by George J. Dance


Marya Fiamengo (1926-2013). Courtesy Ronsdale Press.

Marya Ekaterina Fiamengo (July 24, 1926 - July 5, 2013)[1] was a Canadian poet, academic, and literary critic.[2]


Fiamengo was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her parents were immigrants from Croatia.[2]

She studied English and creative writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC), earning a B.A. in 1948.[2]

In the late 1950s she returned to UBC, where she completed a poetry collection under the tutelage of Earle Birney. She earned an M.A. in 1962.[2]

Fiamengo taught in the English Department of UBC for more than 30 years, from 1962 until her retirement in 1993.[2] After retiring, she moved to Gibsons, British Columbia, where she died at the age of 86.[1]

She was married to artist Jack Hardman, and had a son, Matthew Dimitri Hardman.[1]


Fiamengo's debut collection was published when she was 31. In subsequent collections she developed an increasingly personal voice and a deepening social engagement.[3]

Milton Acorn and Marya Fiamengo - Literary Red Tories

Milton Acorn and Marya Fiamengo - Literary Red Tories

The Canadian Encyclopedia says that her early work "juxtaposes such diverse spiritual traditions as Orthodox Christianity and the I Ching; it is elliptical and meditative, drawing upon iconographic images." However during "the 1960's Fiamengo's poetic voice transformed as she became interested in feminist and nationalist movements of the time". Finally, although "remaining ardently political, her later volumes are more contemplative and feature her characteristic merging of images drawn from the natural world, classical icons, and ancient liturgy. Her poetry balances a sweeping historical consciousness and an acute commitment to the concerns of her present."[2]


Her poetry was anthologized in the Penguin Book of Canadian Verse.


  • The Quality of Halves, and other poems. Vancouver: Klanak Press, 1958.
  • Paintings (by Ladislas C. Kardos, Ian Seton McNairn, & Marya Fiamengo). Vancouver: Klanak Press, 1963.
  • Overhead at the Oracle: Poems of chance based on the I Ching. Vancouver: Very Stone House, 1969.
  • Silt of Iron (illustrated by Jack Shadbolt). Montreal: Ingluvin Press, 1971.
  • In Praise of Old Women. Ottawa: Valley Editions, 1976; Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press / Valley Editions, 1977.
  • North of the Cold Star: New and selected poems. Oakville, ON: Mosaic Press / Valley Editions, 1978.
  • Patience after Compline. Oakville: Mosaic Press, 1989.
  • White Linen Remembered. Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1996.
  • Visible Living: Poems selected and new (edited by Seymour Mayne, Russell Thornton, & Janice Fiamengo). Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2006.


  • Three Poet Artists : Eldon Grier, P.K. Page, Joe Rosenblatt. Burnaby, BC: Burnaby Art Gallery, 1978.


  • Poets 56: Ten younger English-Canadians. Toronto: Contact Press, 1956.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fiamengo, Marya ABC Bookworld, BC Bookworld. Web, Apr. 7, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Ron Dart, Fiamengo, Marya, Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Foundation, Web, June 14, 2012.
  3. Visible Living, Ronsdale Press, Web, June 14, 2012.
  4. Search results = au:Marya Fiamengo, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 7, 2017.

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