12 April 1929 Cologne) Henry is a writer and editor who has
published 16 volumes of poetry, six books of plays, a non-fiction
book on Canada, two anthologies of plays intended for use in high
schools, and numerous essays and pieces of short fiction.
He first came to
national attention with the controversial literary/political
journal Edge (Edmonton 1963 – Montreal 1969). Beissel's
internationally successful Inuk and the Sun ("a mythic
masterpiece", Sherrill Grace) premiered at the Stratford
Festival of Canada in 1973. This was followed by a U.S. premiere
in 1977 at The Other Theatre in Chicago's Bernard Horwich Jewish
Community Center with a musical score by Douglas L Lieberman. The
Other Theatre also commissioned Under Coyote's Eye and
performed it at the Field Museum of Natural History. Beissel's
work has been translated into many languages.
Beissel had a long
teaching career in English Literature, and later in Creative
Writing, which started as a Teaching Fellow at the University of
Toronto. He taught at the University of Munich (1960–62)), the
University of Alberta (1962–64), and Concordia University
(1966–96), from which he retired as Distinguished Emeritus
Professor of English.
He lives with his
wife, Arlette Francière, in Ottawa.