FRIESEN, Bernice

Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult, Poetry

"According to her publisher’s note, Bernice Friesen divides her time between Saskatoon and Hornby Island which, judging from these poems, should be renamed Horny Island." -- Gary Geddes

Bernice Friesen of Hornby Island was born in rural Saskatchewan and has degrees in visual art and education from the University of Saskatchewan. Her lively collection Sex, Death & Naked Men (Coteau $8.95) opens with a poem about God’s penis and concludes with a photo of the author in a wedding dress. Her young-adult novel The Seasons are Horses (Thistledown, 1995) was a finalist for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. The Book of Beasts (Coteau 2007) is the coming of age story of Seamus (James) Wilberforce Young, a half-English and half-Irish boy who is taken to his mother's Irish village in 1965 after her mother's lengthy alienation from her family. Recently Seamus' sister was killed in a car accident; and his mother soon decides to leave her husband. At his grandmother's bidding, James pursues the priesthood only to undergo a loss of faith. The Book of Beasts won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and was included in the Globe and Mail's Top 100 Books of 2007.


The Book of Beasts (Coteau, 2007) $21.00 978-1-55050-387-1
Sex, Death, and Naked Men. Regina: Coteau Books, 1998.
The Seasons are Horses. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Thistledown Press, 1995.


Second Prize, Sterling Writing Awards, poetry, 1998.
Runner-up, League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Contest, 1997.
Shortlisted, CBC Radio Canadian Literary Awards, for "Aviatrix," 1997.
Vicky Metcalf Award, Canadian Authors Association, for best short story: "The Seasons are Horses," 1996.
Shortlisted, Tilden Canadian Literary Awards for Non-fiction manuscript: "Beijing in Four Days," 1996.

[BCBW 2008] "Poetry" "Kidlit"