Fonds documents his life as a writer, as well as, his professional activities wth "CVII" and the Manitoba Writers' Guild. It includes correspondence with publishers (such as Turnstone Press) and other writers such as Victor Enns, Gary Geddes and Michael Ondaatje. The material also includes manuscripts, typescripts and drafts of poetry and drama; audio and visual documentation of collaborative work, interviews and productions; and memorabilia. The material demonstrates his multi-faceted career as a poet, playwright, arts organizer, editor and teacher, and his exciting and varied collaborations. The 2007 accession contains drafts and manuscripts of poetry and essays written by Friesen including: Carrying the Shadow (1999), The breath you take from the Lord (2002), Bordello Poems (2004), Interim: Essays and Meditations (2006), Earth's Crude Gravities (2007), and an unpublished collection of poetry. Includes drafts and correspondence of translations made with Per Brask of works by Ulrikka Gernes, Thomas Nydahl and Niels Hav as well as an unpublished anthology of Danish poetry; recordings and preparatory notes and financial records of musical collaborations particularly with jazz Marilyn Lerner (Calling the Dog Home, Small Rooms and Blue Door); correspondence with other writers, editors, publishers and venues for appearances; interviews and commentaries for radio; grant applications; editing work correspondence; personal calendars 1998-2006; and posters of performances and launches.
Friesen, Patrick, 1946-: Poet, playwright, filmmaker and producer, Patrick Friesen was born in Steinbach, Manitoba in 1946. He began writing stories at an early age and studied English literature at the University of Manitoba (B.A., Honours) where he was inspired by Professor Victor Cowie. His first book of poetry, "The Lands I Am" (1976) was followed by nine more books: "Bluebottle" (1978), "The Shunning" (1980), "Unearthly Horses" (1984), "Flicker and Hawk" (1987), "You Don¿t Get to be a Saint" (1992), "Blasphemer¿s Wheel: Selected and New Poems" (1994), "A Broken Bowl" (1997), "St. Mary at Main" (1998) and "Carrying the Shadow" (1999). Friesen collaborated with Per Brask in several translations from the Danish, "God¿s Blue Morris: A Selection of Poems by Neils Hav" (1993), a translation of Klaus Hoeck¿s "The Woods"; and an anthology project of Danish poets. While known primarily as a poet, Friesen has demonstrated versatility both in his artistic vision and in his use of diverse media. His play "The Shunning" was staged by Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg in 1985, and then adapted for radio in 1990. He has written plays and radio dramas, as well as, written, produced and directed, films and videos. He has collaborated with musicians including songwriter Cate Friesen and jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner. He collaborated on several dance-poetry works, including Anna (1987) with choreographer Stephanie Ballard and dancer Margie Gillis, "Handful of Rain" (1991) with Ruth Cansfield and Gaile Petursson-Hiley, and Noah (1987) a multi-disciplinary work. Friesen has been a major force and presence in the literary world of Winnipeg, Manitoba (where he lived for 30 years) and in the rest of Canada. He was founding President of the Manitoba Writers¿ Guild (1981) and served on the executive of the League of Canadian Poets. As a poet of Mennonite background, Friesen¿s explorations and concerns ally him with Di Brandt, Rudy Wiebe and Sandra Birdsell, among others. His collaborative work with dancers, artists and filmmakers has brought Friesen much acclaim. His plays, in particular "The Raft", have earned him national recognition as a playwright. During the late 1990's and 2000's, Patrick Friesen continued to publish books of poetry Carrying the Shadow (1999), The breath you take from the Lord (2002), Bordello Poems (2004) and Earth¿s Crude Gravities (2007) and completed a book of essays Interim: Essays and Meditations (2006). Friesen continued to work in a collaborative mode combining spoken word and collaborative music, particularly with jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner with whom he produced three independent recordings (Calling the Dog Home, Small Rooms and Blue Door). He also contributed lyrics and vocals for recordings by Cate Friesen and Brian Brett. Friesen¿s collaborative translation work with Per Brask continued and the two produced an anthology of Danish poetry and translated the work of several other poets. He organized reading series¿ (¿The Drive¿ at Bukowski¿s, the Vancouver Press Club and the Sunstone Reading Series in Winnipeg), taught workshops and edited the work of other writers. Friesen¿s work A Broken Bowl was a finalist for the Governor General¿s award and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Award) in 1998. Friesen was an electronic writer-in residence (WIER). Friesen taught creative writing at Kwantlen University College for twelve years before teaching at the Department of Creative Writing at the University of Victoria (retiring in 2008).