1976 B.A. Carleton University
1978 M.A. Carleton University
1984 Ph.D. Edinburgh University
1984-1990 Assistant Professor of English, Memorial University of Newfoundland
1990-1995 Associate Professor of English, Memorial University of Newfoundland
1995-present Professor of English, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Born in Twillingate, Newfoundland (now NL), in the last millennium, I am almost as old as the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Forces beyond my control (my parents) took me to the mainland at an early age. I peaked in grade 6, nearly failed grade 9, but recovered by the end of high school in Mississauga, Ontario.
Photo credit: Mary Walsh, 2015
I completed my B.A. in English with 1st-class honours at Carleton University in Ottawa in 1976. While there I took a writing seminar with Mordecai Richler. I stuck around to complete my M.A. thesis on Anthony Burgess in 1978.
My connection with Memorial dates back to 1978 when Dave Pitt hired me to teach Poetry 2003 and Satire 3001 in Grand Falls. (I've since taught his son and his granddaughter.) My first-ever class honoured me with a grub-bucket and a Ray Guy book. I then taught Restoration and 18th-Century Literature at Concordia in Montreal the year the Habs won their 4th straight Stanley Cup — 1979.
After spending a year as a freelance writer in Ottawa, I took up the offer of a scholarship to do my Ph.D. at Edinburgh University. In 1984, a month after completing my degree in Scotland, I started teaching full-time at Memorial in St. John's. Now, more than thirty years later, it's been a long trip around the bay.
Literary connections: I met Anthony Burgess in Edinburgh in the early 1980s & gave Ian Rankin his first Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. I interviewed A.S. Byatt for CBC Radio when she won the Booker Prize in 1990. Alice Munro and I share the same great-great-great-great-great-grandparents which makes us both related to Scottish writer James Hogg.
Donald W. Nichol His Website