Sandy Shreve has written, edited or co-edited eight books of poetry and two chapbooks covering a wide range of subjects – from work (library assistant, secretary, deck hand on a freighter) and history (the expulsion of the Acadians and the story of nurse and spy Sara Emma Edmonds Seeley) to Mary Pratt paintings, Toulouse-Lautrec lithographs, disability and the environment. Her poetry has won or been shortlisted for several awards and is widely anthologized.
Sandy’s community contributions for the literary arts include founding BC’s Poetry in Transit program (which has been recognized with a Literary Location on Alan Twigg’s Literary Map of BC), and serving on various awards juries, including the peer assessment committee for the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. A long-time member of the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union, she was also involved in organizing the first Mayworks festivals in Vancouver.
Along with Kate Braid and Jane Eaton Hamilton, she founded Sex, Death and Madness, which met in Vancouver for more than a decade, to discuss issues of importance to women writers and artists. As well, with Kate and others, Sandy started the Compossible Poetry Circle, which – taking Molly Peacock’s advice in How To Read a Poem and Start a Poetry Circle – meets four times a year – at the solstice and the equinox.
Sandy is now retired and has been living on Pender Island, BC since 2012. She spends most of her time exploring the possibilities of photo art and, more recently, acrylic painting. (Read more about Sandy’s visual art.) She is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Federation of BC Writers, the Community Arts Council of Saanich Peninsula, the Southern Gulf Islands Arts Council and the Victoria Arts Council.
Her archives are held by Special Collections at Simon Fraser University.
Born in Quebec, and raised in Sackville, NB, Sandy has a BA in history from the University of New Brunswick and has lived in British Columbia since 1971. She has also lived in Fredericton, NB and briefly in Halifax, Nova Scotia; North Rustico, PEI; Victoria, BC and a tiny village called Bardou in France.
After working at Simon Fraser University for 15 years (the last eight providing administrative support for the Women’s Studies’ Department’s credit and community outreach programs) she changed career paths to become Communications Manager for the Legal Services Society (BC’s legal aid provider).
Sandy has also worked as a secretary (SFU), union coordinator (Association of University and College Employees at SFU), library assistant (Vancouver Public Library) and reporter (Vancouver Sun and Victoria Times Colonist).