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 gratefully acknowledge the past support of the Canada Council for the Arts which funded the series from its beginnings to 2017.

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. 

23 October 2017

Raoul Fernandes reads 24 November!

Photo by Megan Chursinoff
We're thrilled to have poet Raoul Fernandes as our featured reader for November in this year's Languages of Home series.

Please join us at 4:30pm on Friday 24 November in SJ1 3027.

Jenny Dong will be the opening act.

Raoul Fernandes's first collection of poems, Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions, 2015) won the Dorothy Livesay Award and the Debut-litzer Award for Poetry in 2016 and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. He has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including the Best Canadian Poetry 2015. He lives and writes in Vancouver, with his wife and two sons.

04 October 2017

Elizabeth Greene reads 20 October!

Photo by Bernard Clark
We're delighted to welcome Elizabeth Greene for our first reading in our 2017-18 series.

Please join us at 4:30pm on 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; 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. She lives in Kingston.

18 September 2017

Our 2017-18 Series: Languages of Home

Welcome to this year's series!

On our theme of Languages of Home, our visiting writers find language for their personal and cultural homes, revealing how diversely the experience of home can be understood and expressed.


Elizabeth Greene Friday 20 October 2017, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027

Raoul Fernandes Friday 24 November 2017, 4:30pm, SJ1 3027


Mariam Pirbhai Friday 12 January 2018, 4:30pm

Kate Cayley, Friday 2 February 2018, 4:30pm

Liz Howard, Friday 2 March 2018, 4:30pm

plus a bonus Spring reading: Sarah Tolmie, date TBA

10 April 2017

Onward to 2017-18

We're currently planning our 2017-18 series and will announce it in time for the Fall. Watch this space!