Marvin Francis

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Brian Hubner
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(2009)

Finding aid encoded by V. Zvonik (2009)
Finding aid written in English.



Collection Summary

Repository:
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Creator:
Marvin Francis

Title:
Marvin Francis fonds

Dates:
1985-2005

Quantity:
2 books; 9 audiocassettes; 6 mini cassettes; 7 CD's; 6 VHS cassettes; 2 mini digital video cassettes; 8 floppy discs (3.5")

Identification:
Mss 247, Tc 141, Pc 250, El 12 (A.09-26)

English

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Biography of Marvin Francis

Marvin Francis was an Aboriginal poet, playwright, author and visual artist based in Winnipeg. With his 2002 book, City Treaty, he established himself as a unique voice in the Manitoba arts scene, one that was abruptly silenced by his death in January 2005 from cancer.

Born and raised on the Heart Lake First Nation reserve in Northern Alberta in 1955, Francis began his working life after quitting school in 1971. He spent much of the following decade traveling across the route of the Trans Canada Highway doing odd jobs. Arriving in Winnipeg in the late 1980s, he studied at the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba, where he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees. City Treaty, the work adapted from his M.A. thesis, earned him considerable acclaim for his experimental yet realistic approach to the writing of poetry. This was solidified in 2003 when he received the John Hirsch Award as Manitoba's most promising writer.

Francis was quick to expand his artistic horizons. He wrote and/or directed radio plays for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, such as The Sniffer and Punching Out Judy, that reflected his unique perspective on Manitoba urban life. Francis also expanded into writing short stories (such as "Pencil Beauty" in the 2005 Manitoba Aboriginal Writers Collective anthology Bone Memory), designing visual art and creating virtual Internet exhibits. He continued writing poetry, however, and was preparing a second collection for release at the time of his death. He was also active politically within the arts community of Manitoba. A founding member of the Manitoba Aboriginal Writers Collective, he was also a board member of the Urban Shaman art gallery and the Manitoba Writers Guild. In these areas as well as his art, he was a passionate supporter of Canadian Native people and the urban poor of Winnipeg. He passed away on January 8, 2005 at the age of 49.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

This accession consists of the audio and video collections of his poetry and plays.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged

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Restrictions on Access

No restrictions on access.

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Restrictions on Use

No restrictions on use.

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Francis' partner, Cindy Singer, following Francis' death.

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Other Finding Aids

Mss 247 (A.06-51)

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Mss 247
BoxFolder
1 Books

  • Francis, Marvin. Bush camp. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2008
  • Subconscious city curatted by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, February 8 - May 11, 2008, The Winnipeg, Art Gallery

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El 12
Marvin's poetry

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Tc 141 []
BoxFolder
11 Remembering Marvin 2
2 Johnny Sidewalk
3 Remembering Marvin, January 12, 2005
4 The Sniffer
5 Marvin Francis - Slam
6 Aboriginal language lessons
7 Marvin Francis - The Cockfight
8 Marvin Francis - Poetry
9 Marvin's Service
10 Marvin Francis, April 2004

(1 CD)

11 Marvin Francis - Poetry Reading - Bone Memory; Vibes & Verse, October 25, November, 2004

(1 CD)

12 Fuzed: poetry and music - dedicated to the memory of Marvin Francis, 2005

(1 CD)

13 Rockaby - Rough 1, Rough II, Brechttfest, 2002

(1 CD)

14 WAWC - Soup for the Hood , 2001

(1 CD)

15 CBC Story, January 10, 2005

(1 CD)

16 Marvin Francis - Soup for the Hood

(1 CD)

17 Marvin Francis - Scabby Boy - part 1

(1 mini cassette)

18-22 Marvin Francis Interview, April 20, 2002

(5 mini cassettes)

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Pc 250
BoxFolder
11 Marvin Francis - Self Portrait Video

(1 VHS cassette)

2 Marvin Francis - Crow Hop, etc.

(1 VHS cassette)

3 Marvin Francis - Play

(1 VHS cassette)

4 Marvin Francis - Slam

(1 VHS cassette)

5 Marvin Francis - Sniffer, 1,2

(1 VHS cassette)

6 Marvin Francis - Traces

(1 VHS cassette)

7-8 Marvin Workshop Camera Tape

(2 mini digital video cassette)

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