Robert Dickson made a significant contribution to French-language poetry and to the Franco-Ontarian artistic community for more than 25 years.
Dickson was recognized with a Governer General’s Award in 2002 for his book Humains paysages en temps de paix relative (Human Landscape in Times of Relative Peace).
Born in Toronto, he loved French and studied in Quebec. He taught in Paris before settling in Sudbury. He taught French-Canadian literature and creative writing at Laurentian University for many years. Along with poetry, he wrote songs for the Franco-Ontarian group CANO in the 1970s, and translated both French and English including the translation of Tomson Highway’s play Kiss of the Fur Queen to French. He published six collections of his poetry such as Grand ciel bleu par ici. He received many awards including the Prix Nouvel-Ontario in 1998 and an honorary doctorate from Laurentian University in 2006.
Dickson died in March 2007 from brain cancer. His daughter Tiphanie Dickson wrote at his death, ”He was humble, politically engaged, fiercely intelligent, and cared deeply about the people whom he taught, for whom he wrote and performed his art, and whose work he supported with genuine enthusiasm and pride.”