About

Brenda Schmidt is a writer, visual artist, and naturalist who has lived in Saskatchewan for most of her life. Author of five books of poetry and a book of essays, her work has been published, performed, shown and broadcast across Canada and was part of a poetry installation at the University of Exeter (UK). She was the associate poetry editor for Grain (Fall 2015), the 2011 Mackie Lake House writer-in-residence (BC), a featured writer at the 2011 Talking Fresh conference at Luther College at the University of Regina (SK), a faculty member at the Fernie Writers Conference in 2007 and 2008 (BC), a featured writer at Writers West at Okanagan College in 2006 (BC), a poetry workshop leader (BC), three-day nonfiction workshop leader (St. Peter's College, 2016), a reviewer of fiction, poetry and nonfiction for Quill & Quire, a manuscript evaluator for the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, a juror for provincial and national arts organizations, and has served on the board of directors for the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild and the Sage Hill Writing Experience. She is one of the artists featured in the book Celebrating Saskatchewan Artists (Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, 2006). Brenda was finalist for the Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry in 2001 and 2013 and a finalist for nonfiction in 2013, winner of the Alfred G. Bailey Prize for poetry in 2003, a finalist for the CBC Literary Award for poetry a number of times, and shortlisted for the 2013 Lieutenant Governor's Arts Award for Saskatchewan Artist. Her work is included in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: Tenth Anniversary Edition (Tightrope Books, 2017). She founded the Ore Samples Writers Series in 2016. On April 1, 2017, she became the seventh Saskatchewan Poet Laureate and completed her term on December 31, 2018. Her latest book Culverts Beneath the Narrow Road was published by Thistledown Press in 2018.


Brenda grew up on a farm in the Coteau Hills of Saskatchewan. A former nurse, she also has a BA, English, from the University of Waterloo. While living in the north, she worked for a time as a freelance reporter and photographer, wrote a birding column and volunteered in a recycling centre. Brenda's writing and painting processes have always been closely linked. Her paintings hung in solo and group exhibitions in Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the 1990s. Lately she has been exploring paths between the natural and digital worlds. Much of the work comes out of road trips and time spent wandering down the backroads. A birder and long-time member of Nature Saskatchewan, she’s been actively involved in citizen science projects for many years. 

Contact information.