais, Fall, 2004 issue Heart of a Poet (Makin’ Movies, Toronto); for TV Bravo, 2005-2006

Other Publications:

Weekly Book Reviews on the Book Page in the Windsor Star, from 1979 – 1995. Poetry has appeared in the following magazines: The Tamarck Review, The Windsor Review, The Antigonish Review, Rampike, Grail, The Writers Quarterly, Quarry, Grain, The Canadian Forum, and Descant.

Poetry has been broadcast on CBC’s Anthology, 1969, 1974.

External links


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