Canadian Writing Comes to You -- Live!

The Reading Series has been bringing cutting-edge Canadian writers to St. Jerome's University since 1984.

Each year we strive to offer a range in our slate of visiting writers: well-established and up-and-coming, from the local area and from sea to sea, working in verse and prose and beyond. Experimental and traditional, serious and playful, beautiful and stark, cynical and celebratory -- come and sample the wealth and variety that is Canadian literature today.

These readings are special opportunities to get inside the book -- to hear writers read their own words, and speak about their own writing. Every reading includes an open question and answer session.

All readings are free and open to the public.

St. Jerome's is located at 290 Westmount Road North, Waterloo, Ontario.

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.

23 October 2018

Jael Richardson reads 16 November!

We're delighted to welcome Jael Richardson for our November reading.

The opening act will be Anoja Parameswaran.

Please join us Friday 16 November at 4:30pm in SJ1 3027.

Jael Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. Her essay “Conception” is part of Room Magazine’s first Women of Colour edition, and excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, are published in the anthology T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers.

19 September 2018

Julie Cameron Gray reads 19 October!

We're excited to kick off our 2018-19 series with poet and fiction writer Julie Cameron Gray.

The opening act will be Krystyna Oakman.

Please join us on Friday 19 October at 4:30pm in SJ1 3027.

photo by Guy Crawford


Julie Cameron Gray is originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She is the author of two poetry collections—Lady Crawford (Palimpsest Press, 2016) and Tangle (Tightrope Books, 2013)—and has previously published in The FiddleheadEVENTPrairie FireCarousel, and Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope Books, 2011). Lady Crawford was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award in 2017. 

17 April 2018

Stay tuned for our 2018-19 series!

We're planning a fantastic roster of writers for our next series, which we'll announce in time for the Fall. Watch this space!

09 March 2018

Sarah Tolmie reads 23 March!

We have an exciting bonus extra reading this term! 

Sarah Tolmie will be reading for us, to celebrate the release of her new book, The Art of Dying

Please join us Friday 23 March at 4:30 in SJ1 3027.


Sarah Tolmie is the author of the speculative fictions Two Travelers, NoFood and The Stone Boatmen, all published by Aqueduct Press to starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. Her first volume of poetry, Trio, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award in 2016. Her second book of poems, The Art of Dying, has just been released by MQUP in 2018. A lifelong Le Guin fan, her elegy Ursula in The Underworld will appear in the forthcoming issue of On Spec. She teaches British literature and creative writing at UW as an Associate Professor.

12 February 2018

Liz Howard reads 2 March!

In March we welcome a splendid addition to our Languages of Home series: Liz Howard!

Please join us on Friday 2 March at 4:30pm in SJ1 3027.

The opening act will be Xin Niu Zhang.

Photo by Ralph Kolewe
Liz Howard’s first book of poems, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, the first time a debut collection has won the award. The book was also a finalist for the 2015 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Born and raised in northern Ontario, Howard received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto. Her poetry has appeared in Canadian literary journals such as The Capilano Review, The Puritan, and Matrix Magazine. Her chapbook Skullambient was a finalist for the 2012 bpNichol Chapbook Award. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing through the University of Guelph and works as a research officer in cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto.



18 January 2018

Kate Cayley reads 2 February!

Fiction writer, poet, and dramatist Kate Cayley comes up next in this year's Languages of Home series!

Please join us Friday 2 February 2018 at 4:30pm in SJ1 3027. 

The opening act will be Tina Blair Fang.



Kate Cayley’s first collection of short fiction, How You Were Born, won the Trillium Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her first collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Her second collection of poetry, Other Houses, was recently published by Brick Books. She was a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre from 2009-2017, and wrote two plays for Tarragon, After Akhmatova and The Bakelite Masterpiece, which had its American premiere in 2016 and will be produced again at the New Repertory Theater in Boston this spring. She is currently working on This Is Nowhere, commissioned by Zuppa Theatre, and her first novel.

07 December 2017

Mariam Pirbhai reads 12 January!

We're excited to kick off our Winter term readings with Mariam Pirbhai!
Please join us on Friday 12 January at 4:30pm in SJ1 3027.

Mariam Pirbhai is the author of a debut short story collection titled Outside People and Other Stories (Inanna 2017), praised by award-winning novelist Shani Mootoo for its “clear-eyed compassion, generosity and literary brilliance.” Her short fiction has also appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, including Her Mother’s Ashes: South Asian Women Writers in Canada and the United States, Pakistani Creative Writing in English, jaggerylit and the Dalhousie Review. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the President of CACLALS (the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies), Canada’s leading literary association devoted to postcolonial studies and global Anglophone literatures. She lives and works in Waterloo, Ontario.


Outside People and Other Stories (Inanna 2017) is Waterloo-based author Mariam Pirbhai’s debut collection of short fiction, featuring the stories of the most “invisible” segments among Canada’s “visible minority,” as they navigate the Canadian or trans-national workforce against the backdrop of contemporary forces and debates, including equal employment opportunities, temporary migrant work, the transnational family, Islamophobia and forms of precarious citizenship.




News: Mariam's book has just been ranked #6 in CBC's Top 95 Must Read recommended books of 2017! And it was also given special mention on the Rogers Writer's Trust must reads of 2017.