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2015-2016 Reading Series Past Speakers

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Tristanne Connolly
Associate Professor
519-884-8111 x 28244
Veronica Austen
Associate Dean
519-884-8111 x 28300
2015-2016 Reading Series Past Speakers
Larissa Lai and Rita Wong

March 17, 2016


Larissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; two books of poetry, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and most recently, a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers' Award, she has been shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing there.


Rita Wong is the author of four books of poetry: undercurrent (forthcoming in 2015 with Nightwood), sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai, Line Books 2008), forage (Nightwood 2007), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang 1998). forage won Canada Reads Poetry 2011. Wong received the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop Emerging Writer Award in 1997, and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2008.  She is currently researching the poetics of water. Her work investigates the relationships between contemporary poetics, social justice, ecology, and decolonization.

Catherine Greenwood

March 10, 2016


Her latest book of poems, The Lost Letters, is "a sequence of radically diverse poems based on the story of Heloise and Abelard, truly lovers in a dangerous time, the twelfth century ... Greenwood’s deft and delicate handling of scenarios of love requited but balked becomes a perceptive reading – extraordinarily inventive and constantly surprising – of contemporary secular society."

The opening act will be Menaka Shanmuganantha.


Catherine Greenwood's poetry and fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and her poems have won several prizes, including The Banff Centre’s Bliss Carman Award and a National Magazine Gold Award. Her first book, The Pearl King and Other Poems, based upon the life of the inventor of the cultured pearl, was a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book. The Lost Letters was shortlisted for BC’s Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, The City of Victoria’s Butler Book Prize, and the Relit Awards. Catherine lives in Victoria, BC, where she currently works for the Ministry of Justice.

Catherine Hunter

February 25, 2016


Also reading for us as an opening act will be Ayesha Imran.


Catherine Hunter is a poet and novelist who teaches Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. Her previous books include the poetry collection Latent Heat (Manitoba book of the year, 1997) and the crime novel Queen of Diamonds. Catherine’s new novel, After Light, spans four generations of an Irish-American-Canadian family in an exploration of love, war, trauma, and the power of art.


Steve Noyes

February 11, 2016


Steve Noyes is from Winnipeg and was educated at Carleton University's School of Journalism and UBC's MFA program. Over the years he has worked at many jobs, including editor, parking lot attendant, printing press grunt and disabilities advocate. More recently, he has taught English in Chinese universities several times and spent more than a decade as a policy analyst in the BC Ministry of Health.


Steve has published nine books of fiction and poetry, and more than a hundred journal publications in Canadian literary magazines and newspapers. His most recent poetry collections are small data (Frog Hollow Press) and Rainbow Stage-Manchuria (Oolichan Books). His first novel, It is just that your house is so far away (Signature Editions), prompted reviewers to call it "a portrait of China that is honest, intimate and layered" and "a wonderful book." He has recently published a second novel, November's Radio (Oolichan Books).

These days, Steve divides his time between Victoria, where he lives with his wife, the poet Catherine Greenwood, and Canterbury, England, where is he pursuing a PhD in Writing at the University of Kent.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi

November 20, 2015


Elisabeth de Mariaffi is the Giller Prize-nominated author of one book of short stories, How To Get Along With Women (Invisible Publishing, 2012) and the new novel, The Devil You Know (HarperCollins, Canada; Simon & Schuster USA 2015). Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in magazines across Canada. In 2013, her story “Kiss Me Like I’m the Last Man on Earth” (published in The New Quarterly) was shortlisted for a National Magazine Award. Elisabeth now makes her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she lives with the poet George Murray, their combined four children and a border collie — making them CanLit’s answer to the Brady Brunch.


Check her out at:


Opening for Elisabeth de Mariaffi: Erin Taylor.

Amanda Leduc

November 19, 2015


Amanda Leduc's essays and stories have appeared in publications across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia and been shortlisted for a number of awards, among them the 2014 CBC Canada Writes Fiction and Non Fiction Contests, the 2012 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest, and the 2012 PRISM International Short Fiction Contest. Her novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, was published in 2013 by Toronto's ECW Press and shortlisted for the 2014 ReLit award. She currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she is at work on her next novel.


Check her out at:


Opening for Amanda Leduc: Catherine Vendryes.

James Alan Gardner

October 22, 2015


James Alan Gardner has published eight science fiction novels and a collection of short stories. He has won the Aurora Award twice, as well as the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and the Asimov’s Magazine Readers Choice award; he has also been a finalist for the Nebula and Hugo awards. In his spare time, he teaches kung fu and is working on a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences (Geology).


Check him out at!



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