Member Profile

Ken McGoogan

Photo: Sheena Fraser McGoogan

In 2017, Ken McGoogan published Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage. The book builds on his four previous acclaimed narratives about Arctic exploration: Fatal Passage, Ancient Mariner, Lady Franklin's Revenge, and Race to the Polar Sea. These works earned him the Writers' Trust of Canada Biography Prize, the Canadian Authors' Association History Award, the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Pierre Berton Award for Popular History, and an American Christopher Award for "a work of artistic excellence that the affirms the highest values of the human spirit." Ken's other books include the novel Kerouac's Ghost, and the nonfiction bestsellers How the Scots Invented Canada, 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, and Celtic Lightning. 

Before moving mainly to books, Ken worked as a journalist for two decades (Toronto Star, Montreal Star, Calgary Herald). He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Toronto's Ryerson University and a master's degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He has taught writing for a dozen years, and in 2010 won an award for teaching excellence from the University of Toronto. Ken made a cameo appearance in the docudrama based on his book Fatal Passage. He served as vice-chair, chair, and past-chair of the Public Lending Right Commission. Ken teaches narrative nonfiction at University of Toronto, and also in the low-residency master's program in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King's College in Halifax. To find out more (possibly than you ever wanted to know), check his website.

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