Each year, Victoria College appoints an exceptional writer as the Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence. This role supports the teaching and learning that takes place in the Creative Expression and Society program and the Norman Jewison Stream of the Vic One program, and helps to foster creative citizenship among the Victoria College community.
2022-23 | Liz Howard
Liz Howard, whose poems were described as being “filled with energy and magic” and “scintillating” by the jury of the Griffin Poetry Prize, has been appointed the Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence at Victoria College for 2022-2023.
Liz Howard, whose poems were described as being “filled with energy and magic” and “scintillating” by the jury of the Griffin Poetry Prize, has been appointed the Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence at Victoria College for 2022-2023. She will play a key role in teaching, mentoring and inspiring students in the Creative Expression and Society program and the Norman Jewison Stream of the Vic One program, and help to foster creative citizenship among the Victoria College community.
Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in Northern Ontario, Howard writes poetry that is sonically rich and thematically ambitious, interrogating scientific, Indigenous, and poetic ways of knowing in a rich mélange of intelligence, curiosity, and vulnerability.
Her first book, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2016, the first time the prize was awarded to a debut collection. Her latest collection, Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, was published last year by McClelland & Stewart.
“On behalf of the Vic academic community, we are thrilled to be welcoming Liz to Vic. Her awareness of the current literary landscape, and the correspondences between various kinds of discourse communities, will bring an important voice to the Victoria College community,” said Prof. Adam Sol, who leads the Creative Expression and Society program at Victoria College.
Ms. Howard earned her BSc in psychology at the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. She brings a wealth of teaching experience in diverse settings, having served as an adjunct faculty member in the English Department’s MA in Creative Writing program, as a sessional lecturer in English at UTM, Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary and Douglas College, and serving as one of the Poetry Editors for Buckrider Books.
Ms. Howard is the second poet to hold the prestigious Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence role. Thanks to a generous gift by Shaftesbury, a Toronto-based entertainment company founded by Vic alumna Christina Jennings, C.M. (VIC 7T4), the inaugural Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence was launched with poet Canisia Lubrin in 2021/2022.
“Learning from exceptional writers and thinkers at Vic had such a significant impact on me as a student, and what I have been able to achieve professionally. I am extremely pleased that the tradition of attracting such incredibly talented writers as Liz Howard continues for current students,” said Christina Jennings, Founder, Chairman, and President of Shaftesbury, which produces hit shows including Murdoch Mysteries, Hudson and Rex, and Departure.
Jan. 18, 2023 | Vic One Plenary
Mar. 8, 2023 | Victoria College Faculty Reading Series
Mar. 24, 2023 | Sovereign Utopias: A Panel on Indigenous Creativity
2021-22 | Canisia Lubrin
Born in St. Lucia, Lubrin is a renowned Canadian poet and fiction writer, and Poetry Editor at McClelland & Stewart. Her debut poetry collection, Voodoo Hypothesis, explores race, oppression and colonialism, while her latest work, The Dyzgraphxst, addresses themes of selfhood, capitalism and climate change.
Lubrin brings a wealth of experience to the position, having taught Creative Writing at OCAD, U of T’s School of Continuing Studies, and the University of Guelph. She was also the Writer-in-Residence for Queen’s University in 2019.
Lubrin’s work has garnered widespread recognition. Some of her recent accolades include winning the 2021 OCM Bocus Prize for Caribbean Literature, as well as being named a 2021 recipient of the prestigious Windham-Campbell prize awarded by Yale University. The Dyzgraphxst was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for English-language Poetry at the 2020 Governor General’s Awards, was a finalist for the 2020 Trillium Book Award and won the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Oct. 28, 2021 | Portfolio and Practicalities Applying to Graduate School in Creative Writing
Nov. 17, 2021 | Vic One Plenary
Nov. 18, 2021 | Victoria College Faculty Reading Series
Mar. 15, 2022 | Crosscurrents Part 1: Vic Faculty Reading & Discussion
Mar. 31, 2022 | Crosscurrents Part 2: Continuing and Becoming New