Brian Brett was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1950 and studied literature at Simon Fraser University. He has been associated with several firms as an editor and publisher and has been a reviewer for many publications and newspapers.
In the early seventies, he began working as a freelance journalist and critic for various publications and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Vancouver Sun, The New Reader, Books in Canada, the Victoria Times-Colonist and Vancouver's The Province -- where he was the poetry critic for two years, and had his own column. His journalism has appeared in almost every major newspaper in Canada, and his essays in most of the major magazines. He is currently writing a monthly newspaper column called CultureWatch for the Yukon News.
Brett inaugurated the B.C. Poetry-in-the-Schools program, introducing children in schools to world poetry for a period of several years, and has taught or given workshops on writing across Canada. He has been a member of organizations ranging from P.E.N. International, the League of Canadian Poets, the Federation of BC Writers, to the Writers' Union of Canada. While a member of the League of Canadian Poets he performed a national reading tour under their auspices. He has also given readings on CBC Radio and various other media as well as public performances funded by private organizations, universities, Harbourfront, Vancouver International Writers Festival, Saltwater Festival, Sechelt Writers’ Festival, Wordfest: Banff Calgary International Writers Festival, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, National Book Festival, and the Canada Council. In May 2005, Brett became chair of the Writers' Union of Canada.
Brett is the author of several books of fiction and poetry, including, Tanganyika (Thistledown Press, 1991), The Fungus Garden (Thistledown Press, 1988) Coyote (Thistledown 2003), and Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life (2009) for which he won the Writers Trust Non-Fiction Prize. He lives on a farm on Salt Spring Island.
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