Drew Hayden Taylor

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Drew Hayden Taylor

Introduction

Drew Hayden Taylor, born July 1, 1962, is one of Canada's leading Aboriginal playwrights and humourists. His award-winning plays have been produced in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and his novels have been nominated for several awards, including the Governor General’s Award for fiction. He has also written numerous scripts for television series including The Beachcombers, North of 60, and Mixed Blessings. Taylor's writings are a significant part of the Aboriginal cultural renaissance that has been gathering momentum since the 1980s.[1]

Life & Career

Self-described as a contemporary story teller in whatever form, he co-created and for three years was the head writer for Mixed Blessings, a television comedy series as well as contributed scripts to four other popular Canadian television series.  In 2007, a made-for-TV movie he wrote, based on his Governor General’s nominated play In a World Created by a Drunken God, was nominated for three Gemini Awards, including Best Movie. Originally it aired on APTN and opened the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Dreamspeakers Film Festival in Edmonton.  In 2011 and 2012, he wrote the script for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.

The last few years has seen him proudly serve as the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Michigan, the University of Western Ontario, University of Luneburg (Germany), Ryerson University,[2] Wilfrid Laurier, as well as a host of Canadian theatre companies i.e. Cahoots theatre, Blyth Theatre etc. From 1994-97, he proudly served as the Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts.

In 2007, Annick Press published his first Novel, The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, a teen novel about an Ojibway vampire.  Several years ago, his non-fiction book exploring the world of Native sexuality, called Me Sexy, was published by Douglas & McIntyre.  It is a follow up to his highly successful book on Native humour, Me Funny. The third instalment, Me Artsy, has just been released and deals with the Aboriginal artistic spirit.

2010 saw the publication of his novel Motorcycles & Sweetgrass. Randomhouse proudly proclaimed him “One of the new faces of fiction for 2010”.  It was also short listed for the Governor General’s Award for fiction. 2011 saw the publication by Talon Books of Drew’s newest collection of articles and essays, NEWS: Postcards from the Four Directions which explored Native existence as he sees it, in his own wonky style.  This was followed by the publication of his two new plays, God and the Indian and Cerulean Blue.  Finally, this year a selection of his best articles and columns were published by Theytus books, in The Best of “Funny, You Don’t Look Like One”.

Most recently, Douglas & McIntyre published a collection of his Native themed science fiction short stories, titled Take Us to Your Chief & Other Stories.  Add to this his fresh from the press new play, Crees in the Caribbean.  This brings his publication total to 30 books.[3]

Works

Plays

400 Kilometres (1996)
alterNATIVES (1999)
A Story Before Time (2010)
Cerulean Blue (2014)
Contemporary Gothic Indian Vampire Story (1992)
Crees in the Caribbean (2015)
Dead White Writer on the Floor (2010)
Education is Our Right (1990)
Girl Who Loved Her Horses (1995)
God and the Indian (2013)
In a World Created by a Drunken God (2004)
Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth (1996)
Raven Stole the Sun (2004)
Someday (1991)
Spirit House (2007)
Sucker Falls (2001)
Talking Pictures (1990)
The All Complete Aboriginal Show Extravaganza (1994)
The Baby Blues (1995)
The Berlin Blues (2007)
The Bootlegger Blues (1990)
The Boy in the Treehouse (2000)
The Buz’Gem Blues (2001)
Three Tricksters (2009)
Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock (1989)

Books

Non-Fiction

Funny, You Don’t Look Like One (series)
NEWS: Postcards from the Four Directions
Me Trilogy: Sexy, Funny, Artsy

Fiction

Fearless Warriors
The Night Wanderer
Motorcycles & Sweetgrass
Take Us to Your Chief

Awards

Nominations

Chalmer’s Award for Best Play for Young Audiences – Girl Who Loved Her Horses, 1996
Governor General’s Award – In a World Created by a Drunken God, 2006
Rand McNally Best Aboriginal Book of the Year, Best Children’s Book – The Night Wanderer, 2007
Arthur Ellis Awards, Juvenile Category – The Night Wanderer, 2008
Sunburst Award, Young Adult Category – The Night Wanderer, 2008
Stellar Book Award, Teen Readers’ Choice – The Night Wanderer, 2009-10
Governor General’s Award, Fiction – Motorcycles & Sweetgrass, 2010

Wins

Chalmer’s Award for Best Play for Young Audiences – Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock, 1992
Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for Best Drama – The Bootlegger Blues, 1992
Native Playwrights Award from the University of Alaska – The Baby Blues, 1996
Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play – Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth, 1996
James Buller Award from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre for Best Playwright, 1997
Native Playwrights Award from the University of Alaska, Anchorage – alterNATIVES, 1997
Independent Publisher Book Awards, Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction – The Night Wanderer, 2008
Victoria Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement in Theatre, 2009
Ontario Premier’s Award for Creative Arts and Design, 2010
Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award, 2012

On The Map

Name:Drew Hayden Taylor
Location:Curve Lake
Category:Artists
Latitude:44.451428
Longitude:-78.365479

References

  1. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/drew-hayden-taylor
  2. http://www.ryerson.ca/ryersontoday/data/news/2013/02/drew_hayden_taylor
  3. http://www.drewhaydentaylor.com/biography