If you miss only one English department event this year, DO NOT make it this one!


The question heard most frequently around English studies shops like ours is, “Sure, you people are great at parsing sentences and breaking down texts, but can you hit a high C or bust a move?” The answer is: Observe, fool!

Professor Sarah Tolmie, one-time wunderkind and now just plain wunderful, has organized an extraordinary talent event for alumni, friends of English, faculty, and students, to be held next Friday night.

Stop Idling: An Evening with the English Department, SJU English, Alumni and Friends
When: Friday November 16, 6 pm – 11 pm
Where: The University Club, UW

Stop Idling, a multimedia talent night featuring department members, students, alumni and friends, is to be held at the University Club on November 16th from 6 pm onwards. It is going to be pretty cool, a mashup of a kind we have not done before.

Tickets are available from the Alumni Office.

Please come, alumni, current students and friends and supporters of our departments, both on main campus and at St Jerome’s!

Below are some photos and bios of event participants in our ever-evolving lineup. These were written by the performers themselves, uncut and unsullied.

Maggie Clark

Maggie Clark graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Joint Honours in Political Science and English Literature. She has published fiction in The Danforth Review, Vagabondage Press, Lightspeed, and Daily SF, and poetry in RATTLE, The Pedestal, ditch, and Ryga. Her current, dominant interest in speculative fiction resonates with ongoing work as a doctoral student at Wilfrid Laurier University in the narrative analysis of Victorian era scientific non-fiction.

Tristanne Connolly

Tristanne Connolly is a professor at St Jerome’s, teaching courses such as Literature of the Romantic Period (her specialty) and The Superhero. She helps organize the Canada Council-supported Reading Series at St Jerome’s, also known by its motto, Can Lit Kicks Ass. A few of her poems have appeared in literary magazines includingThe Fiddlehead and The Honest Ulsterman. She has written and edited a number of scholarly books and articles, mainly on William Blake, and collaborates internationally (with special connections to the UK and Japan) in research on British and Canadian literature, pop music, and culture.

Michael Aaron Damyanovich
Michael Aaron Damyanovich is in his third year of studying Literature and Philosophy at the University of Waterloo. Previously, he was a student of Biology, Environmental Economics, and Astronomy. His most likely career prospect seems to be educated homelessness (give generously!). He is twenty-two years of age, and has been a rather excellent poet since I was in the sixth grade. He collects fine books, and his favourite authors are Hesse, Goethe, Byron, Shakespeare, and Waugh. He works at sawing lumber in the summers and, to stay sharp in the off-season, he plays the fiddle.

Caitlyn Derderian

Originally from Waterloo, Caitlyn Derderian has been playing violin for the last ten years and have always been in love with music. She met Mike in their grade nine strings orchestra and they have been musical partners ever since, performing for charity events, the mayor of Waterloo, and even in an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day. She is currently in her fourth year at the University of Waterloo studying Drama and English Literature. The arts have always been clost to her heart, and she hopes that everyone enjoys the songs she and Mike have prepared.

Danica Guenette

Danica Guenette grew up in Sudbury, Ontario. While completing her classical vocal training, she sang in Meadowlark Five over the course of several Canada-wide tours. Moving to Kitchener in 2012, Danica joined The Crazy Diamonds, a local 9-piece band whose repertoire consists of Pink Floyd albums and disco and R & B classics. For info on current and future activities, see The Crazy Diamonds facebook page.

Marcy Italiano

Marcy Italiano lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her husband Giasone and twin boys. Books available: Katrina and the Frenchman: A Journal from the Street (2009); Spirits and Death in Niagara (2008); Pain Machine (2003). Marcy has also written many dark fiction stories, the most recent publication is “Dance at My Funeral” in the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, Issue 4. She has published poetry in both magazines and online. She also works on songwriting with “G”. To find out more please visit her website.

Poppy Kyprianou

Poppy Kyprianou graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Waterloo. She read a book of poetry, Inventing the Hawk, by Lorna Crozier, and ever since then she couldn’t stop writing and being inspired. Poppy has published two poems in The New Quarterly (Issue: 118) and submits whenever she can. She currently lives in Kitchener, Ontario where she dreams, writes and goes on daily adventures.

Tommy Mayberry

Tommy Mayberry has a BA from Waterloo (Joint Hons. English Literature and Fine Arts: Studio Specialization) and an MA from McMaster (English and Cultural Studies). He is a first-year PhD student interested in human bodies. In his practiced-based research as an academic drag queen, through marrying her scholastic roots of English and the Visual Arts, he simultaneously (re)embodies the voice of theory and (re)envoices the body of art. Her work initiates the lip-synching performance of scholars’ words fused with his own as she explores visual/textual argumentation located in both his spoken language and bodily rhetoric. The central question, then, in her project of embodied cognitive research is: “If we can have drag bodies, do we also have drag minds?” Focusing on writers/artists such as Lady Gaga, RuPaul, William Blake, and even William Langland, he is interested in what happens in/to the mind when the form of the body changes and then changes back.

Claire Pella

Claire Pella is a student, scribbler, and compulsive reader completing a Bachelor of Independent Studies with a concurrent BA in Political Science. Her undergraduate thesis for Independent Studies focusses on the treatment of time, selfhood, and ethics in three novels by Ursula K. Le Guin. Other interests include language(s), ethnography, visual art, theatre, grassroots activism, and gardening. Unsurprisingly, she recently arrived at the conclusion that her BA in political science should really have been in cultural anthropology.

Jack Pender

Jack Pender grew up in Northern Ontario. One day, he stretched some chicken wire down the length of a 2 x 4 and plucked the string — his first guitar. Since then, he’s picked up a couple of literature degrees and is currently proselytizing for William T. Vollmann — a direly underappreciated American writer — in Waterloo’s doctoral program. Whenever bar owners and event planners can be persuaded, Jack still likes to surprise unwitting audiences with his musical stylings.

Lacey Beer

Lacey Beer is a second year PhD candidate in English (Canadian Literature and Composition) who indulges in creative writing and composing music. She has her A.R.C.T. (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music) Performers certificate in piano and her Grade 10 (RCM) violin. She has also been a dedicated member of both the CCO (Cambridge Community Orchestra) and the KWSYO (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Youth Orchestra) as well as an independent music instructor. She has a minor in both music and French from Wilfrid Laurier University and has received several bursaries and awards through the KWSYO and the Kiwanis Music Festival.

Veronica Austen

Veronica Austen is an Assistant Professor at St. Jerome’s University and a graduate from the Department of English’s M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Having done a minor in Fine Art during her undergrad, she’d likely say that her genre is drawing, but the freedom and play involved in watercolour is often so much more fun.

Sarah Tolmie and Adam Euerby

Sarah Tolmie and Adam Euerby have been practicing contact improvisation together for two years, and are two-thirds of the Raw Nerve Research Group, a think-in-motion-tank dedicated to helping people use their bodies as instruments of analysis. Sarah is an Associate Professor in the department, and Adam is a UW Systems Design MASc now working as a designer for Desire2Learn.

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One response to “If you miss only one English department event this year, DO NOT make it this one!

  1. Lots of talent next Friday evening, including some very fine poets.

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