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Born in March 27, 1874 / Died in September 28, 1932 / Canada / English


Robert Winkworth Norwood was a Canadian poet and an Episcopalian (Anglican) minister.

Norwood was born in New Ross, Nova Scotia, the son of Edith Harding McKeen and Rev. Joseph W. Norwood. He was educated at Coaticook Academy and Bishop's College in Quebec, and at King's College in Nova Scotia. At King's he studied English under Charles G.D. Roberts, who encouraged him to write poetry. He graduated from King's College in 1897 and became a deacon, and was ordained a priest in 1898, Also in 1898 he published his first book of poetry, Driftwood, a chapbook cowritten with Charles Vernon, his former roommate at King's.

Norwood became a priest in Cape Breton, where he married Ethel McKeen, and succeeded to larger parishes in Quebec and then London, Ontario. In 1917 he was promoted to a parish in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became an American citizen.

In the mid-1920s Norwood was a member of The Song Fishermen, a literary and social set organized by Halifax, Nova Scotia socialites Andrew and Tully Merkel that included Roberts and his cousin Bliss Carman. Andrew Merkel described Norwood as a "scintillating conversationalist" and a "profound student of mysticism."

Norwood struck up a close friendship with fellow Song Fisherman Kenneth Leslie, 18 years his junior, and the two poets "operated as a devastatingly successful pair of ladies? men when they gave poetry readings or attended social functions together." Norwood's mysticism, in particular his belief that he ?was merely an instrument trained to give voice to a message that was not necessarily his?, inspired Leslie's long poem, "The Shanachie Man."

From 1925 to his death in 1932 Norwood served as rector of St. Bartholemew's Episcopalian Church in New York City. In that capacity he "became ... one of the most renowned preachers in