Drew Hayden Taylor
During the last twenty-five years of his life, Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with over 70 productions of his work), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably, he wrote and directed Redskins, Tricksters and Puppy Stew, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.
He has traveled to sixteen countries around the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature to the world. Through many of his books, most notably the four volume set of the Funny, You Don't Look Like One series, he has tried to educate and inform the world about issues that reflect, celebrate, and interfere in the lives of Canada’s First Nations.
Self described as a contemporary story teller in whatever form, he co-created and for three years was the head writer for Mixed Blessings, a television comedy series. In 2007, a made-for-tv movie he wrote, based on his Governor General’s nominated play, In a World Created by a Drunken God, was nominated for three Gemini Awards, including Best Movie. Originally it aired on APTN and opened the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Dreamspeakers Film Festival in Edmonton.
The last few years has seen him proudly serve as the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Michigan, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Luneburg (Germany), as well as a host of Canadian theatre companies i.e. Cahoots theatre, Blyth Theatre etc. From 1994-97, he proudly served as the Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts.
In 2007, Annick Press published his first Novel, The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, a teen novel about an Ojibway vampire. Several years ago, his non-fiction book exploring the world of Native sexuality, called Me Sexy, was published by Douglas & McIntyre. It is a follow up to his highly successful book on Native humour, Me Funny.
Last year saw the publication of his 21st book, a novel titled Motorcycles & Sweetgrass. Randomhouse proudly proclaimed him “One of the new faces of fiction for 2010.” It was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for fiction. Not to be outdone by himself, December 2010 saw the publication by Talon Books of his newest collection of articles and essays, News: Postcards From The Four Directions, exploring Native existence as he sees it, in his own wonky style.
More importantly, he is still desperately trying to find the time to do his laundry.
Oddly enough, the thing his mother was most proud of was his ability to make spaghetti from scratch.