Mary Dalton - Biography

Born in Lake View, in the parish of Harbour Main on Conception Bay in Newfoundland, Mary Dalton is one of Newfoundland’s most prominent poets. Dalton has published three collections, for which she has won multiple awards, including the 1997 Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition for Poetry and the 1998 TickleAce/Cabot Award for Poetry. Her collection, Merrybegot (2003) takes its cues from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English and mines the rich colloquialisms of Newfoundland English. In this collection, Dalton explores the musicality and rich textures of Newfoundland dialect through short lyrical poems based on characteristically Newfoundland words or sayings. Shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award for Poetry and the Winterset Award, Merrybegot won the 2005 E.J. Pratt Award for Poetry. In September 2006, Dalton published her fourth collection of poetry, Red Ledger, with Signal Editions out of Montreal. Between You and the Weather came out in 2008, and Hooking, also with Signal Editions, in 2013. In addition to being an accomplished poet, Dalton has extensive experience at the opposite end of the process. From 1980 to 1986, she served as the editor and co-publisher of the Newfoundland literary journal TickleAce. Furthermore, Dalton has contributed editorially to Newfoundland Studies, the interdisciplinary journal of Newfoundland issues and culture. After studying at the University of Toronto, Memorial University and the University of Liverpool, Dalton took a teaching position in the English Department of Memorial University. As an academic, Dalton has researched the paintings of Gerald Squires, the plays of Samuel Beckett and the Boethuk motif in Newfoundland literature. Currently living in St. John’s, Dalton maintains an active academic interest in Newfoundland poetry while also researching contemporary Canadian and Irish poetry.