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 Ojibwa 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 humor for the National Film Board of Canada.

He has traveled to sixteen countries around the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature. 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 storyteller in whatever form, he co-created and for three years was the head writer for Mixed Blessings, a television comedy series. He also contributed scripts to four other popular Canadian television series. In 2007, a made-for-tv movie, 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 aired on APTN, it opened the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Dreamspeakers Film Festival in Edmonton. In 2011 and 2012, he wrote the script for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.

The last few years has seen him proudly serve as the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Michigan, the University of Western Ontario, University of Luneburg (Germany), Ryerson University, as well as a host of Canadian theater companies: Cahoots Theatre, Blyth Theatre etc. From 1994–97, he proudly served as the Artistic Director of Canada’s premier Native theater company, Native Earth Performing Arts.

In 2007, Annick Press published his first YA novel, The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, about an Ojibwa vampire. It has since been reissued as a graphic novel with moody illustrations that capture the chilling theme of the story.

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 humor, Me Funny.

His 2010 novel, Motorcycles & Sweetgrass, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for fiction. Since then, he has written a book of essays and a play.

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.

Annick Press books
by Drew Hayden Taylor