Andrew Mccullough
Andrew Mccullough
October 29, 2020

UNB and Literary Community Mourn Death of Writer-In-Residence Richard (RM) Vaughan

Richard (RM) Vaughan | Photo by Maria Jose Burgos, CBC

Renowned Canadian author Richard Vaughan was found dead by Fredericton Police on Friday, October 23, following an emotional ten-day period in which friends and community members sought information on his whereabouts.

“On October 23, 2020, the body of 55-year old Richard ‘RM’ Vaughan was located. He was reported missing on October 13, 2020. At this time we are not treating the death as suspicious. Mr. Vaughan’s family & police want to thank the public for their assistance with this investigation,” said the Fredericton Police via Twitter.

Following the announcement of Richard’s disappearance by Fredericton Police on October 13, there was an outpouring of support from the community, and a group, led by Fredericton poet laureate Jenna Lyn Albert, organized searches for Richard across the city.

Vaughn, who wrote under RM Vaugh, was a vastly talented author of poems, novels, and essays. He was also a key figure in the LGBTQ+ art communities across Canada.

Vaughn grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick and graduated from the English Program at UNB Saint John. He first published pieces in The Cormorant, a bi-annual literary magazine based out of the UNB Saint John Campus, and went on to write many novels and collections of poetry that explored topics of queer youth and eroticism.

Recently, Vaughn moved back to his home province of New Brunswick from Montreal. Acting as the University of New Brunswick Fredericton's Writer-in-Residence, he mentored young writers on campus, providing critique, guidance, and professional advice. 

Many students can attest that RM Vaughan was nothing but warm, intelligent, and highly caring.

He occasionally contributed commentary to CBC and The Globe and Mail, and was the arts editor for Toronto-Based This Magazine.

While the Queer and literary communities in Fredericton and across Canada are mourning this loss, Vaughan leaves behind a legacy of highly-regarded work, community involvement, and devoted friendships.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of our former Writer-in-Residence, RM Vaughan. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues," said the University of New Brunswick in a statement released on October 23.

His work included, but is not limited to, the following:

Fiction

Spells (2003) ECW Press

Contra/Dictions: Queer Male Fictions (1998 – Contributed to Anthology) Arsenal Pulp Press

A Quilted Heart (1998) Insomniac Press

Plays

Camera, Woman (2001) Coach House Books

Gay Monologues & Scenes: An Anthology (2007 – Contributed to Anthology) Playwrights’ Canada Press

Essays

Compared to Hitler: Selected Essays (2013) Tightrope Books

Poetry

Troubled: A Memoir In Poems (2008) Coach House Books

Ruined Stars (2004) ECW Press

A Selection of Dazzling Scarves (1996) ECW Press

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