Category Archives: down time

Booksellers’ favorite poets include a UW Alumni

Kaur book covers
The Bookseller
magazine (founded in 1858), in consultation with the BA and Forward Arts Foundation, has produced “The Poetry Booksellers List,” a compendium of favorite poets from the last twenty-five years. As they write ” International stars include Claudia Rankine, Sharon Olds, Anne Carson alongside Rupi Kaur and Hera Lindsay Bird.” As some may recall, UWaterloo English alumna Rupi Kaur’s first collection, Milk and Honey, spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list. In related news, you can read more about what she has been up to in the September edition of Vogue Portugal.


Games Institute Podcast!

podcast image
Are you aware that the UWaterloo Games Institute, founded and headed by English’s Dr. Neil Randall, has a podcast? Marisa Benjamin, Research Communications Coordinator, and Toben Racicot, English PhD candidate co-host the Games Institute (GI) podcast. Every episode we spotlight a researcher from the GI and interview them about how their research impacts the study and culture of games and interactive technologies.

Quick Links

Meet the Hosts

Asymmetric Cooperative Play with John Harris

Games for Change with Rina Wehbe

VR Futures with Alex Fleck

Games and Mental Health Support with Tina Chan

Gamification and Personalization with Gustavo Tondello

Why a Podcast?

The unfortunate reality of academia is that a lot of the great research findings never reach public audiences. Or, when it does, several years have passed and it’s already outdated.

This problem has to do with how research is communicated. Scholarly research is shared with scholarly audiences who exist within the same scholarly bubble. Do you subscribe to scholarly journals? Attend scholarly conferences? Likely not.

A podcast allows us to pop the bubble and bring you research discussions as they’re happening. We invite researchers to sit down and talk about what they’re up to. No word counts, no jargon, no registration or subscription fee.

You get to hear about the GI researchers’ successes – and failures – and learn about the person behind the scholarly curtain.

Read an excerpt from Dr. Sarah Tolmie’s novel

You can read an excerpt from Dr. Sarah Tolmie‘s latest novel, The Little Animals, online. Described by Ursula LeGuin as “vibrant with life and activity, fascinating in its strangeness and its familiarity,” the novel is the story of the 17th-century Delft scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek–and a mysterious goose girl. And if you haven’t read The Art of Dying, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, it might make an excellent complement to autumn.

A Book Club for UW

It may not be English, but it’s a book club meeting hosted by members of UW! The University of Waterloo’s new program in Gender and Social Justice is partnering with Words Worth Books to host a local monthly meet-up of Professor Pam Palmater’s Reconciliation Book Club.

Each month, as part of her Reconciliation Book Club, Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer, member of the Eel River Bar First Nation, assigns a book and discusses it on her YouTube channel. You can hear more about the book club in this CBC interview.

The local gathering will meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Words Worth Books to discuss the latest book in the reading series. Words Worth, located at 96 King St. S., will stock the books Professor Palmater assigns.

At the group’s inaugural meeting on September 4, the book up for discussion will be Karen Stote’s An Act of Genocide: Colonialism and the Sterilization of Aboriginal Women. Professor Stote will join the group’s discussion.

All are welcome, as the events are free and no RSVP is necessary.

For more information please contact Professor Shannon Dea by sending an email to

How well do you know our faculty?

bingo card
A late summer quiz: how well do you know us?

  1. Who has published on neoliberalism and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
  2. Who has a research grant from Women’s College Hospital?
  3. Who wrote ” ‘We Weren’t Hip, Downtown People’: The Kids in the Hall, the Rivoli and the Nostalgia of the Queen West Scene’”?
  4. Which faculty member authored a piece on Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese?
  5. Who among us has a BS in Clinical Lab Science?
  6. Who has published in three different languages?
  7. Any guesses who has a Wikipedia page?
  8. Can you guess who has published on British Romantic Women’s Midwifery Books as well as the Canadian musical group Rush?
  9. Any idea who has published on Superman?
  10. Who received a grant to study eighteenth-century women who passed as men?



Long Live the Pickle Forks!

pickle forks

Has it been so long that we have forgotten the iconic Pickle Fork statues, removed to facilitate the Hagey Hall expansion? Finally, they have been resurrected, and can now be viewed by nostalgic alumni and bewildered undergrads alike. Lest you forget their symbolic import to English, I invite you to revisit the haikus composed in their honour by UWaterloo faculty, students, and staff, at the time of their dismantling. You can read more about the statues and their history here.

Faculty on the Radio

This weekend you should definitely tune into Midtown Radio ( The July 28th episode of the programme Midtown Conversations for Change (Sunday, 10am-12pm), produced by Dr. Danielle Deveau will feature interviews and conversations with Dept. of English Language and Literature faculty Drs. Heather Love, Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, and Lamees Al Ethari. We will be discussing education, communication, storytelling, and community engagement.

What: Midtown Conversations for Change: a two-hour programme dedicated to discussing issues related to community and social good

Where: Midtown Radio ( > hit the “listen now” link)

When: July 28th at 10am