David
Carpenter 

 
      

Biography


Dave with fish

David Carpenter was conceived in Saskatoon and born in Edmonton, where he grew up on Saskatchewan stories.

He moved to Saskatoon in 1975 and began writing the following year.

      He spent 4 years working on a novel entitled The Loving of Michael Goggins, a modern version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. His main characters were a Titania-like young woman, a pudgy Bottom-like man, and an homme fatal disc jockey. It was a story of ill-fated love, despair, romantic disenchantment and all those youthful, fun emotions. He finished the novel in 1980 and it was rejected in 18 days, a Canadian indoor record.

      That same year he finished his first short story and sent it to Saturday Night. They phoned him one evening when he was in his kitchen standing beneath a high beam. He had often tried to jump high enough to touch this beam, but he could never quite reach it. The editor told him that Saturday Night would like to "buy" his story. He had never heard that sentence uttered before. The editor asked him if $2,000 would be all right, and he told the man yes, that would be all right. Carpenter gave this reply in a tone suggesting that this sort of thing happened with boring regularity. When the phonecall ended, he leapt up into the air and slapped he beam above him and returned, very slowly, to earth.

      His novel Niceman Cometh was his 10th book, a story about a Titania-like single mom, a pudgy Bottom-like dreamer, and a flesh-foolish disc jockey in the Saskatoon of the 1990s. He launched a new book of fiction in the fall of 2009, a collection of novellas entitled Welcome to Canada.

       Carpenter is currently at work on Volume One of The Literary History of Saskatchewan. He also just finished working on a nonfiction book, A Hunter's Confession, about the rise and fall of hunting as a pastime in North America.

       Carpenter’s writing credo is as follows (and it may not apply to poets): Most writers must learn to make a pact with dullness. Not boredom, or lack of imagination or passion, but dullness of routine. Keep your daily appointment with the computer screen and keep your ass on the chair until you’ve reached your daily quota. However rich your inner life may be, seek also the dullard within.

 

Media Writing and Performance


- has been interviewed many times on CBC radio and TV. This includes some interviews with Peter Gzowski and Shelagh Rogers and several readings of his work on both of their radio shows.

- a one-hour Ideas program for CBC Radio on the art of fly fishing was broadcast April 14, 1993 and re-broadcast several times throughout the summer and fall. He has since appeared several times on Ideas to speak about Western Canadian writers and regional identity.

- his work has twice been featured on CBC's The Arts Tonight with Eleanor Wachtel.

- several films have been made about Carpenter and his work. See sepecilly Down to Earth, Episode 12, by Zephyr Films Limited; and Through the Eyes of a Writer: Interior and Exterior Landscapes, by Reel Eye Media, Inc.

- has published many reviews over the years, most recently in The Globe & Mail, Canadian Literature, and the NeWest Review. He also published an anthology of Alberta writing (with Oberon) entitled Wild Rose Country.

- former fiction editor for GRAIN Magazine.

 


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