Glen Sorestad was born in Vancouver, but moved to the prairies when he was ten and grew up on a farm in east-central Saskatchewan, attending a one-roomed country school. He later became a school teacher and taught for over 20 years, the last dozen years in a high school in Saskatoon. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education(with distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan. He began writing seriously in 1968, co-founded Thistledown Press in 1975 with his wife Sonia, and quit teaching in 1981 to pursue his writing and publishing activities. He was President of Thistledown Press from 1975 to 2000 when he and his wife retired from literary publishing.
Over the years Sorestad’s poetry and stories have been published across Canada, in the United States, in England, Scotland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Slovenia. He has authored or co-authored over twenty volumes of poems and his poetry has been frequently broadcast on CBC radio, on radio stations in the United States, and on state public radio in Norway and Slovenia. His poetry has been translated into several languages including French, Spanish, Norwegian, Finnish, Slovenian and Afrikaans. He is the editor or co-editor of many anthologies of poetry and stories, including most recently an international anthology, Something to Declare, by Oxford University Press and a poetry anthology, In The Clear, from Thistledown Press. His poems have appeared in over 50 different anthologies and textbooks. One of his volumes of poetry has been the primary source for the play, Out of the Shade by Rodney McLean. His short stories have also been anthologized; one of his stories was produced for television in Canada by Bravo TV.
Sorestad has given well over 300 readings of his work in every province of Canada and in 15 states of the U.S. He has also read his poetry in Strasbourg, France, at several places in Norway, including a literary salon in his honour at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence in Oslo. He was a featured poet at two important international literary events: the 2001 Lahti International Writers Reunion in Finland and Vilenica 2002 in Slovenia. Over the years he has presented his poetry publicly in diverse venues — schools, colleges and universities, libraries, art galleries, bookstores, restaurants, coffee bistros, bars, community halls, churches, maritime museums, ski resorts, private clubs, a Medieval castle in Slovenia — even in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Lea County, New Mexico. Most recently in March 2010 he read his poems in Norman, Oklahoma backed up by a jazz ensemble, The Dennis Borycki Trio.
In 1999 Sorestad was honoured with Life Member status in the League of Canadian Poets. In November of 2000 he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, becoming the first provincially or federally appointed Poet Laureate in Canada and serving until 2004. He was awarded the Saskatoon Book Award in November 2001 for Leaving Holds Me Here. In February 2003 Sorestad was a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. He was granted Life Membership in the Saskatchewan Writers Guild in 2009. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada on June 30th, 2010.