Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Robert Kroetsch

I just learned of the tragic death of Robert Kroetsch from an automobile accident in Alberta yesterday.   Robert was the acclaimed author of books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction and is revered as one of Canada's top writers.  He was recognized with the Governor General's Award as well as the Order of Canada. The news is especially hard for me to accept, since I had worked on an edition of one of his books.  I had been commissioned by the late Dennis Johnson to illustrate the Red Deer Press edition of "Seed Catalogue".  I traveled to the Heisler area to get a feel for the location of the poem and was able to locate his former house and farm following the descriptions in the poem.  While working on the wood engravings I communicated with Robert regularly and sent him sketches as I prepared for each wood engraving.  I grew to admire and respect him and appreciated his guidance on this project, and especially appreciated his elegant and visual use of the language.

The nation and the world has lost a literary giant.

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