“Richard was formative to my Toronto experience. His conspiratorial intimacy, brave wit, deep feeling, and love for the outsiders meant a lot to me. ‘It’s a hard world for little things’.” – Jon Davies
We are all grieved to hear of the passing of Richard Murray (R.M.) Vaughan, a ubiquitous and distinctive voice in Canadian literature and media art, known for his sometimes cutting wit and honesty, and his unflagging support for his community – especially for young and emerging writers. Richard was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, where he earned a BA and a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick. He lived and worked in Toronto, Berlin, and Montreal, and was recently the writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick for the 2019–20 season. In 1994–95, Richard was playwright-in-residence at Buddies in Bad Times, and he published constantly in many forms, including poetry, fiction, stage plays, journalism, and art. His writings have been included in innumerable anthologies of fiction, poetry, and essays. Some notable books include A Selection of Dazzling Scarves (ECW, 1996), 96 tears (in my jeans) (Broken Jaw Press, 1997), and Bright Eyed: Insomnia and its Cultures (2015)
Richard was well known throughout the LGBTQ+ arts communities in Canada and internationally. In addition to his writing, he was a prolific video artist: his collaborations with Michael Achtman are distributed by Vtape, and his solo work is distributed by CFMDC. Curated by Jon Davies, a program of Richard’s video work was available for viewing November 19-December 10, 2020. “Richard’s freewheeling approach was the counterbalance to my methodical overthinking; I learned from him how to let go and treasure the serendipity of the creative process.” – Michael Achtman
We’ve lost a truly unique voice.
Paul Gallant has written an intimate and inspiring remembrance of R.M. Vaughan for Xtra.