In his late twenties, Bruce's published poetry won him a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with novelist W.O. Mitchell and poet Irving Layton.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Bruce was deafened as an infant and afflicted with low vision much of his adult life. He grew up in the working-class neighborhood of Ogden in the shadow of Esso’s Imperial Oil Refinery and now decommissioned Canadian Pacific Railway’s (C.P.R.) Ogden Shops.
In his early teens Bruce discovered poetry as a compass to navigate in a chaotic hearing world. In poetry, he could hear everything - and be heard. After high school, he worked for ten years as a labourer, equipment operator, Zamboni driver, and completed his technical education (Olds and Lakeland Colleges) and apprenticeship as a gardener and arborist.
In his late twenties, Bruce's published poetry won him a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts to study with novelist W.O. Mitchell and poet Irving Layton. From there he went onto York University to study film and literature and taught in the creative writing department with Don Coles before landing a position at Seneca College.
Bruce taught for twenty-five years at Seneca, where he created the poetry and spoken word workshops based on a pan-cultural curriculum. He also developed and ran two campus learning centres supporting special needs and language across the curriculum.
Bruce Hunter’s poems, stories and essays have appeared in over 80 publications in Canada, China, India, Italy, the U.K and the US. His 11th and newest book, Galestro (2023) follows A Life in Poetry (2022) both from iQdB edizioni in Italy. Brue's 2010 novel, In the Bear’s House, won the Canadian Rockies prize at the Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival. In 2010, his book Two O’Clock Creek – poems new and selected, won the Acorn-Plantos Peoples' Poetry Award for Canada.
Bruce was the 2017 Author in Residence for Calgary Public Library. His past residencies and presentations include the Banff Centre, Deaf and Hear Alberta, Richmond Hill Public Library, University of Toronto, Sir John Abbott College, Mount Royal University and many others across Canada.
Bruce is a life member of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (C.H.H.A.) and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (C.N.I.B.) as well as long-time member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
INTERVIEWS WITH BRUCE HUNTER
Joan Shillington interviews Bruce Hunter for FreeFall Magazine
In 2015, Joan Shillington interviewed Bruce Hunter for FreeFall Magazine, Canada's Magazine of Exquisite Writing. The interview provided a deep dive into Bruce's creative process and inspirations, offering valuable insights into his approach to writing and his thoughts on the craft of storytelling. If you're interested in learning more about Bruce's approach to writing and the stories that have shaped his career, we encourage you to read the interview on FreeFall Magazine's website.
Shannon MacKinnon interviews Bruce for her series, The Artist's Toolbox
In 2016, Bruce was invited to participate in a television production, The Artist's Toolbox, where he was interviewed by Shannon MacKinnon. During the interview, Bruce shared his insights and expertise as an award-winning poet and author, as well as his experiences as a retired professor of Seneca College.
Shannon MacKinnon interviews Bruce for her series, The Artist's Toolbox
Join Shannon MacKinnon as she interviews award-winning poet/author and retired Professor of Seneca College Bruce Hunter.
HONOURS & HIGHLIGHTS
Calgary Public Library's (2017) Author in Residence
In 2017, Bruce had the honour of being selected as the Author in Residence for the Calgary Public Library. As part of this prestigious program, Bruce spent several months at the library, meeting with local writers, leading workshops and providing mentorship to aspiring authors. During his residency, Bruce also contributed to the library's recommended reading list, sharing his favourite books and authors with the Calgary community. You can find the full list on the library's website here.
2017: Guest Speaker: Calgary Women's Literary Club
In 2017, Bruce Hunter was invited to be a guest speaker at the Calgary Women’s Literary Club, an organization that has been promoting literature and supporting local writers since 1906. During his appearance, Bruce shared his insights and experience as a writer, inspiring members of the Literary Club to continue pursuing their passion for literature. You can read more here.
2015: Bruce Hunter presents Russell Thornton for Brick Books
"When Jane Munro’s Blue Sonoma (Brick Books, 2014) and Russell Thornton’s The Hundred Lives (Quattro Books, 2014) appeared on the Griffin prize shortlist during National Poetry Month in April, 2015, I cheered. As a former West Coaster and as a 50 years and counting reader of Canadian poetry, I knew both names. I thought, I’d not have wanted to be on that jury. Munro’s work in Blue Sonoma is the poetry of language stripped bare, yet metaphorically and emotionally rich. Much of Thornton’s The Hundred Lives, is a departure from his earlier works of compressed lyricism. It’s a book that steps out, swaggers and sways in places. It is garrulous but never galootish. What follows is a short appreciation of The Hundred Lives, my recent conversation with Russell and finally, links to reviews of his work, interviews and articles about him."
2015: An Evening of Poetry About Home and Family.
In 2015, Bruce Hunter curated "An Evening of Poetry About Home and Family," a special event that celebrated the power of poetry to explore our deepest emotions and connections. The event featured several talented poets and writers, including Bruce, who shared their work and insights with a captivated audience. Bruce promotes accessibility at his events by providing ASL interpreters and captioning services for those with hearing loss.
2013: Bruce reads from "Towards a Definition of Pornography"
In 2013, Bruce was invited to participate in Concordia University's "Living Creatively: Life Writing Methods of Storytelling, Poetry and Photography" workshop, hosted by the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. Bruce was one of eleven authors who gave readings during the day-long event, which explored the creative process and the power of storytelling.
During his reading, Bruce shared an excerpt from his article "Towards a Definition of Pornography," which was featured in the book A Heart of Wisdom: Life Writing as Empathetic Inquiry. His reading explores the complex issues surrounding pornography and its impact on society.
Thank you to Concordia University and the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling for hosting this inspiring event.
Bruce Hunter reads "Towards a Definition of Pornography"
Bruce Hunter reads “Towards a Definition of Pornography” at Concordia University (Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Faculty of Arts and Science), October 23, 2013.
PRESENTATIONS & WORKSHOPS
Bruce offers engaging presentations and workshops for audiences of all sizes.
If you're interested in booking a presentation or workshop with Bruce, please get in touch to discuss his availability and fees. Bruce is eager to connect with readers and share his passion for writing, and he welcomes the opportunity to work with you. Thank you for your interest!
PROGRAMS & INTERESTS
Bruce is excited to participate in the Union's Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program and the Northern Ontario WITS program. He is always looking for new opportunities to connect with readers and share his love of writing.
As part of the Union's Equity Implementation Plan, Bruce is committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. Bruce identifies as someone living with a disability and is proud to be part of this important initiative.