Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and multidisciplinary artist and the author of 21 books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His novel Yiddish for Pirates won the 2017 Leacock Medal for Humour, the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Fiction and was a Scotiabank Giller Prize and Governor General’s Award finalist. His latest poetry collection is No TV for Woodpeckers. His work has appeared widely in journals, including Poetry (Chicago), The Walrus, Granta, and Readers’ Digest. A finalist for the National Magazine Awards (Poetry), he is a three-time recipient of Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year, has also received the Hamilton Arts Award for Literature and has co-won the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the K.M. Hunter Arts Award. He is one of the judges for the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize. He has taught creative writing at a number of colleges and universities and currently teaches writing to at-risk youth in Hamilton through the ArtForms program. His writing has been published in hundreds of magazine and journals and his writing, music, media works and visuals have been presented and broadcast internationally.
His interactive writing installation using old typewriters and guitar processors was featured during 2016-2017 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and his visual and textual work has been featured in several art exhibitions. A PhD in music composition, Barwin has been Writer-in-Residence at Western University and Young Voices E-Writer-in-Residence at the Toronto Public Library and is 2017-2018 writer-in-residence at McMaster University and the Hamilton Public Library.
Born in Northern Ireland to South African parents of Ashenazi descent, Barwin lives in Hamilton, Ontario. He has never been Governor of Louisiana.