- 1978-2020 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
6.72 m of textual records and other material.
Name of creator
Genni Gunn was born Genni Donati in Trieste, Italy and moved to Canada in 1960 at 11-years-old. Having already started school in Italy, she grew up in Vancouver and studied at the University of British Columbia where she earned a B.F.A. (1982) and an M.F.A. (1984).
Before becoming a full-time writer, Gunn was a professional musician who did studio recording work and toured Canada with a variety of bands, playing bass guitar, piano and providing vocals.
Her published books include three novels -- Solitaria (nominated for the Giller Prize), Tracing Iris (adapted to film, The Riverbank), and Thrice Upon a Time (finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize); three short story collections -- Permanent Tourists, Hungers, and On the Road; two poetry collections—Faceless and Mating in Captivity (finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award), and a collection of personal essays, TRACKS: Journeys in Time and Place.
She is a contributor to numerous journals and magazines, including Amaranth Review, Antigonish Review, Black Apple, Event, Fiddlehead, Greensboro Review, Hong Kong Literature Monthly, Interior Voice, New Quarterly, Northern Review, Poetry Canada Review, Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature, Quarry, Story, Trois, Waves, and West Coast Review.
Gunn’s work has been featured in many anthologies, including Best Canadian Stories (Oberon Press 1988); Pens of Many Colors (Harcourt Brace 1993); Breaking Free (Prentice Hall 1994); Cultures in Transition (McGraw-Hill 1995); and Brass Tacks (Prentice Hall 1996); Vancouver VerseMap (Fall 2009); Slice Me Some Truth (Wolsak & Wynn 2011) and Italians At Table (Guernica Editions 2012).
Gunn also authored an opera libretto, Alternate Visions, produced by Chants Libres (music by John Oliver). The opera premiered in Montreal in 2007. Her poem, "Hot Summer Nights" was turned into classical vocal music by John Oliver and performed internationally.
Additionally, Gunn has translated (from Italian) three collections of poems by two renowned Italian authors Dacia Maraini and Corrado Calabrò.
She has taught creative writing for many years at Kwantlen University College in Vancouver and has been a visiting professor at Queens University, the Banff School of Arts, The University of British Columbia, the Island Mountain Arts School and many other locations.
Over the years Genni Gunn has been an active member of many writers’ organizations such as the Writers’ Union of Canada, PEN International and the Literary Translators Association of Canada. Her work has been nominated for a number of awards such as the CBC Literary Competition, The Commonwealth Prize, the John Glassco Translation Prize, the Diego Valeri Prize and others.
Bio-bibliographical information available: http://canadian-writers.athabascau.ca/english/writers/ggunn/ggunn.php http://www.gennigunn.com/ https://www.writersunion.ca/member/genni-gunn
Donated by G. Gunn in 2009.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Fonds consists of correspondence; manuscripts of novels, poems, poetry collections, short stories, screenplays, opera libretto, music scores, translations, speeches, essays and proposal for an unwritten biography; material relating to conferences, writers festivals and workshops; works about G. Gunn and published works.
An accrual received in 2016 (Acc 2016.016) with a date range of 1983-2014, includes the complete drafts of novel Solitaria (boxes 1-5), and some drafts of other works including Tracing Iris, several short stories, Tracing Iris film script, reviews, correspondence with writers and editors, including Carolyn Swayze, correspondence with translators for Tracing Iris and Solitaria into other languages including Italian and Dutch, interviews given in magazines, records of workshops and conferences attended and papers given, records on awards adjudications, reading lists and reference materials.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Some items restricted.
Acc. 2016.016: contracts and CCA assessment report in box 8 and 10 (closed for 10 years from date of creation).
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Text in English and Italian.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
File level inventory available at repository.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents of the fonds.
Includes 124 photographs and 4 sound recordings.
Further accruals expected.