Don Hannah was the University of New Brunswick's tenth writer-in-residence for the 1992-1993 school year. Hannah was born in Moncton, New Brunswick in June 1951, and remained in New Brunswick until he finished his first post secondary degree at Mount Allison University in English and fine arts. He then left for graduate studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, where he remained to study for one year. However, Hannah did not return to New Brunswick after his education and now considers home to be in Toronto or the south shore of Nova Scotia. In the 1970s he had his first poems published, and since then he has published multiple plays and novels. He recieved the Chalmers Award for Creativity and Excellence in the Arts for his first production, Wedding Script, produced in 1986. Another play titled The Wooden Hill was the first Canadian play to recieve an AT&T Onstage Award, and in 1998 his novel The Wise and Foolish Virgins was shortlisted for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award.
Despite choosing a new home for himself outside of New Brunswick, New Brunwick was Don Hannah's home during his most formative years as a youth, and the province appears occasionally in his literature. Allegedly when asked why he left behind his home town of Shediac and native province of New Brunswick, Hannah stated, “It wasn’t easy to be gay in New Brunswick in the 1970s, which was when I left. After I became involved with theatre, it made little sense to go back. I’d had my plays produced in other parts of Canada for nearly 15 years before there was even a reading of one of my plays back home. I’ve written about the place fairly consistently − my last play was set in New Brunswick in the 18th century − and I was very happy to work at Live Bait Theatre this fall. But, as one of my characters said, ‘I’m From Away, now.’”
UA Case 191; Section 2: Don Hannah
© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2014