Michael Crummey

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Michael Crummey
Author Michael Crummey, May 28 2014.jpg
Author Michael Crummey poses with a copy of his book, Galore, at a fundraiser for the Writers' Trust of Canada
Born Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Memorial University of Newfoundland
Notable awards Inaugural winner of RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, Thomas Head Raddall Award

Michael Crummey (born November 18, 1965) is a Canadian poet and writer.

Born in Buchans, Newfoundland and Labrador, Crummey grew up there and in Wabush, Labrador, where he moved with his family in the late 1970s. He began to write poetry while studying at Memorial University in St. John's, where he received a B.A. in English in 1987. He completed a M.A. at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, in 1988, then dropped out of the Ph.D. program to pursue his writing career. Crummey returned to St. John's in 2001.

Since first winning Memorial University's Gregory J. Power Poetry Contest in 1986, Crummey has continued to receive accolades for his poetry and prose. In 1994, he became the first winner of the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for young unpublished writers, and his first volume of poetry, Arguments with Gravity (1996), won the Writer's Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Poetry. Hard Light (1998), his second collection, was nominated for the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award in 1999. 1998 also saw the publication of a collection of short stories, Flesh and Blood, and Crummey's nomination for the Journey Prize.

Crummey's debut novel, River Thieves (2001) became a Canadian bestseller, and won the Thomas Head Raddall Award, the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing, and the Atlantic Independent Booksellers' Choice Award. It was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was long-listed for the IMPAC Award. His second novel, The Wreckage (2005), was longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award. His third novel Galore (2009) shortlisted for the 2011 IMPAC Award.

Crummey's writing often draws on the history and landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador. The poems and prose in Hard Light are inspired by the stories of his father and other relatives, and the short stories in Flesh and Blood take place in the fictional mining community of Black Rock, which strongly resembles Buchans. Crummey's novels in particular can be described as historical fiction. River Thieves details the contact and conflict between European settlers and the last of the Beothuk in the early 19th century, including the capture of Demasduwit. The Wreckage tells the story of young Newfoundland soldier Wish Fury and his beloved Sadie Parsons during and after World War II.

Crummey also research and wrote the 2014 National Film Board of Canada multimedia short film 54 Hours on the 1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster, co-directed by Paton Francis and Bruce Alcock.[1]



  • Arguments With Gravity (1996)
  • Hard Light (1998)
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance (2001)
  • Salvage (2002)
  • Under the Keel (2013)
  • Cigarettes

Short stories

  • Flesh and Blood (1998, expanded edition 2003)


  • River Thieves (2001)
  • The Wreckage (2005)
  • Galore (2009)
  • Sweetland (2014)


  • Newfoundland: Journey Into a Lost Nation (with photographer Greg Locke) (2004)


  • The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry (Breakwater, 2013)
  • The Harbrace Anthology of Poetry, 5th Edition (Nelson, 2012)
  • The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories, selected and introduced by Jane Urquhart (Penguin Books, 2007)
  • The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (Signal Editions, 2006)
  • Canadian Short Stories (Penguin Books, 2004)
  • Victory Meat (Doubleday Canada, 2003)
  • Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada, ed. Anne Compton, Laurence Hutchman, Ross Leckie and Robin McGrath (Goose Lane Editions, 2002)


  1. Bradbury, Tara (29 March 2014). "Film takes new approach to sealing disaster". The Telegram. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 

External links