Howard Norman has taught in the MFA program at the University of Maryland since 1989, and in spring 2003, he was the Writer in Residence at Goucher College. He divides his time between Washington D.C. and Vermont. A graduate of Western Michigan University, he spent several years living, working, and traveling through the Canadian Arctic and Sub-Arctic, learning various regional Indian dialects and recording folktales from the Cree, Inuit, and Algonquin traditions. These stories became the basis for his children's books such as The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese and Trickster and the Fainting Birds. Norman's novels and short stories are also set in the regions of Canada and the far northern United States. His first two novels, The Northern Lights and The Bird Artist, were both finalists for the National Book Award. The Bird Artist was named one of Time magazine's Best Five Books of 1994, won the New England Booksellers Association Prize in Fiction, and brought him a Lannan Literary Award. In 1978, Norman put together a collection, The Wishing Bone Cycle: Narrative Poems of the Swampy Cree Indians, and won a Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by the Academy of American Poets. Recent works include The Haunting of L (2002), My Famous Evening (2004), and In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic (2005).
Norman was appointed as a Marsh professor in 2006. His visit to the campus during the first three weeks of September involved regular visits with students in anthropology and linguistics. He also spoke to students in the English course, ?The Great White North: An Introduction to Canadian Culture, - discussing the Inuit language and literature. Canadian Studies Director and Assistant Professor of English Paul Martin, Paul.Martin@uvm.edu, are discussing the potential for Norman to offer a short intensive course in this area in the coming years of his appointment.
For more information: http://www.pshares.org/issues/article.cfm?prmarticleID=4377