Video created to celebrate the 2012 Surrey Civic Treasure award to Ed Griffin, writer and teacher of creative writing.
Ed Griffin teaches creative writing in a federal prison in Western Canada. He taught the same subject at Waupun prison, a maximum security prison in Wisconsin. He now teaches at the Phoenix Centre, a drug and alcohol center. (Phoenix Society)
He began his professional life in 1962 as a Roman Catholic priest in Cleveland, Ohio. There he became active in the civil rights movement and marched in Selma with Doctor Martin Luther King. Removed from a suburban parish for his activities, he served for three years in Cleveland’s central city. His years in the Roman Catholic Priesthood are the subject of his next novel.
After leaving the priesthood in 1968 he earned a masters degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was elected to Milwaukee's city council in 1972.
Griffin and his wife, Kathy, opened a commercial greenhouse in suburban Milwaukee in 1976. They lived where they worked and shared the joys of raising children and growing flowers. In 1988 the family, Ed and Kathy, Kevin and Kerry, moved to British Columbia, Canada, where Griffin helped establish a dynamic writing community in the city of Surrey. He is the founder of Western Canada's largest writer’s conference, the Surrey International Writers’ Conference.
He has published poetry, plays, short stories and a newspaper column. His writing has won several awards and the American Humanist Society has honored him as the teacher of a prize-winning inmate writer. Griffin believes that all the arts, including writing, should be encouraged in prison. "As Aristotle said, 'art releases unconscious tensions and purges the soul.'"
Ed improves his craft with the Rainwriters' Critique Group.
Read Ed's interview at the Inspiration Forum.
Read about Ed in Vancouver Magazine or in the Surrey Leader