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Posted: Friday May 17, 2013
Jack Winter

Jack Winter has taught literature, modern theatre, and creative writing at several Canadian and British universities, including York University and Bristol University. From 1961 to 1967, he was resident playwright at George Luscombe’s Toronto Workshop Productions, where he wrote seven stage plays. In a second tenure with TWP, he wrote five more.

Winter has published five books of poetry as well as a literary memoir, The Tallis Bag (Oberon Press, 2012), and a second anthology of plays, Party Day and Other Plays (Starburst, forthcoming 2014).

His poems, plays, fiction, and feature articles have been published internationally in magazines and newspapers, including Performing Arts in Canada, Theatre Research in Canada, The Guardian, Canadian Theatre Review, and Canadian Literature. His many literary awards include the Toronto Telegram Theatre Award for Best New Canadian Play, the Canadian Film Award for Best Documentary Film, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Subject.


November 2015 : “When the Emperor arrived among us, it was as if we had been expecting him.”

June 2015 : Now Available! The Talonbooks Fall 2015 Catalogue

January 2014 : Our TWP Plays Have Arrived!


Tales of the Emperor

“an elaborate fantasy [like] a set of handcrafted nesting boxes … Winter skilfully interweaves fact and fiction … imaginative writing … Tales of the Emperor is an admirable achievement”
Winnipeg Free Press

Tales of the Emperor claims to be ‘a novel … the birth-to-death story of the first Emperor of China’, but this word is quite inadequate. [Winter’s] supposition is that what we believe or imagine happened is as likely to be true as any ‘official’ history and so his narrative contains poems, songs, myths, fantasies, dreams, aphorisms, hearsay, fabrication, and downright lies – and even the lies might turn out to be the truth. … Read and learn, I say, and you’ll end up wiser, even more confused, and highly entertained, I insist. … Read it and weep, I say – and raise a laugh as well.”
Peace News

“Histories are written using histories, and canons are created, just as surely in the lives and works of performers and companies as in playwriting. Jack Winter’s own story fulfils all the requirements for canonization, and quite rightly. [His work] reminds us of the complexities of the artistic life … in particular, the powerful relationship between international, national, and local politics. But it also reminds us that all histories, any histories, are first of all personal.”
– Stephen Johnson, Theatre Research in Canada


My TWP Plays

“The TWP book is really special: an anthology of original works from the early days of contemporary theatre making in Toronto, gathered together in the context of the originating theatre company, and lucidly contextualized by the playwright … this is a really excellent addition to our understanding of the birth of our modern Canadian theatre.”
– Peter McKinnon, professor of Theatre, York University

“a great project and a major addition to knowledge.”
– Ric Knowles, professor of Theatre Studies, University of Guelph and editor of Canadian Theatre Review

“A long overdue missing piece in Canada’s theatrical history.”
– Stephen Johnson, Director, Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, University of Toronto

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