Gerry Shikatani_Color_Lesnik A

Gerry Shikatani is a unique writer and language artist respected for his achievements in a wide range of works. He has been publishing his poetry for over four decades and also published short fiction and essays, created language-based visual and text/sound compositions, and collaborated in experimental film. Paper Doors: an anthology of Japanese-Canadian poetry (1981) which he conceived, and with translator David Aylward, co-edited almost four decades ago, stands as a singluar seminal work in the evolution of literary art by writers of colour in Canada.

He has written with no less impact in the media - primarily as a culinary critic and travel writer for over thirty years.

For almost the last three decades most of his literary and culinary writing has been set in Europe, and most recently in Spain and especially Granada the setting of Lorca's Granada and other workshops he now directs. He was based in Granada during the writing of his poetry/texts and image work, First Book, Three Gardens of AndalucĂ­a.

He is known for his love for and devotion to mentoring and editorial/creative consulting to emerging and established writers which has now become a major part of his own creative oeuvre. He brings to this, the kind
of critical approach that has often made him an adjudicator and judge for arts councils across Canada, plus twice judge for the CBC Literary Competition (poetry) and most recently for The Governor General's Awards in Fiction in 2010. He first began teaching in college and university creative writing workshops in the early 1980's.

He is recognized in Canada and Spain as Canada's expert on Spanish gastronomy, listed on www.foodsfromspain.com of the Spanish Government. In 2009, he was decorated with the Officer's Cross of the Order of Civilian Merit, granted by King Carlos I of Spain, for his dedicated writing on Spanish gastronomy and culture. This made him the only Canadian writer to enter the highest order of Spain for non-Spanish nationals, after the late Leonard Cohen.

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