Fonds P0281 - Susan Briscoe fonds

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Susan Briscoe fonds

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  • Multiple media

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  • 1966 - 2018 (Creation)
    Briscoe, Susan J.

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Physical description

ca. 7.6m of textual records
12,133 digital records (32.3GB)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Susan Jeanne Briscoe (November 13, 1966 - August 30, 2018) was a Canadian writer, teacher,artist, researcher, and mother who lived and worked in Montreal and Sutton, Quebec. She graduated from Dawson College in 1989, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from McGill University in 1991. She completed her Master of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing at Concordia University in 2005. Her thesis, ​Minor Arcana​, is a poetry collection that explores real events of violence and abandonment in the family, within a framework of tarot mysticism and contemplation of the natural world. Her first book of poetry, The Crow’s Vow ​(2010)​,​ chronicles the dissolution of a marriage through observances of nature and seasonal shifts. This work was met with considerable critical acclaim and attention, including interviews and a shortlisting for the Gerald Lampert Award. Susan’s other poetry and prose have appeared in ​Maisonneuve, Event, The Antigonish Review, Matrix, ​and ​Contemporary Verse 2. ​She was the recipient of the Lina Chartrand Award in 2001, a national prize for an emerging woman poet, and was shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards in 2005. Her work is anthologized in ​Desperately Seeking Susans ​(2012) and a collection released by the Sutton Writer’s Group, ​Sprung ​(2005). She lived in Vancouver, British Columbia from 1991-1993 where she worked at Powell Place - a women’s emergency shelter, and volunteered as a Rape Crisis telephone worker with the Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Crisis Centre. Her two sons were born in Montreal in 1993 and 1997. From 1995-1998 she ran a mail-order alternative childrens’ book distribution service called Green House Books out of her home in Montreal. In 1999, she moved with her sons to Sutton, Quebec and began homeschooling. Susan was an active member of the community in Sutton; writing and editing for Le Tour, ​hosting creative writing workshops in her home, acting as an organizer for Tour des Arts, and giving poetry readings at local events. In 2010, she was granted a two week residency at the Banff Centre Wired Writing Studio to develop her work under the mentorship of Pasha Malla. Susan’s artistry was expressed in many mediums including painting, drawing ,photography, and sculpture. She completed a Certificate of Fine Arts Studio at Bishop’s University in 2007. Much of Susan’s work centers around experiences from her own life - her personal and family history, divorce, parenting, abandonment, and her youngest son’s addiction and subsequent career as a circus performer. Her commitment to feminism, environmentalism, and alternative pedagogy are passions which are displayed in her writing, her teaching approaches and her research contributions. She was an advocate for the welfare of women and children, with an emphasis on vegetarianism, breastfeeding, and holistic approaches to education and birth. Her various freelance articles and book reviews appear in publications such as ​Today’s Parent, The Record, Vegetarian Times, The Danforth Review, Books in Canada - The Canadian Review of Books, Matrix, and Kinesis. ​She was also dedicated to supporting and protecting the rights of marginalized groups - specifically the homeless, battered women and Indigenous youth. At Dawson College, where she taught from 2010-2018, Susan was involved in researching, leading, fundraising, and organizing within the First Peoples Initiative program and establishing the ​Journeys ​award.​​Diagnosed with cancer in 2017, she documented her experience and insights on her blog - ​The Death Project, ​which was created to serve as an ongoing resource for living while dying​. ​Upon her passing in 2018, she dedicated funds to the Canada Council for the Arts to establish an award for women writers who are over forty years of age and whose work supports and deals with feminist perspectives, themes, and philosophy.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds highlights Susan Briscoe's professional life as an educator and writer. It consists of records pertaining to her teaching and research work while at Dawson College. A personal records series consists of born-digital photos taken by Susan Briscoe on subjects including: Flora and fauna, family and travel.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Records were transferred to the Concordia University Records Management and Archives in 2021.


Digital records have been extracted, arranged and preserved in three Archival Information Packages (AIPs). These records originate from 3.5" floppy disks and a Google Drive account managed by Susan Briscoe.

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  • English
  • French

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    Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as required by Quebec Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information.

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    Box listings are available.

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    No further accruals are expected.

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