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A Winnipeg writer who penned everything from poetry to TV scripts and was a long-time friend of literary icon Margaret Laurence has died.

Don Bailey, a novelist, poet, short-story writer, playwright, TV and film writer passed away at his home on Wednesday, apparently of natural causes. He was 60.

The author of more than 15 books, Bailey won the Margaret Laurence Literary Award for Fiction for his most recent novel, A Stranger to Myself, at the Manitoba Literary and Publishing Awards last April.

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Bailey was born in Toronto in 1942 and grew up in foster homes. He began writing seriously in the 1960s while serving time in a Kingston prison. While inside, he began studying journalism through correspondence. It was during this time that Bailey met Laurence, the acclaimed Manitoba novelist.

Bailey's work has been published in numerous magazines and literary journals. His plays have been broadcast on both CBC Radio and TV. His TV plays include Nightfall, Shared Accommodation and All Sales Final.

Memories of Margaret, a memoir of his 20-year friendship with Laurence, was a finalist for the 1990 Toronto Book Award. Homeless Hearts, a work of poetry, was awarded the silver medal as the best book of poetry of 1990 by the Canadian Authors Association. CP

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