Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT,
Canada. A graduate of the En'owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria's
Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master's Degree in Creative Writing at the
University of British Columbia, Richard currently teaches Creative Writing for Aboriginal Students
at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He is also CBC Radio's Writer in Residence for their North by Northwest Program
Richard's poems, short stories and novellas have been published in anthologies and journals
since 1992. Three of his short stories from Angel Wing Splash Pattern, "Mermaids", "Sky Burial"
and "The Night Charles Bukowski Died" have been narrated by Cree actor Ben Cardinal and
broadcast nationally as radio dramas on CBC. Richard wrote for CBC's North of 60 television
show for two months under their Writer Internship Program and was a script and cultural
consultant with them for four seasons. He recently cowrote the short movie "The Promise"
with Kent Williams and Jason Alexander of Neohaus Filmworks.
Richard is the author of two children's books with the Cree artist, George Littlechild, A Man Called
Raven and What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?, with Children's Book Press,
a novel, The Lesser Blessed, and a collection of his finest short stories, Angel Wing Splash Pattern with Kegedonce Press.
He has performed at both the Winnipeg International Authors' Festival as well as the Vancouver Writers' Festival;
he's been a Literary Mentor at the British Columbia Festival of the Arts (1998) and performed at the 2nd Annual Moose
Jaw Festival of Words, the Aboriginal Voices Festival, the Baltic International Canadian Studies Conference in Riga,
Latvia, and the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies' 2003 Conference in Rovaniemi, Finland as well as the two
Honouring Words Literary Festivals across Canada (2002) and throughout Australia (2003).
Audio (mp3) from Radio plays read by Ben Cardinal on a Virtual iPod
The Night Charles Bukowski Died [11.10 min.]
Mermaids [26.45 min.]
Sky Burial [Part 1] [11.24 min.]
Sky Burial [Part 2] [9.06 min.]
the uranium leaking from port radium and ray rock mines is killing us (read by Richard) [3.08 min.]
Richard's short story, "Dypthia," has been nominated by Prairie Fire
for the Western Magazine Awards.
The German translation of his novel, The Lesser Blessed, (Die Ohne Segen Sind, translated by
Ulrich Plenzdorf) won the Jugendliteraturpreis 2001 at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the juvenile category, the highest award for a
translation awarded by the German government.
What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? was placed on the 1999 - 2000 Canadian Children's Book Center "Our Choice" Recommended List.
Richard was awarded "The Writer of the Year" Award for Children's Literature in 1999 by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers for our
children's book A Man Called Raven.
Richard received the Canadian Author's Association Air Canada Award in 1997, "honoring
a young (under the age of thirty) Canadian writer deemed to show the
most promise for the future in the field of literary creation."
"[Van Camp] does not stumble over nostalgia or romanticism or careless
diction. He loves words "his own, his Nation's, rock and roll's" and slips
perfect ones into atrociously profane and perfect sentences"
-- Lorna Jackson for The Malahat Review (Summer, 1997)
"The Lesser Blessed is a coming of age tale told in photo-booth snapshots
and raunchy one-liners. It is poetry and prose and locker-room boasts and
puking-your-guts-out shame. It's sex that transcends tragedy. It is loud
and rude and high. It's a shaker."
-- John Burns for the Georgia Straight (Nov. 28, 1996)
"Van Camp's novel introduces a new terrain and language that nonetheless
has roots in the fiction of Momaday, of Leslie Marmon Silko and James
Welch, while simultaneously exploring the same subject matter as the
contemporary stories of Sherman Alexie, Adrian Louis, and Lorne Simon. The
Lesser Blessed is also a harbinger of a sophisticated Arctic literature,
and of a bold new direction for contemporary Native literature. By all
accounts, it is a masterful achievement."
-- Dr. Geary Hobson