Katz, Gertrude

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Katz, Gertrude

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Gertrude Katz, social activist, teacher, writer, and poet, was born November 7, 1929, in Montreal, Quebec. In the 1960s Katz took an active interest in education reform in Quebec, and was involved with the Committee for Neutral Schools for a period of five years. As a member of this committee she fought for change in the province’s educational school system, which at that time was divided along religious lines. Katz met Dr. Henry Morgentaler in 1965 while part of the Committee for Neutral Schools, and she remained his friend and associate for many years, helping to form the Morgentaler's Montreal Defence Committee in 1972-1973. Katz was also Dr. Morgentaler's Quebec election campaign manager in 1972-1973, and in 1972 she helped form the Montreal Branch of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League. Katz was the Controller for the Morgentaler Clinics in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Fredericton, Halifax, and St. John's from 1978 to 2005. Katz taught creative writing on a volunteer basis at the St. Vincent de Paul federal penitentiary. Her work at the penitentiary resulted in the publication of The Time Gatherers (1970). Katz’s other books include Poems for 27 Cents, with an introduction by Irving Layton (1961), Through Mist, Weeds, and Water (1973), and Duet (1982). Katz has published extensively and her works has appeared in The Canadian Forum, Fiddlehead, Evidence, Booster & Blaster, Feminist Communication Collective, Viewpoints, Anthanor, and Humanist in Canada. Two of her poems were anthologized in Love Where The Nights Are Long, edited by Irving Layton (1962), and Essential Words, edited by Seymour Mayne (1985). Katz began a writer’s workshop at the Powerhouse Gallery (now La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse) in 1973-1974. She was a long-time friend and one time business partner of Irving Layton. She is married to Carl Katz and has two daughters.


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Created November 2015.




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