Category Archives: Literature

Dr. Vinh Nguyen Curates New Series

Hannah Campbell TNQ
Dr. Vinh Nguyen of UWaterloo English is curating a new ongoing series for The New Quarterly, a Canadian literary journal housed at St. Jerome’s, a founding college at the University of Waterloo. Titled Scatterings: A Series, it takes up refugee, migrant, and diasporic writing. The inaugural offering appears in Issue 153, and features new works by Rawi Hage (“The Iconoclast”), Souvankham Thammavongsa (“There Can’t Ever Only Be One “), and Noor Naga (“washes, prays”).

Otters, Dinosaurs, and a Poetry Reading

mad long emotion cover

Ben Ladouceur, author of the poetry collections Otter and Mad Long Emotion, will be reading as part of the St. Jerome’s Reading Series. Join us Friday 24 January, 4:30pm, for tales of dinosaurs, houseplants, World War 1, and otters (Academic Staff Association Reading Room, St. Jerome’s University Library). Kristen Marie Fajardo will be opening.

Ladouceur’s first collection of poetry, Otter, was selected as a best book of 2015 by the National Post, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, and awarded the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best debut collection in Canada. His second collection, Mad Long Emotion, was selected as a CBC 2019 Book of the Year.  In 2018, he received the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for emerging LGBT writers; in 2019, he was awarded the 2019 National Magazine Award for Poetry, and his short fiction was featured in the Journey Prize Anthology and awarded the Thomas Morton Prize.

Dreaming with Deanna Young

Once again, it’s time to announce another participant in The Reading Series at St. Jerome’s! November’s featured speaker is Deanna Young, who will be reading on Friday 22 November at 4:30pm, in SJ1 3027.

Deanna Young is the author of four books of poetry. House Dreams (2014) was nominated for numerous awards, including the Ottawa Book Award and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Reunion (2018) was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Archibald Lampman Award. Born in Lucan, Ontario, she lives in Ottawa where she works as an editor and teaches poetry privately. In 2019 she was named Ottawa’s English Poet Laureate for a two-year term.

Congratulations to Dr. Lamees Al Ethari

Congratulations to UWaterloo alumni and instructor Dr. Lamees Al Ethari, whose new book Waiting for the Rain: An Iraqi Memoir will be included in the Fall 2019 Mawenzi House Annual Book Launch. As the press writes, “In this memoir, Lamees Al Ethari traces her transition from an idyllic childhood in a large extended Iraqi family to the relative stability of an exilic family life in Canada. Through memory fragments, flights of poetry, diary entries, and her own art, the author reveals the trauma suffered by Iraqis, caused by three senseless wars, dehumanizing sanctions, a brutal dictatorship, and a foreign occupation. Finely observed, highly personal, and intensely moving, this account also gives testimony to the Iraqi people’s resilience and the humanity they manage to preserve in the face of adversity. It is the other voice, behind the news flashes.”

Date and Time
Tue, 12 November 2019
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST

Centre for Social Innovation – Annex
720 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Songs in the Key of Cree

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Songs in the Key of Cree is a collection of Cree and English songs written by one of Canada’s most renowned authors, Tomson Highway. Part of a larger multimedia and scholarly Indigenous language revitalization project of the same name, this integrated performance-speaker event features outstanding musicians Patricia Cano, Marcus Ali, and Nathan Halcrow, and graduate student and artist Emma Rain Smith. Read about the Songs in the Key of Cree project.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 — 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM EST
Modern Languages Theatre of the Arts
University of Waterloo

The Indigenous Speakers Series is co-presented by the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, the Faculty of Arts, the Department of History, 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.

Image credit

UW at the Wild Writers Festival


The 2019 Wild Writers Literary Festival (November 1-3) is just around the corner. Those writers descending on Waterloo for the occasion will find themselves in the good company of UWaterloo English faculty and alumni. Excerpted below are the events featuring our people; for a full program see the festival homepage. Self-care for Writers! Character Invention! Literary Brunch! It’s all covered!

Saturday, November 2

Facing Your Fear of Poetry, with Sarah Tolmie (Associate Professor)

Poetry and Healing: In Conversation with George Elliott Clarke (alumnus) and Pamela Mordecai

Home and Away: A Roundtable Conversation with Lamees Al Ethari (lecturer), Helen Knott, Vinh Nguyen (Assistant Professor) & Ayelet Tsabari

Poetry Masterclass with George Elliott Clarke (alumnus)

Alumnus George Elliott Clarke to read

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Please join the UWaterloo Department of English Language and Literature for a public talk by alumnus Dr. George Elliott Clarke. Dr. Clarke will be reciting from his latest work Canticles, an ongoing project started in Zanzibar in 2008 and expected to conclude in 2021.

Dr. Clarke is has been the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, as well as the Poet Laureate of Toronto. His collection Execution Poems won the 2001 Governor General’s Award for poetry; additionally, Clarke has edited numerous anthologies including Border Lines (1995), Eyeing the North Star (1997), Odysseys Home (2002), Fire on the Water (2002), Directions Home (2012), and Locating Home (2017).

Date: November 1, 2019 Time: 2:15-4:30 pm
Location: AL 208

For those wishing to learn more about Dr. Clarke, the CBC has rounded up a host of resources–including the photo above!