David Arnason 2001

David Arnason in 2001. Photo by Arni Hjartarson. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

David Arnason (born 1940) is a Canadian poet, academic, and prose author.


Arnason was born in Gimli, Manitoba,[1] the eldest of 7 children,[2] of Baldwin and Gudrun Arnason.[1] He is of Icelandic descent, and often writes about the Icelandic community in Canada.

He attended the University of Manitoba (U of M), where he received a B.A. in 1961 and M.A. in 1969, and the University of New Brunswick (UNB), where he received a Ph.D. in 1984.[1]

He has taught at the U of M since 1973,[1] and was head of the English Department from 1997 to 2006.[3] He was Acting Head of the Department of Icelandic Language and Literature at the U of M from 1998 to 2006.[4] His archives are held at the U of M.[5]

He has also taught Canadian literature and creative writing in Trier, Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Tasmania.[6]

Arnason co-founded the Journal of Canadian Fiction with John Moss in 1972.[7] He was a co-founders of Queenston House Press in Winnipeg, and has been an editor of Turnstone Press in Winnipeg since 1975. He was chairman of the Literary Press Group and a member of the executive of the Association of Canadian Publishers. He served on the Manitoba Arts Council, 1985-1987.

Arnason was married to Carol Dahlstrom and has 3 children.[1] He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with his partner, Mhari Mackintosh.


The Imagined City, edited by Arnason and Mhari Mackintosh, won both the Mary Scorer Book Award, for best book by a Manitoba publisher, and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award in 2005.[8]

Arnason's novel King Jerry was nominated for a Stephen Leacock Medal.[8]



  • Marsh Burning. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1980.
  • Skrag. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1987.


  • King Jerry: A novel. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 2001.
  • The Demon Lover. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 2002.
  • Baldur's Song: A saga. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 2010.

Short fictionEdit

  • Fifty Stories and a Piece Of Advice. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1982.
  • The Circus Performers' Bar. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1984.
  • The Happiest Man in the World, and other stories. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1989.
  • The Pagan Wall. Vancouver : Talonbooks, 1992.
  • The Dragon and the Dry Goods Princess (stories). Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1994.
  • If Pigs Could Fly: Stories. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1995.
  • Selected for You: The stories of David Arnason. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 2013.


  • Isolation in Canadian literature. Toronto: Macmillan, 1975.
  • The Icelanders. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1981.
  • The Development of Prairie Realism: Robert J. Stead, Douglas Durkin, Martha Ostenso and Frederick Philip Grove. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1981.
  • The New Icelanders: A North American community. Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone, 1994.


  • Nineteenth Century Canadian Stories. Toronto: Macmillan, 1976.
  • The Imagined City: A literary history of Winnipeg (edited by David Arnason & Mhari Mackintosh). Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone Press, 2005.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[9]

See alsoEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Biographical Sketch, David Arnason fonds, University of Manitoba. Web, Mar. 26, 2017.
  2. My Studio: David Arnason, Turnstone Press, May 1, 2014. Web, Mar. 26, 2017.
  3. David Arnason, Faces of the Icelandic Community, Winnipeg Free Press, November 24, 2012. Web, Mar. 27, 2017.
  4. A Brief Hitory of the Department, Department of Icelandic Language and Literature, University of Manitoba. Web, Mar. 26, 2017.
  5. David Arnason fonds, University of Manitoba. Web, Mar. 26, 2017.
  6. David Arnason, Talonbooks, Mar. 23, 2010. Web, Mar. 26, 2017.
  7. By Elizabeth Waterston, Rapt in Plaid: Canadian Literature and Scottish Tradition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003,41.
  8. 8.0 8.1 David Arnason, Thin Air, Winnipeg International Writers' Festival 2012, Web, June 29, 2012.
  9. Search results = au:David Arnason, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Centre Inc. Web, Apr. 20, 2014.

External links Edit

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