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Home » Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series

Canadian Writers in Person Lecture Series

Students get up close and personal with an eclectic group of authors while earning course credit through LA&PS' Canadian Writers in Person (AP/CLTR 1953 6.0A) course. You'll explore the contemporary work of renowned authors, while having the unique opportunity to engage with them in a dialogue about their work.

Readings are free and open to members of the public and to members of the York community not enrolled in the course.

Our lineups consist of a unique selection of emerging and established Canadian writers, whose writing explores a broad range of topics, and a variety of geographical and cultural landscapes. Featuring seasoned and emerging poets and fiction writers, the series highlights Canada's ever-growing literary talent.

Reading Schedule

All readings are open and free to the public. During 2023 and 2024, readings are available online and can be accessed according to the schedule. Zoom link will be made available a week before the reading.

The Unseen Ones

Author: Norma Dunnine Tainna
Date: Sept. 19, 2023
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English

Author: Noor Naga
Date: Oct. 3, 2023
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

Abolitionist Intimacies

Author: El Jones
Date: Oct. 24, 2023
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

Glorious Frazzled Beings

Author: Angélique Lalonde
Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

Her First Palestinian

Author: Saeed Teebi
Date: Nov. 21, 2023
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

The Big Melt

Author: Emily Riddle
Date: Dec. 5, 2023
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

Chemical Valley

Author: David Huebert
Date: Jan. 16, 2024
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

Isolated Incident

Author: Mariam Pirbhai
Date: Jan. 30, 2024
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

The Sleeping Car Porter

Author: Suzette Mayr
Date: Feb. 13, 2024
Time: 7 - 9 p.m. EST

The Office of the President, York University; Office of the Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies; Department of Humanities, Erik Morin and Kevin Karst. Gratitude to the Bennett Family Endowment for support for CWIP.

Past Lectures

January 19 | Carol Rose GoldenEagle, Bone Black

February 2 | S.D. Chrostowska, The Eyelid

February 23 | Kaie Kellough, Dominoes at the Crossroads

March 9 | Terry Watada, Mysterious Dreams of the Dead

March 23 | Cecily Nicholson, Wayside Sang

September 21  | Michelle Good Five Little Indians 

October 5   | Francesca Ekwuyasi  Butter Honey Pig Bread 

October 26   | Emily St. John Mandel The Glass Hotel

November 9    | Chantal Gibson How She Read

November 23    | Ava Homa Daughters of Smoke and Fire

December 7 | Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty, Ndè–Tı–Yat’a

January 18 | Thomas King, Sufferance

February 1 | Zsuzsi Gartner, The Beguiling

February 15 | Rebecca Salazar, sulfphurtongue

March 8 | Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic

March 22 | Louise Halfe, Burning in this Midnight Dream

January 14  Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves

January 28 Uzma Jalaluddin, Ayesha at Last

February 11 Carrianne Leung, That Time I Loved You

March 3 E. Martin Nolan, Still Point

March 17 (postponed) David Bezmozgis, Immigrant City

September 22 Souvankham Thammavongsa, How to Pronounce Knife

October 6 Steven Price, Lampedusa

October 27 Rebecca Fisseha, Daughters of Silence

November 10 Michael Prior, Burning Province

December 8 Sharon Butala, Season of Fury and Wonder

Jan. 15  Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square

Jan. 29 Kerri Sakamoto, Floating City

Feb 12 Katherena Vermette, The Break

March 5 Kim Fu, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

March 19 David Chariandy, Brother

September 17 Zalika Reid-Benta, Frying Plantain

October 1 Tanya Tagaq, Split Tooth

October 22 Craig Davidson, The Saturday Night Ghost Club

November 5  Kagiso Lesego Molope, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road

November 19 Téa Mutonji, Shut Up You’re Pretty

December 3 Roo Borson, Cardinal in the Eastern White Cedar

Jan. 16 Paul Yee, A Superior Man 

Jan. 30 Soraya Peerbaye, Tell

Feb 13 Jordan Abel  Injun

Mar 6 Katherena Vermette, The Break

Mar 20 Garfield Ellis, The Angel’s Share

Sept 18 Djamila Ibrahim, Things Are Good Now,

Oct 2  Kathleen Winter, Lost in September

Oct 23 Eden Robinson, Son of a Trickster

Nov 6 Canisia Lubrin, Voodoo Hypothesis

Nov 20 Joel Hynes, We All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night

Dec 4  Stevie Howell, I left nothing inside on purpose

Jan. 17 André Alexis, Fifteen Dogs

Jan. 31 Lynn Crosbie, Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

Feb 14 Madhur Anand, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophe

Mar 7 Katherena Vermette, North End Love Song

Mar 21 Terry Fallis, Poles Apart

Sept 19 Mona Awad, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Oct 3 Anosh Irani, The Parcel

Oct 17 Phoebe Wang, Admission Requirements

Oct 31 Trevor Cole, Hope Makes Love

Nov 14 Gary Barwin, Yiddish for Pirates

Nov 28 Kerry Lee Powell, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush

Jan. 12 Heather O'Neill,The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Jan. 26 Gregory Scofield , Louis: The Heretic Poems

Feb 9 Colin McAdam, A Beautiful Truth

Mar 1 Sue Goyette, Ocean

Mar 15 Aisha Sasha John, Thou

Sept 20  Dianne Warren, Liberty Street

Oct 4 Richard Van Camp, Night Moves

Oct 18 Olive Senior, The Pain Tree

Nov 1 Laurie D. Graham, Settler Education

Nov 15 Helen Humphreys, The Evening Chorus

Nov 29 Allan Weiss, Making the Rounds

Jan. 13 Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be?

Jan. 27 Catherine Bush, Accusation

Feb. 10 Katrina Onstad, Everybody has Everything

Mar. 3 Adam Dickinson, The Polymers

Mar. 17 Lynn Coady, Hell Going

Sep. 22 Padma Viswanathan, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao

Oct. 6 Kim Thuy, Mãn

Oct. 20 Frances Itani, Tell

Nov. 3 Greg Hollingshead, Act Normal

Nov. 17 Sean Michaels, Us Conductors

Dec 1 Lee Maracle, Celia's Song

Jan. 14 Madeleine Thie

Jan. 28 Safia Fazlul

Feb. 11 Cordelia Strube

Mar. 4 Michael Winter

Mar. 18 Linda Spalding

Sept 16 Tamas Dobozy, Siege 13

Sept 30 Ian Williams, Personals

Oct. 14 Carrianne K.Y. Leung, The Wondrous Woo

Oct. 28 Wayne Grady, Emancipation Day

Nov. 11 Sylvia Hamilton, And I Alone Escaped To Tell You

Nov 17 Lynn Coady, Hell Going

Nov. 25 Louise Halfe, The Crooked Good

Jan. 15 David Gilmour - The Perfect Order of Things

Jan. 29 Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers

Feb. 12 Emma Donaghue - Room

Mar. 5 Patricia Keeney - First Woman

Mar. 19 Esi Edugyan - Half Blood Blues

Sept 17 Annabel Lyons

Oct. 1 Pam Mordecai

Oct. 15 Patrick DeWitt

Oct. 29 Rita Wong

Nov. 12 Fred Wah

Nov. 26 Wayne Johnston

Jan. 10 Nalo Hopkinson - New Moon's Arms

Nalo Hopkinson is the author of four novels, and many short stories. She has been the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers. Brown Girl in a Ring (1998) was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award 1998, and received the Locus Award for Best New Writer. In 2008 it was a finalist in CBC’s Canada Reads competition. Midnight Robber (2000) was shortlisted for the James Rl Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award in 2000 and nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2001. Skin Folk (2001) received the World Fantasy Award and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in 2003. The Salt Roads (2003) received the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for positive exploration of queer issues in speculative fiction for 2004, presented at the 2005 Gaylaxicon ceremony. In 2008 The New Moon's Arms (2007) received the Aurora Award, the Canadian reader-voted award for science fiction and fantasy and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, making her the first author to receive the Sunburst Award twice.

Jan. 24 Miguel Syjuco - Illustrado

Miguel Syjuco is Filipino in origin, now lives in Montreal. Illustrado, his first novel, won the Man Asia prize in 2008 and the Grand Prize for the Novel in English at the 2008 Palanca Awards.

Feb. 7 Sheriz Janmohamed - Bleeding Light

Sheniz Janmohamed is an author, poet, freelance writer and spoken word artist and a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Guelph. Her first book Bleeding Lightwas published in September 2010 by TSAR Publications.

Feb. 28 Drew Hayden Taylor - Motorcycles & Sweetgrass

Drew Hayden Taylor (born 1 July 1962) is a Canadian playwright, author and journalist. Born in Curve Lake, Ontario, Taylor claims both Ojibwa and Caucasian heritage. He writes predominantly about First Nations culture, and has also been a frequent contributor to various magazines including This Magazine. His writing includes plays, short stories, essays and film and television work. As well as his writing, Taylor has been the artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts and has taught at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. He co-created the series Mixed Blessings for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) in 2007, and has been a writer for The Beachcombers, Street Legal and North of 60.

Mar. 13 Joanna Skibsrud - The Sentimentalists

Johanna Skibsrud is a Canadian writer whose debut novel The Sentimentalists won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She is the youngest writer to receive this award. Skribsrud has also published two books of poetry, Late Nights with Wild Cowboys in 2008 and I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being in 2010. Late Nights with Wild Cowboys was a shortlisted nominee for the Gerald Lambert Award.

Sep 18 Zoe Whittall - Holding Still for As Long as Possible

Oct. 2 Don McKay - Paradoxides

Oct. 16 Karen Solie - Pigeon

Oct. 30 James Bartleman - As Long As the Rivers Flow

Nov. 13 Suzanne Desrochers - The Bride of New France

Nov. 27 Suzette Mayr - Monoceros

Jan. 11 Mary di Michele - Tenor of Love

Jan. 25 Heather Cadsby - Could be

Feb 8 Michael Crummey - Galore

Mar. 1 Rabindranath Maharaj - The Amazing Absorbing Boy

Mar. 15 Seth - George Sprott (1894-1975)

Sep. 20 Lisa Moore - February

Lisa Moore, a Newfoundland writer, has written two collections of stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open, as well as a novel,Alligator. Open and Alligator were both nominated for the Giller Prize.Alligator won the Commonwealth Prize for the Canadian Caribbean Region and the ReLit Award, and was longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award. Open won the Canadian Authors' Association Jubilee Prize for Short Fiction. February, her most recent novel, was longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Oct. 4 David Bergen - Matter with Morris

David Bergen has published six novels and one collection of short stories since 1993. His debut novel, A Year of Lesser in 1996, was aNew York Times Notable Book and winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. His 2002 novel The Case of Lena S. was a finalist for the Governor General’s award for English language fiction and won the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. It was also a finalist for the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. His 2005 novel The Time in Between won the Scotia Giller Prize received a coveted starred review in the Kirkus Review trade magazine, and was longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award. In 2008 he published his fifth novel, The Retreat, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and which won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. In 2010 he was shortlisted again for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his sixth novel The Matter with Morris.

Oct. 25 Alissa York - Fauna

Alissa York is the author of three novels: Fauna (2010), Effigy(2007) and Mercy (200?) as well as a collection of short fiction Any Given Power. Both Fauna and Effigy have been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Set in the communities around Toronto’s Don Valley ravine, York spins a contemporary human fable, exploring the intricacies of human drama, likewise giving the animals in their natural habitat nestled in Canada’s largest and most cosmopolitan city a voice, reminding us that we are enlivened by our wild population.

Nov. 8 Judy Fong Bates - Midnight at the Dragon Cafe

Judy Fong Bates came to Canada from China as a young child and grew up in several small Ontario towns. A writer, storyteller and teacher, she taught elementary school in the city of Toronto for over twenty years. Her stories have been broadcast on CBC radio and published in literary journals and anthologies. She has written for The Globe and Mail and The Washington Post. She is the author of the critically acclaimed short-story collection China Dog and Other Stories and the novel Midnight at the Dragon Café which was the Everybody Reads selection for Portland, Oregon, and an American Library Association Notable Book for 2006. Her family memoir The Year of Finding Memory was published in April, 2010 by Random House of Canada.

Nov. 22 Glen Downie - Local News

Glen Downie was born in Winnipeg, worked in cancer care for many years in Vancouver, and currently lives in Toronto. He served as Writer-in-Residence at the Medical Humanities Program of Dalhousie University's Faculty of Medicine in 1999. Since 2004, he has operated Tall Tree Press, a micro-press specializing in poetry broadsides and chapbooks. He has published fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and seven books of poetry. His latest collection is Local News (Wolsak & Wynn, 2011). His works includeLoyalty Management (2007), Desire Lines (2002), The Angel of Irrational Numbers (1991), Heatland (1990) and An E-Ray of Longing(1990). In 2008 Downie received the Toronto Book Award.

Dec. 6 Camilla Gibb - The Beauty of Humanity Movement

Camilla Gibb is the author of four novels: Mouthing the Words(1999), The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life (2002), Sweetness in the Belly (2005) and The Beauty of Humanity Movement (2010)as well as numerous short stories, articles and reviews. Gibb was the winner of the Trillium Book Award in 2006, a Scotiabank Giller Prize short list nominee in 2005, winner of the city of Toronto Book Award in 2000 and the recipient of the CBC Canadian Literary Award for short fiction in 2001. Her books have been published in 18 countries and translated into 14 languages and she was named by the jury of the prestigious Orange Prize as one of 21 writers to watch in the new century.

Jan. 5 Richard Wagamese - Ragged Company

Richard Wagamese is a proud member of the Ojibway Nation. His traditional home is Wabaseemoong (Whitedog), a settlement in northwestern Ontario, north of the Lake Woods. He began writing professionally in 1979 as a print journalist, then spent several years in radio and television. He was the first Native Canadian to win a "National Newspaper Award for Column Writing" (1991) while he was with the Calgary Herald.

Wagamese's first novel, Keeper'n Me (1994) won the "Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award" and has sold over 24,000 copies. The novel A Quality of Light (1997) followed shortly thereafter and in 2002 he published a critically acclaimed memoir titled For Joshua: An Ojibway Father Teaches His SonDream Wheels (2006) was awarded the "Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction" (2007). His most recent work includes the novel Ragged Company, and his second memoir, One Native Life, both published in 2008.

Wagamese has also lectured on Creative Writing at the University of Regina's Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and has written for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. He was a faculty advisor on Journalism for Grant MacEwen Community College and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) as well as a scriptwriter for the CBC-Alliance production "North of 60."

Jan. 19 Lawrence Hill - The Book of Negroes

Lawrence Hill is the son of an American couple who immigrated to Canada in 1953. He grew up in the suburb of Don Mills, Ontario and was greatly influenced by his parents' work in the human rights movement during the 1960's. In addition to English, Hill also speaks French and Spanish. He was formerly a reporter with The Globe and Mail and was also a parliamentary correspondent for The Winnipeg Free Press.

Hill holds a B.A. in economics from Laval University in Québec City, and an M.A. in writing from John Hopkins University in Baltimore. He currently lives in Burlington, Ontario with his wife and five children.

Hill's creative works include Some Great Thing (fiction), Any Known Blood (1997), Someone Knows My Name / The Book of Negroes(2007), Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada (non-fiction, 2001), and The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq (non-fiction, 2007). Hill also created an award-winning 90-minute film documentary called Seeking Salvation: A History of the Black Church in Canada, which premiered at Toronto's Hot Docs Film Festival and was aired on Vision Television in 2004.

Feb. 2 Michael Helm - The Place of Last Things

Born in Saskatchewan, author Michael Helm earned his B.A. at the University of Saskatchewan and an M.A. in literature from the University of Toronto. Helm has taught graduate and undergraduate fiction writing, poetry writing, and literature programs at colleges and universities in both Canada and the United States. From 1991 to 1998 he was an editor at Descant magazine and has been co-editor for Brick magazine since 2003.

In 2008, he returned to the University of Toronto Scarborough campus as a 'Writer in Residence' and as the 2008 Snider Visiting Artist. Helm is currently an Assistant Professor of English at York University in Toronto.

Helm's most recent novel, In the Place of Last Things (2005), was a finalist for the regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, as well as being chosen for the Globe and Mail's "Books of the Year." His first novel, The Projectionist (1997), was a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Book Award. Helm is also working on a new novel to be published by McClelland and Stewart in spring of 2010.

Feb. 23 Elizabeth Hay - Late Nights on Air

Elizabeth Hay was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, and graduated from the University of Toronto. After moving to western and then northern Canada, she spent ten years working as a CBC radio broadcaster in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, and Toronto, eventually freelancing from Mexico. She lived in New York from 1986 to 1992, returning to Canada, where she settled in Ottawa with her husband and two children.

Hay's first novel A Student of Weather (2000) was nominated for the Giller Prize. Her second novel, Garbo Laughs (2003) was a winner of the Ottawa Book Award and shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. Her third and most recent novel, Late Nights on Air (2007) was a winner of the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the 2008 Ottawa Book Award, and the 2008 Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year. In addition to her three novels, Hay has also written, Crossing the Snow Line (short stories, 1989), The Only Snow in Havana (non-fiction, 1992), Captivity Tales: Canadians in New York (non-fiction, 1993), and Small Change (stories, 1997). In 2002 Hay was honoured with the Marian Engel Award.

Mar. 9 Nitin Deckha - Shopping for Sabzi

Born in London and raised in Toronto, Nitin Deckha holds a B.A. from McGill University in Montreal and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University in Houston. After completing his Ph.D. he worked in the field of advertising and consumer research in New York and Toronto. Deckha has also taught at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, McMaster University in Hamilton, Humber College, and the University of Guelph-Humber. The author is married to Priya Chopra and has two children, Arjun and Nayantara.

In addition to his recent debut collection of short stories, Shopping for Sabzi (2008), two of Deckha's short stories were also published in the South Asian anthology Bolo! Bolo! (2000). He also occasionally writes for Desi Life, a Toronto Star magazine.

Mar. 23 Motion - 40 Dayz

Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) was born in Toronto, Ontario as Wendy Brathwaite to Antiguan and Barbadian parents. She adopted the name "Motion" because it depicted the rate at which she began showing her talent. Heavily influenced by the reggae, calypso and soul music of her childhood, Motion's creativity extends beyond writing to the realm of spoken word and hip hop. Motion's career accolades include a MuchMusic nomination for Best Rap Video Award, and the UMAC Award for Best Hip Hop Radio Show.

She won the 2002 CBC National Poetry Face-Off competition. As a teenager, she was already a member of the Master Plan Show on CIUT 88.5 FM - the longest running hip hop radio program in Canada. Motion has been featured in a wide range of compilations including collaborations with the Butta Babees, The Entrée EP (Universal), Phem Phat's Honey Drops (Universal), Rap Essentials (Beat Factory), The Best of Bounce (Jig Saw), the international collection, Urban Noize, and on the soundtrack for the filmWhen Moses Woke (Itoti Productions). She also performed at the 2004 Canadian Urban Music Awards aired on CBC Television. Her most recent work, 40 Dayz is a new collection of poems launched in March 2008.

Sep. 21 Miriam Toews The Flying Troutmans

Oct. 5 Jeramy Dodds Crabwise To the Hounds

Oct. 26 Kim Echlin - The Disappeared

Nov. 9 Moez Surani - Reticent Bodies

Nov. 23 Nicole Brossard Fences in Breathing

Dec. 7 Vincent Lam Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

Feb. 10 Jan Rehner - On Pain of Death (Sumach,2008)

Jan Rehner has published poetry, literary criticism, a feminist analysis on infertility, and a text on critical thinking. Her first mystery novel, Just Murder (Sumach, 2003) won the 2004 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel. Her second, On Pain of Death (Sumach, 2008), was a finalist for the IPPY Book Award. She lives in Toronto and teaches humanities and writing at York University.

Feb.17 Peter Robinson - Piece of My Heart (An Inspector Banks novel) (McClelland & Stewart, 2006)

Peter Robinson is a crime novelist known for his series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Since 1987 Robinson has written nineteen Inspector Banks novels, and has won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel five times. In 1996, Robinson won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and Sweden's Martin Beck Award for In a Dry Season (Avon, 1999), the tenth book in his series.

His most recent work is All the Colours of the Darkness (McClelland & Stewart, 2008).

Mar.17 Debra Anderson - Code White (McGilligan Books, 2005)

Debra Anderson: An award-winning writer, playwright, and filmmaker, Debra Anderson is a recipient of the prestigious George Ryga Award for Playwriting. Her animated short film, Don't Touch Me, premiered at the 1998 Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival and has been screened internationally at independent film festivals.

Her writing has been anthologized in Geeks, Misfits and Outlaws(McGilligan Books, 2003), Bent On Writing: Contemporary Queer Tales (Women's Press, 2002), and the Lambda-nominated Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002). The author of one novel, Code White (McGilligan Books, 2005), Anderson also organizes and promotes Get Your Lit Out, an ongoing reading series based in Toronto that promotes local female authors.

Mar. 31 Nino Ricci - Lives of the Saints (Cormorant, 1990)

Nino Ricci's first novel the best-selling Lives of the Saints(Cormorant, 1990) garnered international acclaim, appearing in over a dozen countries and winning a host of awards including, in Canada, the Governor-General's Award for Fiction and the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and in England, the Betty Trask Award and the Winifred Holtby Prize. It was followed by In A Glass House(McClelland & Stewart, 1993) and Where She Has Gone (McClelland & Stewart, 1997), which completed the trilogy that Lives of the Saints began.

The Lives of the Saints trilogy was recently adapted for a television miniseries (2004) starring Sophia Loren, Nick Mancuso, and Kris Kristofferson. Ricci's most recent novel, Testament (Doubleday Canada, 2002), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize for Canada and the Caribbean and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and was the co-winner of the Trillium Award. A new novel,The Origin of Species, ( Doubleday Canada, September 2008).

Apr. 21 David Chariandy - Soucouyan (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007)

David Chariandy's debut novel Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007) was a finalist for five prizes including the 2007 Governor-General's Award, the 2008 Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best First Book (Canada and the Caribbean) and the 2008 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (B.C.). Chariandy teaches English literature at Simon Fraser University, and is one of the founding editors of Commodore Books, the first Black Canadian literary publisher in Western Canada.

Apr. 28 Makeda Silvera - The Heart Does Not Bend (Vintage, 2003)

Makeda Silvera was born in Jamaica and has lived in Canada for over thirty years. She is the co-founder and managing editor of Sister Vision Press and is the author of two collections of short stories,Remembering G (Sister Vision, 1990) and Her Head a Village (Press Gang, 1994). She is the editor of the groundbreaking Piece of My Heart: A Lesbian of Colour Anthology (Sister Vision, 1991), The Other Woman: Women of Colour in Contemporary Canadian Literature (Sister Vision, 1994), and Ma-Ka: Diaspora Juks (Sister Vision, 1997). The Heart Does Not Bend (Vintage, 2003) is her first novel. She lives in Toronto.

May 12 Sonnet L'Abbé - Killarnoe (McClelland & Stewart, 2007)

Sonnet L'Abbé is a Toronto-born writer of French-Canadian and Guyanese descent. She is the author of two collections of poetry, A Strange Relief (McClelland & Stewart, 2001) and Killarnoe(McClelland & Stewart, 2007). Her work has been internationally published and anthologized.

In 2000, she won the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for most promising writer under 35. L'Abbé has taught writing at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, reviewed poetry for theGlobe and Mail and is currently doing doctoral work in ecopoetics in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia

Sep 29 Anthony De Sa - Barnacle Love

Anthony De Sa grew up in Toronto's Portuguese community, graduating from the University of Toronto. He completed post-graduate work at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and attended the Humber School for Writers and Ryerson University.

He currently heads the English Department at Father John Redmond (FJR) secondary school in Etobicoke, and lives in Toronto with his wife and three boys. De Sa's first novel, Barnacle Love a finalist for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize was published by Doubleday Canada. His next major work, Carnival of Desire is currently scheduled for release in 2011. His short fiction has also been published in several North American literary magazines.

Oct. 6 Jan Zwicky - Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences

Poet, essayist, philosopher and musician Jan Zwicky, was born in Northern Alberta. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Toronto, and has taught both philosophy and creative writing at various universities and writing centres. She currently teaches philosophy at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Zwicky is an editor for the Ontario poetry publishing company Brick Books.

Zwicky's poetic works include: Where Have We Been (1982),Wittgenstein Elegies (1986), The New Room (1989), Songs for Relinquishing the Earth (1998), awarded the Governor General's Award in 1999, Twenty-one Small Songs (2000), Wisdom & Metaphor (2003), Robinson's Crossing (2004), and Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences (2005). She is also the author of: A Theory of Ineffability (1982), Lyric Philosophy (1992), High Ground Broadsheets: Second Series 1990-1994 (1994), Brahms' Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, op. 115 (1994), Why I Sing the Blues: Lyrics & Poems (ed. with Brad Cran, 2001), and Contemplation and Resistance: A Conversation (with Tim Lilburn, 2003).

Oct. 27 Lola Lemire Tostevin - The Other Sister

Born to a French-Canadian family in Timmins, Ontario, Lola Lemire Tostevin is a bilingual writer, although she works primarily in English. She earned a degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, taught Creative Writing at York University, and was a writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario from 2004-2005.

She is the author of three novels, Frog Moon (1994), translated into French as Kaki (1997), The Jasmine Man (2001), and her most recent novel, The Other Sister (2008). She is also the author of several poetry collections and works of literary criticism, and has translated the works of Anne Hébert, Nicole Brossard, Paule Thévenin, Claude Beausoleil and Michael Ondaatje. Several of Tostevin's poetic works explore the difficulties of writing in a secondary language. Tostevin is currently a contributing editor ofOPEN LETTER, a Canadian journal of writing and theory.

Nov. 3 Lien Chao - The Chinese Knot and Other Stories

Lien Chao was born in China and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Wuham Teachers' College in 1982. Two years later she came to Canada to pursue her studies, earning an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from York University. She currently teaches English to adults with special needs for the Toronto District Board of Education, writing in her spare time.

Lien Chao is the author of six publications. Her first book, Beyond Silence: Chinese Literature in English (1997) was awarded the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Criticism by the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures / Association des Littératures Canadiennes et Québécoise. Other publications include: Maples and the Stream: A Bilingual Long Narrative Poem (1999), Tiger Girl (Hu Nü). A Creative Memoir (2001), Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Fiction (Ed. with Jim Wong-Chu, 2003), More Than Skin Deep: A Collection of Poetry in English and Chinese (2004), and her most recent work, The Chinese Knot and Other Stories (2008).

Nov. 17 David Bezmozgis - Natasha and Other Stories

Author David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia in 1973 and immigrated to Toronto with his parents in 1980. He received an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English literature from McGill University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. He quickly rose to success after having several of his short stories published in prominent magazines such as Harper's, The New Yorker, Zoetrope and The Walrus.

His work has also been included in the anthology Best American Short Stories, 2005. Bezmozgis currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. His first book Natasha and Other Stories, a national best-seller, was published by Harper Collins Canada in 2004. This debut by Bezmozgis is a collection of seven linked stories that detail the experiences of the Bermans, a Latvian immigrant family not unlike the author's own. As a Russian-Jewish-Canadian writer, his prose has been compared to Mordecai Richler's and Philip Roth's.

Dec. 1 Ken Babstock - Airstream Land Yacht

Ken Babstock was born in Newfoundland but grew up in the Ottawa Valley. He has worked as a faculty member (poetry) at the Banff Centre for the Arts and currently lives in Toronto. His poems have appeared in several Canadian journals and anthologies including The Malahat Review, Fiddlehead, PRISM International, and Canadian Literature, and have been translated into Dutch, Serbo-Croatian, and Latvian. Babstock's first book Mean won the Atlantic Poetry Prize (1999) and the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award (1999).

His second collection, Days into Flatspin was shortlisted for the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing (2002). His third collection, Airstream Land Yacht is a winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry (2007). It was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award (2006), the Griffin Poetry Prize (2007), and the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing (2007).

Dec. 8 Film Screening/Launch - Redefining the Classroom

The Canadian Writers in Person Series has invited an impressive lineup of emerging and established Canadian writers to read at the York campus. Professors John Unrau, Gail Vanstone, Stephen Cain and Leslie Sanders have directed this course for students and community members.

For over eleven years, students, members of York, the public, and community at large are free to explore the contemporary work of renowned Canadian poets, playwrights, and prolific fiction writers, as well as have a unique opportunity to engage with them in a dialogue about their work.

This film is a compilation of database material/interviews collected over the past five years.

We invite you to join us on December 8th, 2009 at 7pm in 206 Accolade West, for the launch of the film.

A demonstration of how "readers" can access its data-based contents will be followed by a short panel discussion between writers and publishers of Canadian literature, ending with a reception in the lobby adjacent to the lecture hall. Featured at the event will be a display of the Canadian Writers in Person yearly posters.

Special guests will include: Anthony De Sa, Lien Chao, Caitlin Fisher, John Unrau, and others.

Jan. 10 Steven Heighton - Afterlands (Knopf)

heightonSteven Heighton is the author of several collections of poetry (including The Ecstasy of Skeptics, 1994, and The Address Book, 2004), two editions of short stories (Flight Paths of the Emperor, 1992, and On Earth as it Is, 1995), a collection of non-fiction (The Admen Move on Lhasa, 1997), and two novels: The Shadow Boxer (Knopf, 2000) and Afterlands (Knopf, 2005). He was the editor of Quarry (1988-1994) and has been nominated for the Governor General's award for poetry and the Trillium Award.

Jan. 24 R.M. Vaughan - Ruined Stars (ECW)

vaughanR.M. Vaughan is a playwright, visual artist, critic, poet, and fiction writer from Toronto. His novels include A Quilted Heart (Insomniac, 1998) and Spells (ECW, 2003) and he is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ruined Stars (ECW, 2004). He has written numerous plays, two of which have been published as Camera, Woman (Coach House, 2001) and The Monster Trilogy (Coach House, 2003). His writing also appears in the anthology of gay male writing, Plush (Coach House, 1995)

Feb. 7 Hiromi Goto - Hopeful Monsters (Arsenal)

gotoHiromi Goto is the British Columbian author of Chorus of Mushrooms (NeWest, 1994) which won the Canada-Japan Book Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for 1995. Subsequent books include The Water of Possibility (Coteau, 2000), The Kappa Child (Red Deer, 2002) and the short story collection Hopeful Monsters (Arsenal, 2004).

Mar. 13 Angela Rawlings - Wide Slumber for Lepidoperists (Coach House)

rawlingsAngela Rawlings (a.rawlings) is a poet and multidisciplinary artist whose first book is Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists (Coach House, 2006). A movement and sound-based version of this text was performed at Harbourfront in 2006. Rawlings received the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing from York University in 2001 and was co-editor of the anthology Shift and Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury, 2005).

Mar. 27 Heather O'Neill - Lullabies for Little Criminals (HarperCollins)

oneillHeather O’Neill is the Montreal author of the poetry collection Two Eyes Are You Sleeping (DC, 1998) and the novel Lullabies for Little Criminals (Harper, 2006). Her novel won the 2007 Canada Reads series.

Sep. 16 Emily Pohl-Weary - Violet Miranda (Kiss Machine 2005 on-going)

Emily Pohl-Weary is a Toronto-based author and editor. Her works include Violet Miranda (Kiss Machine, 2005-on-going), a girl-pirate graphic novel; Strange Times at Western High (Annick, 2006), a novel for young adults; Iron-on Constellations (Tightrope Books, 2005), a collection of poetry; and a novel A Girl Like Sugar(McGilligan Books, 2004). She is the editor of the female superhero anthology Girls Who Bite Back: Witches, Mutants, Slayers and Freaks (Sumach, 2004), a book dubbed "a bible of pop culture femininity." In 2002, she co-authored the Hugo Award winning biography about her grandmother,Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril (Between the Lines), which was also a finalist for the Toronto Book Award

Oct. 7 M.G. Vassanji - Assasin's Song (Random House 2007)

M.G. Vassanji is the author of six novels and two collections of short stories. His work has appeared in various countries and several languages. He has twice won the Giller Prize in 1994, for The Book of Secrets (McClelland & Stewart, 1993), and, in 2003 for The In-Between World of Vikram Lal (Doubleday Canada). His most recent novel The Assassin's Song (Random House, 2007) was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Governor-General's Award, and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. He holds an honorary doctorate from York University (2005).

Oct. 21 Douglas Glover - Elle (Goose Lane)

Douglas Glover is the author of five story collections, four novels, a book of essays, and a book about Don Quixote. His novel Elle(Goose Lane) won the 2003 Governor-General's Award for Fiction. His stories have frequently been anthologized, notably in The Best American Short Stories, Best Canadian Short Stories, and The New Oxford Book of Canadian Stories.

Nov. 4 Rishma Dunlop - Reading Like a Girl (Black Moss,2004)

Winner of the Emily Dickinson Prize for Poetry, Rishma Dunlop is the author and editor of several collections of poetry includingMetropolis (Mansfield, 2005), Reading Like a Girl (Black Moss, 2004), The Body of My Garden (Mansfield, 2002), and the edited anthologies White Ink: An International Anthology of Poems on Mothering (2007) and Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets (Mansfield, 2004). She is Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at York University and the founding editor of the international poetry journal Studio. She was also a finalist for the CBC Canada Council Literary Awards in 1998

Sep. 20 Christian Bök - Eunoia (Coach House)

Christian Bök is the author of two poetry collections, Crystallography (Coach House, 1994) and Eunoia (Coach House, 2001). Eunoia, one of the best-selling books of Canadian poetry in history, was the winner of the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of the academic study 'Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science' (Northwestern, 2002).

Oct. 4 Eden Robinson - Blood Sports (McClelland and Stewart)

Eden Robinson is a B.C. writer of Haisla and Heiltsuk descent and the author of two novels and one collection of short stories: Monkey Beach (Vintage, 2000), Blood Sports (McClelland and Stewart, 2006), and Traplines (Vintage, 1998). Monkey Beach was nominated for both the Governor General's award for fiction and the Giller Prize. Traplines won the Winifred Holtby Prize for first fiction in 1998.

Oct. 18 Karen Hines - The Pochsy Plays (Coach House)

Karen Hines is a Toronto-based playwright and actor who has been nominated for several Dora and Chalmers awards. Her two published dramas are The Pochsy Plays (Coach House, 2004) and Hello … Hello (Coach House, 2006). The Pochsy Plays was a finalist for a Governor General’s award for drama in 2004, and the winner of the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama at Alberta Book Awards in 2005.

Nov. 1 Lorna Crozier - Before the First Word (Wilfrid Laurier UP)

Lorna Crozier is the author of over a dozen collections of poetry, most recently Whetstone (McClelland and Stewart, 2005) and Before the First Word (WLU, 2005). She has also edited numerous collections of poetry, including two volumes of Breathing Fire: Canada's New Poets (with Patrick Lane). Crozier won the Governor General's award for poetry in 1992 and has twice won the Pat Lowther award for poetry.

Nov. 15 George Elliott Clarke - Black (Polestar)

George Elliott Clarke is an Africadian author of eight collections of poetry including Waylah Falls (Polestar, 1990), Execution Poems (Gaspereau, 2001), and Black (Polestar, 2006). He has written three plays, as well as the novel George and Rue (Harper, 2005), and edited two collections of Black Canadian writing. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the Order of Nova Scotia and a Governor General's Award for poetry in 2001.

Nov. 29 Rawi Hage - DeNiro's Game (Anansi)

Rawi Hage lives in Montreal and is the author of DeNiro’s Game (Anansi, 2006) which was nominated for both the Giller Prize and a Governor General's award for fiction in 2006.

Jan. 11 Andrew Pyper

September 22 Andrew Pyper, born in Stratford, Ontario, has received a BA and MA in English Literature from McGill University (Montreal) as well as a law degree from the University of Toronto.
The Wildfire Season (HarperCollins Canada, 2005),
The Trade Mission (HarperCollins Canada, 2002),
Lost Girls (HarperCollins Canada, 1999),
Awards and Recognition:
Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel in 2000 and the short-story collection Kiss Me (Porcupine's Quill, 1996).

Jan. 25 Wayson Choy

Feb. 8 Marilyn Dumont

Marilyn Dumont holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and has taught creative writing at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen College.
She is the author of two collections of poetry.
green girl dreams Mountains (Ooilchan Books, 2001)
Awards and Recognition:
Winner of the Alberta Book Award for Poetry and A Really Good.

Feb. 22 Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore is a novelist and short story writer who lives in St. John?s with her family. She studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has written for television and radio, as well as for national newspapers.
Alligator (House of Anansi Press, 2005)
Open (House of Anansi Press, 2002)
Degrees of Nakedness (The Mercury Press, 1995)
Awards and Recognition:
2005: Giller Prize shortlisted - Alligator
2003:Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing - Open
2002: Giller Prize short-listed - Open
Canadian Authors Association Jubilee Award (short fiction)

Mar 15 Camilla Gibb

Mar 29 Larissa Lai

Larissa Lai was born in California in 1967. She grew up in Newfoundland, and has since lived in Vancouver and Calgary. She has an MA in Creative Writing (University of East Anglia in Norwich, England) and is working on her PhD at the University of Calgary.
Salt Fish Girl (Thomas Allen, 2002)
When Fox is a Thousand (Press Gang, 1995),
She is currently at work on her third novel The Corrupted Text.
Awards and Recognition:
When Fox is a Thousand was shortlisted for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award. She is currently at work on her third novel The Corrupted Text.

Jan.12 Gil Courtemanche

Gil Courtemanche is a journalist in international politics and the author of several non-fiction works. He has worked as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and Africa for Radio Canada. Un Dimanche à la Piscine à Kigali spent more than a year on Quebec bestseller lists. The novel is currently being made into a film. Courtemanche has also directed several documentary films and won the 2001 Prix des Libraires du Quebec for his first novel A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali.

Jan. 26 Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand is one of Canada's foremost writers. Born in Trinidad, she has lived in Canada since 1970. Brand is accomplished as both a novelist and a poet, and has also written documentary scripts and directed documentary films with Studio D of the National Film Board. She has also published essays and critical articles. Her poetry has been short-listed for a number of prizes including the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2003. Dionne Brand won the 1997 Governor General's literary award.

Feb. 9 Souvankham Thammavongsa

Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in Thailand and grew up in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in Acta Victoriana, The Fiddlehead, Fireweed, Grain, The Malahat Review, Other Voices, Prairie Fire, Rice Paper Magazine, as well as on CBC Radio. She is part of the editorial collective for big boots, a zine for and by women of colour. Small Arguments (Pedlar Press, 2003) is a collection of thirty tiny poems originally produced as chap books. Anne Michaels notes that the poet like an actor or rhetorician knows that she whispers in order to be heard, " . . . that small clear voice is the truly subversive voice of poetry".

Mar. 2 Ramabai Espinet

Ramabai Espinet is author of the novel The Swinging Bridge, described by one critic as one woman's saga of the Indo-Caribbean experience in Trinidad and Toronto. Her novel was long-listed for the 2005 IMPAC Dublin Award and short-listed for the regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize. In selecting The Swinging Bridge to be included in the 2004 Robert Adams Book Review Literature series, Adams noted ". . , it makes you itch to read. There can be no greater measure of success."

Mar. 16 Joan Barfoot

Joan Barfoot is an award winning novelist whose work is compared internationally with that of Anne Tyler, Carol Shields, Margaret Drabble and Margaret Atwood. Her first novel Abra won the Books on Canada first novel award and Dancing in the Dark was produced in film version, garnering awards at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. Critical Injuries (2001) was long-listed for the 2002 Man Booker Prize and short-listed for the 2001 Trilliam Book Award. Joan Barfoot lives in London, Ontario and worked as a journalist for many years. She was awarded the Marian Engel Award in 1992.

Mar. 30 Tessa McWatt

Tessa McWatt was born in Guyana, raised in Toronto, and now lives in London, England. She has published two previous novels: Out of My Skin (1998) and Dragon's City (2001). Dragon's City was short listed for the City of Toronto book award and the Governor General's Award in 2001. McWatt has also published a novella for young adults titled There's No Place Like and is currently producing a film based on the novel To the Wedding.

Sept. 21 Afua Cooper

Afua Cooper is an established writer of non-fiction, history, and poetry. She holds a PhD in African-Canadian history with specialties in slavery and abolition and teaches history at the University of Toronto.
Copper Woman and Other Poems (Natural Heritage Books, 2006)
The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal (HarperCollins Canada, 2006)
Utterances and Incantations: women, poetry and dub (Sister Vision Press, 1999)
We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History (co-author) (University of Toronto Press, 1994)
Memories Have Tongue (Sister Vision Press, 1992)
Red Caterpillar On College Street (Sister Vision Press, 1989)
Breakin chains (Weelahs, 1983)
Awards and Recognition: 1994: Joseph Brant award for history -We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up: Essays in African Canadian Women's History 1992: Finalist for the Casa de las Americas literary award - Memories Have Tongue

Oct. 5 Margaret Christakos

Margaret Christakos was born in Sudbury, Ontario in 1962. She obtained her BFA in Visual Arts and Creative Writing from York University in 1985 and her MA in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 1995.
Her books include:
Sooner (Coach House Books, 2005),
Excessive Love Prosthesis (Coach House Books, 2002), winner of the 2003 ReLit Award for Poetry,
Charisma (Pedlar Press, 2000), shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award,
Wipe Under a Love (Mansfield Press, 2000),
The Moment Coming (ECW Press, 1998),
Other Words for Grace (The Mercury Press, 1994),
and Not Egypt (Coach House Press, 1989).

Oct. 19 Betsy Warland

Betsy Warland was born in Iowa and studied Art and Education at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Since emigrating to Canada in 1973, Warland has been active as a poet, writer, educator and editor. She is the director of The Writer's Studio at Simon Fraser University and has taught creative writing at various writing schools. She is a member of the Writers Union of Canada and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and was writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library.
Only This Blue: A Long Poem with an Essay (The Mercury Press, 2005)
Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss (Sumach Press/Second Story Press, 2000)
What Holds Us Here (Buschek Books, 1998)
Two Women in a Birth (with Daphne Marlatt) (Guernica Editions, 1994)
The Bat Had Blue Eyes (Women's Press, 1993)
Proper Deafinitions: Collected Theorograms (Press Gang Publishers, 1990)
Double Negative (with Daphne Marlatt) (gynergy press/Ragweed Press, 1988)
serpent (w)rite: (a reader's gloss) (Coach House Press, 1987)
open is broken (Longspoon Press, 1984)
A Gathering Instinct (Williams-Wallace Press, 1981)

Nov. 2 John Unrau

John Unrau was born in Saskatoon in 1941. A Rhodes scholar at Oxford, he received his DPhil in 1969. He is Professor of English in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University.
His books include:
Iced Water (Salmon Publishing, 2000),
The Balancing of the Clouds (Windflower Communications, 1991),
Ruskin and St. Mark's (Thames & Hudson, 1984),
Looking at Architecture with Ruskin (Thames & Hudson, 1978).

Nov. 16 Shauna Singh Baldwin

Shauna Singh Baldwin was born in Montreal, grew up in India and currently lives in Milwaukee, USA. She studied at Marquette University and has worked as an independent radio producer and e-commerce consultant, as well as holding various writing residencies.
The Tiger Claw (Knopf Canada, 2004)
What the Body Remembers (Knopf Canada, 1999)
English Lessons and Other Stories (Goose Lane Editions, 1996)
A Foreign Visitor's Survival Guide to America (co-authored with Marilyn Levine) (John Muir, 1992)
Awards and Recognition:
2004: Giller-nominated - The Tiger Claw
2003: Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship
2000: Orange Prize longlisted - What the Body Remembers
Commonwealth Writers Prize (best book from the Canada/Caribbean region) - What the Body Remembers
1997: CBC Radio/Canada Council Literary Award (short story category) - "Satya"
1996: Friends of American Writers Award - English Lessons and Other Stories
1995: Writers Union of Canada Award for Short Prose
1974: Shastri Award for English Prose (Silver Medal)
1973: Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Public Speaking (Gold Medal)

Nov. 30 Joseph Boyden

Joseph Boyden studied creative writing at York University and the University of New Orleans and has taught in the aboriginal student program at Northern College, as well as holding various writing residencies. He divides his time between Ontario and Louisiana, where he teaches in the creative writing program at the University of New Orleans.
Three Day Road (Viking Canada, 2005)
Born With a Tooth (Cormorant Books, 2001)
Awards and Recognition:
2006: Included in "Canada Reads 2006" - Three Day Road
2005: Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" Award -Three Day Road
Governor General's Literary Award nominated - Three Day Road
McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award - Three Day Road
2001: Upper Canada Writer's Craft Award shortlisted - Born With a Tooth

Jan. 13 Karen Mac Cormack

Karen Mac Cormack, born in Luanshya, Zambia is a long time resident of Toronto and holds dual citizenship (British/Canadian). Mac Cormack has published seven books of poetry including Straw Cupid (1987), Quirks & Quillets (1991), Marine Show (1995), The Tongue Moves Talk (1997) and A Robin Hood Book (1996). Her most recent publication is Fit to Print (Coach House Press, 2003) a collaboration with poet Alan Halsey. This collaboration pursues meaning using the newspaper as a format, fusing an interest in mass culture while offering an innovative writing practice.

Jan. 27 Kerri Sakamoto

Kerri Sakamoto is a Toronto-born writer of fiction with an international reputation for film and visual arts criticism. Author of One Hundred Million Hearts (Vintage, 2004) and The Electric Field (Vintage Canada, 1998, Knopf, 1997), Sakamoto was the winner of the 1999 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book. Her works have been short-listed for several international awards and the Governor General's Award for fiction in 1998. Her style has been marked by an exquisite sense of the fragile with respect to the human mind and heart. "Hypnotic, haunting, and utterly original" is the way David Henry Hwang, author of M. Butterfly describes her writing. Identified by critics as a major new force in the landscape of Canadian fiction, Sakamoto is anthologized in the celebrated collection of Asian North American writing Charlie Chan is Dead (Norton, 1999) and is a contributor to the Canadian visual arts and literary journal Harbour. One Hundred Million Hearts, described as "stunningly complex and beautifully rendered" (Edmonton Journal), explores questions of identity through memory, love, guilt and complicity in the context of war.

Feb. 10 Wayde Compton

Wayde Compton is a Vancouver writer, performance artist and editor and professor at Simon Fraser University. His book of poetry 49th Parallel Psalm (Advance Editions/Arsenal Press, 1999) was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Prize. More recently he compiled Bluesprint: Black British Columbia Literature and Orature (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002) an anthology of Black British Columbian writing and orature featuring work from the gold rush era to today. His interest in musician Jimi Hendrix creates an entry point for Compton to explore questions of form, cultural consciousness and the question of cultural appropriation.

Mar. 17 Clarie Harris

Claire Harris is an esteemed Canadian poet who has published seven books of poetry. She has won the Commonwealth Prize for Poetry and The Writer's Guild of Alberta Poetry Award and has been nominated for a Governor General's Award. A long time resident of Calgary, Harris has worked on various literary magazines and initiatives to promote Canadian poetry (Dandelion magazine and Poetry Goes Public). Harris is one of the founders of blue buffalo an all-Alberta arts magazine. Born in Trinidad, Harris trained and taught as a high school English teacher. She also holds a diploma in Mass Media and Communications from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. A major theme in her poetry is the exploration of injustice and the human spirit whether found in the exercise of violence against women or in the consequences of colonialism. Drawing Down a Daughter (Goose Lane, 1993) offers an autobiographical window into the experiences of friendship, love and motherhood from an African-Canadian perspective.

Mar. 24 Thomas King

Thomas King is one of Canada's best-known writers of fiction about Canada's First Nations people. A professor of English at the University of Guelph, King is also a radio personality, a writer and an actor in the popular CBC feature Dead Dog Café and is the writer of critically acclaimed fiction such as Truth and Bright Water (1999) andGreen Grass, Running Water (2003), a close contender for the Canada Reads series on CBC Radio 1. His fiction addresses the marginalization of First Nations peoples, illuminating the fabric of stereotypes that constitute forms of racism and celebrates the unique quality and value of First Nations philosophical approach to social relations and with the environment, that make them prophetic in nature. King, the son of a Cherokee father and a mother of Greek and German descent, has begun to write a series of detective fiction under the pseudonym of Hartley Goodweather. The central character Thumps Dreadful Water is a Cherokee photographer who lives in Chinook. Green Grass, Running Water is scheduled to go into filming within the year. Thomas King has a PhD from the University of Utah and teaches Native Literature and Creative Writing. His creative and critical writing has been widely published and have appeared in many journals including World Literature Written in English, the Hungry Mind Review and the Journal of American Folklore. King will read from Truth and Bright Water.

Mar. 31 Steve McCaffery

Steve McCaffery is a poet, writer and theorist with a career that spans more than three decades. He is the author of fifteen books of poetry and one novel. His work has often been nominated for literary prizes (twice nominated for the Governor General's Award in Poetry). He is a two-time recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American Poetry (1993-94 and 1994-95). A pioneer in the area of sound poetry, McCaffery was one of the original members of the Four Horsemen (along with bp Nichol, Paul Dutton and Rafael Barreto-Rivera). He has performed his poetry internationally and has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese and Hungarian and is a professor in the Faculty of English at York University.

Sep. 22 Miriam Toews

Miriam Toews was born in Steinbach, Manitoba in 1964 and currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of King's College. Aside from her personal writing, she has worked as a freelance journalist. She writes both fiction and non-fiction in the genres of novel, memoir, magazine, newspaper and radio. Winner of the 2004 Governor General' s Award for Fiction, she is the author of two novels:Summer of My Amazing Luck (1996), nominated for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal and winner of the John Hirsch Award, andA Boy of Good Breeding (1998), winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. Toews also has one work of non-fiction:Swing Low: A Life (2000), winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction. She has written for CBC, This American Life (NPR), Saturday Night, Geist, Canadian Geographic, Open Letters and The New York Times Magazine, and has won the National Magazine Award Gold Medal for Humour.

Oct. 6 Nicole Brossard

Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon is the English translation of Hier, a novel that received wide acclaim in Quebec and is deemed by some to be the synthesis of Brossard's forty years of publishing. In a writing career that spans over four decades of literary innovation,Nicole Brossard has published over thirty books, won the Governor General's award twice, and has also been awarded the prestigious W. O. Mitchell Prize and the Prix Athanase She is an eloquent, thoughtful speaker who captivates the minds of an audience speaking to a lifetime of publishing poetry, fiction and periodicals in not only in French and English Canada but also around the world. Brossard has also co-directed the documentary film Some American Feminists.

Oct. 27 Stephen Cain

Stephen Cain is the author of two previous poetry collections dyslexicon (Coach House Books, 1999) and Torontology (ECW Press, 2001). He lives in Toronto where he is the literary editor at the Queen Street Quarterly and a fiction editor at Insomniac Press. His new work American Standard/Canada Dry will be published by Coach House in Spring 2005. He has also published articles in Canadian Studies in Literature and Open Letter. His research interests lie mainly in the areas of small press and magazine publishing in Canada, Canadian cultural production and avant guard poetry and poetics.

Nov.10 Priscila Uppal

Priscila Uppal has published two earlier collections of poetry:Confessions of a Fertility Expert (1999) and How to Draw Blood from a Stone (1998), and a novel: The Divine Economy of Salvation. Born in Ottawa, Uppal is currently a professor in the Division of Humanities at York University and teaches creative writing.

Nov. 24 Shyam Selvadurai

Shyam Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and came to Canada with his family at the age of nineteen. He has studied creative writing and theatre, earning a B.F from York University. His first novel Funny Boy was published to acclaim in 1994 and won the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the U.S. The Lambda Literary Award, and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Selvadurai's second novel Cinnamon Gardens was published in Canada, the U.K, the USA and was translated into 6 languages: Italian, French, German, Danish, Spanish and Hebrew. The book was short listed for the Canada's Trillium Award, as well as the Aba Literary Award in Denmark and the Premio Internazionale Riccardo Bacchelli in Italy. Shyam Selvadurai is the editor of the anthology Story-wallah! A Celebration of South Asian Fiction, published in 2004 in Canada and was recently published in the USA.

Dec. 1 Caitlin Fisher

Caitlin Fisher is the Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture in Film & Video in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. She is the curator of the 2004 Images Festival in New Media Works, and the founding editor of j-spot: Journal of Social and Political Thought (an electronic journal of political and cultural theory and criticism). Fisher won the Electronic Literature's Award for Fiction (2001) for her hypertext novel These Waves of Girls. She also appears in Midnight Stranger an inter CD drama in which she collaborated with Jeff Green and Simon Goodwin first published by Gazelle Technologies (San Diego). Her work in digitized story-telling is regarded as pioneering work, creating new sites for the production of Canadian literature. Her story lines are constructed around a combination of her own poetry and digitized images.

Sep. 23 M. G. Vassanji

M.G. Vassanji has earned well-deserved critical acclaim for The Book of Secrets, 1994 and The In-between Life of Vikram Lall, 2003 and stands in the first ranks of Canadian fiction writers. He is a two-time Giller Prize winner (1994 and 2003) and the 1990 Commonwealth Writers Prize for The Gunny Sack and in 2004 was awarded the Trillium prize for his most recent novel. Vassanji, born in Kenya, Nairobi and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, draws on his experience to explore questions of identity and experience in the Arab-Indian culture, taking on the larger thematic concerns of the intersections between past and present, the assimilation of traditional and contemporary values and the importance of love and safety, conditions that arise out of a sense of community. Indeed, one of the preoccupations in his fiction is the evolution of community from the perspective of the 'ordinary' life caught in the vortex of overwhelming historical events that engulf it. Vassanji has a distinguished international reputation and has established the Toronto South Asian Review to support South Asian Canadian writers and has a doctorate in nuclear physics. Of The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, Janette Turner Hospital wrote: "His characters are complex, compelling, revelatory and unforgettable.It is a wounded but quietly stubborn humanity, this refusal to cast single blame on the multifarious injustice that puts Vassanji in Tolstoy's company. Of his own work, Vassanji has said, "I write at night but think about it all the time."

Oct. 7 Roo Borson

Roo Borson is a poet and essayist and member of the collaborative performance poetry group Pain Not Bread (a name derived from the circumstances surrounding the death of French critic Roland Barthes). Pain Not Bread won the Earle Birney Prize for the poem "Sleep" (1999). Her Selected Poems (1994) was nominated for a Governor General's Award for poetry and she took the Malahat Long Poem Prize in 1993. Borson was also the winner of the CBC Literary Competition for Poetry (1982, 1989) and Personal Essay (1991). Her forth-coming book of poetry Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida (McClelland & Stewart, 2004) was released in the spring of 2004. Borson has served as writer-in-residence at several universities including the University of Western Ontario and Concordia and enjoys an international performance profile.

Oct.21 Shani Mootoo

Shani Mootoo is a writer, a visual artist and a video-filmmaker who develops and explores her particular approach to artistic expression in a multi-disciplinary approach to media. Her collection of short stories Out on Main Street is followed by her first novel Cereus Blooms at Night (Press Gang, 1997). Born of East Indian ancestry in Ireland and raised in Trinidad, Mootoo moved to Canada at age nineteen. Her experience as a multiple immigrant (India, Ireland, England, Trinidad and Canada) emerge, shape and colour her writing. Mootoo traces themes of ethnicity, gender and sexual identities through her work, taking as her main focus the relationship between authenticity and identity. If Out on Main Street explores questions of authenticity and identity through the first-person narration of the main character of the title story of the collection, an Indo-Trinidadian butch lesbian, Cereus Blooms at Night offers a reflective examination of 'socially deviant' identities through hybridity and the sexually divergent. Shani Mootoo currently teaches at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Nov. 4 Chester Brown

Chester Brown is an acclaimed Toronto cartoonist and author of what one critic described as "the finest graphic novels you could hope to find". His Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography (2003), inspired in part by Maggie Siggins. Riel: A Life of Revolution, delivers a cartoon narrative that is entertaining and extensively researched. The story of one of Canada's controversial figures takes on a contemporary context, rendered in the form of a graphic narrative. Brown is also known as a pioneer in the world of underground comics with bizarre and surreal titles. Series like Yummy Fur and Underwater and I Never Liked You contain a strong autobiographical component and project a trenchant political and cultural critique, inviting comparisons with the serialized novel associated with Charles Dickens. In 2004 Chester Brown received three prestigious Harvey Awards for his work: Best Writer (Louis Riel), Best Cartoonist (Louis Riel) and Best Graphic Album of previously published works.

Nov. 25 George Szanto

George Szanto is the award-winning author of a dozen books, novels, stories, plays and essays who holds a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard (Woodrow Wilson Fellow). He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1988. Szanto's first novel, Not Working (St. Martin.s Press, Macmillan, Avon) was short-listed for the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Friends and Marriages (Véhicule) won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction (1995) and The Underside of Stories (McClelland & Stewart, Harper & Row) won a National Magazine Award. Szanto.s important fictional trilogy Conquests of Mexico (The Underside of Stones, 1990, The Condesa of M., 2001 and Second Sight, 2004) explores the mystical, religious, and political facets in Mexican culture translated through the voice of the outsider/foreigner, a criminologist named George, who functions as the collector or caretaker of the truth. This literary stance mirrors Szanto.s own research and preoccupation with the "horror stories" coming out of Chiapas and the Peru-Ecuador story. Szanto was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and has lived in England, France, Germany, Mexico, the US and Canada. In the seventies, Szanto was the executive director of New Heritage Theatre in San Diego, later serving as president of Playwrights of Canada. In Montreal he taught at McGill as a professor of communications and cultural analysis before moving to Gabriola Island in British Columbia.

Dec. 2 Marlene Nourbese Philip

Marlene Nourbese Philip is a Caribbean-born Toronto poet and writer who has published three collections of poetry, including Thorns (Williams Wallace, 1980) and Salmon Courage (Williams Wallace, 1983) as well as fiction and non-fiction, essays and a book of children.s literature. About fiction and poetry, Philip notes: "Fiction is about telling lies, but you must be scathingly honest in telling those lies. Poetry is about truth telling, but you need the lies . the artifice of the form to tell those truths." Philip was made a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry in 1992. She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks won the Casa de las Americas prize in 1988. Her long narrative poem Looking For Livingstone: an odyssey of silence (1991) explores the complexities of identity construction from a postcolonial theoretical perspective. Philip who also holds an M.A. in Political Science and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario received the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto 'Rebel For A Cause' award in 2001 as .a revolutionary poet, writer and thinker.. She was the recipient of the 2001 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for her works where "the experience of Black women and girls are are issues of belonging, language, place and location."


Gail Vanstone and Leslie Sanders are here to answer any questions you may have. They can be reached by email.