Category Archives: Literature

Author Lee Maracle speaking at UWaterloo

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 4 PM – 5:30 PM, the Indigenous Speakers Series presents renowned author and teacher Lee Maracle, who will be joined by choreographer Bill Coleman for an integrated lecture/dance performance, in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

Lee Maracle is a member of the Sto:Lo Nation; grandmother of four and mother of four who was born in North Vancouver, BC. Her works include the novels, Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, and Sundogs; short story collection, Sojourner’s Truth; poetry collection, Bentbox; and non-fiction work I Am Woman. She was a Co-editor of My Home As I Remember and Telling It: Women and Language Across Cultures, editor of a number of poetry works, Gatherings journals and has been published in dozens of anthologies in Canada and the United States. An award-winning author and teacher, she is currently a mentor for Indigenous students at University of Toronto where she teaches Indigenous studies. Ms. Maracle acts as the Traditional Cultural Director for the Indigenous Theatre School and also functions as the schools part-time cultural instructor.

Bill Coleman is a choreographer and performer whose work has transcended traditional theatrical settings to include mountain tops, rainforests, prairies and urban construction sites. He has created a bold collection of large-scale, site-specific works, collaborating with diverse groups including WWII veterans, Aboriginal communities, fishing villages, ranching towns and urban neighbourhoods. He uses dance as a means to unite communities within their natural environment and past locations include Banff, Gros Morne and Grassland National Parks, the steppes of western Mongolia, Long Plain First Nation Pow Wow in Manitoba, the Great Bear Rainforest in BC and Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood.

The Indigenous Speakers Series is co-presented by the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, the Faculty of Arts, and the Department of Communication Arts. The series highlights the voices of Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and leaders from across Turtle Island, offering UWaterloo students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn from, understand, and engage with Indigenous issues.

Lee Maracle illustration by Catherine Dallaire.


St. Jerome’s Reading Series, 2018-2019

Once again, it’s time to announce the St. Jerome’s Reading Series, here at University of Waterloo. The first event is a reading by poet Julie Cameron Gray (pictured above), on Friday, 19 October, 4:30pm, in SJ1 3027. Gray’s most recent collection, Lady Crawford, was shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets’ 2017 Pat Lowther Award (and was reviewed by Lena Dunham in Lenny). Information about other readings follows–from Canadian football to Lucy Maud Montgomery, this year’s series has it all!

Jael Richardson, Friday 16 November, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027

Richard Cumyn, Friday 1 February, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027

Melanie Fishbane, Friday 8 March, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027

The readings are free and all are welcome. Hope to see you there — and please spread the word

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.



Poetry and Complexity Event

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What do the following three people have in common?

Madhur Anand, Waterloo Institute for Complexity & Innovation (WICI) Director, theoretical ecologist, and poet

Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize-winning theoretical chemist and poet

Rae Armantrout, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Guggenheim Fellow

They are all participating in the event Poetry & Complexity, Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at the University of Waterloo Davis Centre, Room 1301, from 4pm-5pm, with a cocktail reception to follow from 5pm-6pm (complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar). The event will be moderated by English’s Dr. Sarah Tolmie.

Please RSVP to:

The New Quarterly’s Writing Retreat

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The New Quarterly, an award-winning literary magazine housed at St. Jerome’s at the University of Waterloo, is excited to announce that it will manage the 7th annual Write on the French River Creative Writing Retreat, May 4 to 9, 2018, at the magnificent Lodge at Pine Cove, on the storied French River, a five-hour drive north of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

The French River Retreat is for writers of all skill levels—from novice to accomplished—of fiction (short stories and novels) and nonfiction (memoirs and essays). Limited to 25 participants, it includes workshops, small groups, and talks. The Lodge at Pine Cove offers gourmet meals and superb accommodations.

This year’s fiction faculty are Helen Humphreys and Alison Pick. For creative nonfiction, it’s Andrew Westoll. Humphreys is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen books, and recipient of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Pick’s novel Far To Go was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. She was also a juror for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Westoll’s The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary won the 2012 RBC-Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction
New this year is the self-guided retreat, which provides one-on-one consulting with TNQ’s editors, Pamela Mulloy (fiction), and Susan Scott (nonfiction).

While applications are due by April 6, 2018, the early-bird registration date is February 15, 2018—a $125 discount awaits.

There are two ways to register: online at or download the application form at:, fill it out and email it to Susan Scott at

The New Quarterly has been publishing the best of new Canadian writing—fiction, poetry, author interviews and talk about writing since 1981. In addition, TNQ hosts the Wild Writers Literary Festival, with the seventh annual to be held November 2 to 4, 2018.

To find out more about this spring’s Write on the French River Creative Writing Retreat, contact Susan Scott at:

Elizabeth Greene reads at UW

It’s time for the first event in the annual Canadian Literature Reading Series at St. Jerome’s at UWaterloo. Join us for a reading by Elizabeth Greene at 4:30pm this Friday, 20 October, in SJ1 3027.

Elizabeth Greene has published three books of poetry, The Iron Shoes, Moving, and Understories, the last two with Inanna Press. She edited and contributed to We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays and Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman (Cormorant, 1997), which won the Betty and Morris Aaron Prize for Best Canadian Scholarship (Jewish Book Awards). She has published poetry in journals, including The Antigonish Review, FreeFall, The Literary Review of Canada and anthologies, including Shy: An Anthology; Poet to Poet Anthology; and Where the Nights are Twice as Long. Three of her poems were included in the inaugural issue of Juniper: an online poetry journal this past summer. Her poems were short-listed for the Descant/Winston Collins Prize (2011, 2013). Her novel, A Season Among Psychics, is forthcoming from Inanna next spring; her selection of Adele Wiseman’s poetry, The Dowager Empress and Other Poems, will appear from Inanna in 2019. In an earlier incarnation she taught English at Queen’s University, where she was instrumental in introducing Creative Writing to the Department and was one of the founders of Women’s Studies.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

New book of poetry from alumna

Congratulations to UWaterloo English alumna Rupi Kaur, whose second book of poetry was released today. the sun and her flowers is published by Simon & Schuster. For those who missed it, Rupi’s debut collection, milk and honey, was a New York Times bestseller.

Wild Writers Festival

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Do you know about The New Quarterly, an award-winning literary journal housed at St. Jerome’s at University of Waterloo? If not, you should–they host the Wild Writers Festival. You can attend writing workshops, readings, and more. Kathleen Winter (nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction) will be leading a workshop on childhood as literary inspiration; Amanda Leduc (shortlisted for the UK Daily Mail First Novel Award, PRISM International’s 2008 Short Fiction Contest, and the 2006 CBC Literary Awards) is giving a workshop on marketing yourself as a writer. For more events and opportunities, see below.


Friday, November 3 @ 7:00pm – CIGI Campus Auditorium
67 Erb St. W, Waterloo:

Friday Night Showcase with Alison Pick and Kathleen Winter in Conversation with Craig Norris

+ winners of The New Quarterly’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry contests

$10 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $15 at the door 

– or FREE with a print subscription to The New Quarterly OR featured book purchase at Words Worth Books.

Saturday, November 4 – Balsillie School of International Affairs (CIGI campus)
67 Erb St. W, Waterloo

8:30 – 9:30 am:


9:30 – 10:50 am:

Crafting the Poem with Evelyn Lau – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

The Publishing Panel: The Joy of Litmags – Free!

First Word, First Sentence, First Paragraph with Robert Rotenberg – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

11:10 – 12:30 pm:

Writer’s Craft Class: On Character with Alison Pick – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

The Shape Shifters: Writing in Multiple Genres – Free!

Wild Writers Panel: Displacement Narratives – Free!

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Book Signing and Lunch 

1:30 – 2:50 pm

Writer’s Craft Class: Interactive Possibilities of Creative Nonfiction with Betsy Warland –  $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

The Fiction Panel with Lori McNulty, Alicia Elliott, Trevor Corkum, and Rebecca Rosenblum – Free!

The Art of the Shelfie: Marketing Yourself as a Writer with Amanda Leduc – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door


Poetry Masterclass: Recklessness and Revision in Poetry with Chris Banks – $35 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $40 at the door

3:10 – 4:30 pm

Finding Home: Tales my Father Never Told Me with Tamas Dobozy and Pasha Malla – $10 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $15 at the door

Nonfiction Panel: The Art of the Personal Essay – Free!

Childhood and Intuition as Literary Inspiration with Kathleen Winter – $20 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $25 at the door

4:30 – 5:30 pm

Book Signing

Saturday, November 4 Doors Open @ 7:00pm – Nick & Nat’s Uptown 21
21 King St.N, Waterloo, ON N2J 2W6

Speakeasy: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A Conversation with Stacey May Fowles and Mark Kingwell
+ Bruce Johnstone as MC
+ Music TBA

$15 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $20 at the door

Sunday, November 5 @ 10:00am – Rhapsody Barrel Bar
179 King St W, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A9

Literary Brunch: Helen Humphreys, Karen Connelly, and a special guest (TBA)

Moderated by Sharron Smith

Coffee with the authors begins at 9:30 followed by breakfast fare. The writers will discuss their latest work, the writing process, and life as a writer. Intimate, casual, engaging – an ideal way to spend a Sunday morning.

$38 earlybird ticket price (+ 13% HST); $45 at the door. Earlybird ticket prices in effect until November 1, 2017.