Michael Crummey - Biography

Michael Crummey was born in 1965 and grew up in the mining towns of Wabush, Labrador, and Buchans in central Newfoundland. He studied at Memorial University, then completed his Masters at Queen’s University. Crummey turned to poetry after studying the form in university, his poetry eventually appearing in literary magazines such as TickleAce and The Antigonish Review. In 1996, he won the Literary Award for Poetry from the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and in 1998, he received the Bronwen Wallace Award for Poetry. Crummey has increasingly turned to fiction. He published a book of short stories, Flesh and Blood in 1998, and received a great deal of critical attention for his first novel River Thieves (2001), a historical work detailing the extinction of the Beothuk, set close to Crummey’s home in Buchans, where key encounters between the Beothuk and Europeans occurred. The novel won the Winterset Award and the Thomas Head Raddall Award and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. In 2005, he published The Wreckage, set in Newfoundland and Nagasaki during the Second World War. The novel was nominated for the Rogers Writers Trust Prize and has recently been optioned for film. History is key component of Crummey’s work, as he details Newfoundland’s past, often with a strong focus on family and relationships, as he does in the collection Hard Light (1998).  Crummey’s career as a novelist has clearly picked up steam, as Doubleday has bought Canadian rights to his next two books, and in 2007 he won the 2007 Writer's Trust Timothy Findley Award for a writer in mid-career. His 2009 novel Galore, a magical realist foray into Newfoundland's history, was short-listed for the Dublin IMPAC Award. Crummey currently lives in St. John's.