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.

From its beginnings through 2018-19, the Reading Series has been funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and St. Jerome's University. It now continues to be funded by St. Jerome's.

02 December 2013

Gabe Foreman reads 24 January!

Please join us for our first event of the new year, which is bound to be a fun one. Who doesn't need a good, witty, poetic laugh at the end of January? 

Gabe Foreman reads on Friday 24 January, at 8pm, in STJ 3027.
The opening act will be Lishni Salgado.

Photo credit: Anna Ross
Gabe Foreman grew up near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is a founding editor of littlefishcartpress, a small poetry press based in Orono, Ontario. His first collection of poems, A Complete Encyclopedia of Different Types of People (Coach House Books), received the 2011 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the Concordia University First Book Prize. His poems have appeared most recently in The Walrus, and have aired on CBC radio (Daybreak). He lives in Montreal.

11 November 2013

Steve McCaffery reads 28 November!

What more perfect addition to our Literartistry series than Steve McCaffery? He is a perpetual reworker of language and typography, sound and video, and was once upon a time a member of the legendary sound poetry troupe The Four Horsemen.

Please join us Thursday 28 November, at 8pm, in STJ 3014.
The opening act will be Harris Alterman. 

More about the feature author:
STEVE McCAFFERY has been twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award and is the author of more than 35 books and chapbooks of poetry and criticism. An ample selection of his poetic explorations in numerous forms can be savoured in the two volumes of Seven Pages Missing (Coach House Press). As well as Panopticon (1984, revised edition 2011) and The Darkness of the Present: Poetics, anachronism and the anomaly (University of Alabama Press, 2012). His book-object-concept A Little Manual of Treason was commissioned for the 2011 Shajah Biennale in the United Arab Emirates. Two new books are forthcoming: Dark Ladies (Chax Press) and Revanches a collection of visual and concrete poetry (Xexoxial editions). English born and a long-time resident of Toronto he is now the David Gray Endowed Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo and Director of the Poetics Program.

25 October 2013

Ann Shin reads 7 November!

Join us for the next event in our Literartistry series: a reading by Ann Shin -- Thursday 7 November, 4:30pm, STJ 3027. Our thanks to Brick Books for their support! 
The opening act will be Lindsay Kroes, who has recently published Gather by the Avon, an anthology of local history short stories. 

About the feature author:
Ann Shin is a writer, filmmaker and new media producer based in Toronto. She has two books of poetry published, the latest book being The Family China, published by Brick Books in May 2013. Her writing has also been published in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the US, including Literary Review of Canada, On a Bed of Rice, Anchor Books, Geography of Encounters, Rowman and Little Press, Alphabet City: FOOD, MIT Press.

About The Family China:
"This short, dazzling collection of poems contains a universe—nothing short of North American life in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Somehow it is all here, joyously offered up, birth, death, and everything in between" – Karen Connelly, author of The Lizard Cage and Burmese Lessons

The New Quarterly: Wild Writers Festival

Our literary friends here at St Jerome's, The New Quarterly, are hosting their second annual Wild Writers Festival on 8-10 November. Sign up at for fantastic free readings and panel discussions, or get tickets for the Writer's Craft classes, evening events, and CanLit Brunch.

07 October 2013

M. NourbeSe Philip reads 24 October!

The second, vibrant event in our Literartistry series is a reading by NourbeSe Philip. The opening act will be Rupinder (Rupi) Saini.

Please join us on 24 October at 4:30pm in STJ 3027. 

M. NourbeSe Philip is an unembedded poet, essayist, novelist, playwright and former lawyer who lives in the space-time of the City of Toronto. She is a Guggenheim Fellow (USA) and the recipient of many awards including the Casa de las Americas prize (Cuba). Among her best known published works are She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks, Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence, and Harriet’s Daughter, a young adult novel. Philip’s most recent work, Zong!, is a genre-breaking poem, which engages with the law, history and memory as they relate to the transatlantic slave trade. Her play, Coups and Calypsos, which was produced in London and Toronto, was a Dora Award finalist in 1999.

23 September 2013

Christian Campbell reads 3 October!

Join us for the dynamic first event in our Literartistry series. Christian Campbell will be reading for us on Thursday 3 October at 4:30pm in STJ 3027. Brianna Mantynen will be the opening act.

Photo credit: Toni McCrae
Christian Campbell is a Trini-Bahamian poet, scholar and cultural critic.  He has lived in the Caribbean, the US, the UK and Canada and this movement also deeply informs his work.  His first book, Running the Dusk (Peepal Tree Press, 2010), won the 2010 Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (UK), a Lannan Fellowship (US) and was a finalist for the Cave Canem Prize (US), the Forward Prize for the Best First Book (UK) and the inaugural Guyana Prize for Literature (Caribbean).  He is the second Caribbean poet to be shortlisted for the Forward Prize and the first poet of colour to win the Aldeburgh Prize, the oldest prize for a first book of poetry in the UK.  Running the Dusk was also named one of the best books of 2010 by the Caribbean Review of Books, Horizon Review and Poetry International.  Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa calls Running the Duskthe gutsy work of a long-distance runner who possesses the wit and endurance, the staying power of authentic genius.”    
Campbell’s poetry and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies such as Callaloo, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature and elsewhere.  His work has been translated into Spanish in the anthology Poetas del Caribe InglesHe has received awards and fellowships from Cave Canem, the Arvon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, the University of Birmingham and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.  In 2012, he delivered the fifteenth annual Derek Walcott Lecture for Nobel Laureate Week in St. Lucia (the youngest chosen; former lecturers include Wole Soyinka and Rex Nettleford), was a keynote speaker and poet at “The Power of Caribbean Poetry—Word and Sound” Conference at the University of Cambridge and also was an invited poet at Poetry Parnassus, the international poetry festival at the Cultural Olympiad of the recent Olympic Games.  Campbell, who studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and received a PhD at Duke, is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto where he is working on a book on black diaspora poetics. 

13 September 2013

Announcing our 2013-14 Series: Literartistry!

The theme of this year's Reading Series at St Jerome's is LITERARTISTRY, to showcase literature's dance with other artistic media. We feature writers whose work is often multi-modal, incorporating aspects of the graphic arts, of experimentation with sound, and of dramatic performance.

Here's our exciting lineup for 2013-14:

Christian Campbell -- Thursday 3 October, 4:30pm, STJ 3027

M. NourbeSe Philip -- Thursday 24 October, 4:30pm, STJ 3027

Ann Shin -- Thursday 7 November, 4:30pm, STJ 3027 -- our thanks to Brick Books for their support

Steve McCaffery -- Thursday 28 November, 8pm, STJ 3014

Gabe Foreman -- Friday 24 January, 8pm, STJ 3027

Lisa Moore -- Wednesday 26 February, 8pm, Siegfried Hall

rob mclennan -- Wednesday 5 March, 4:30pm, STJ 2011

Daniel David Moses -- Thursday 27 March, 4:30pm, STJ 3014

And, once again, before each reading we'll be featuring up and coming creative writers from here at St Jerome's and UW.

Hope to see you there!

26 March 2013

Adam Dickinson reads 4 April!

Photo by Scott Turnbull
For some time, we expected
the end of the world
to be a mushroom.
A vengeful good, a good
of fire, clouded thought.
But every spring they come out of the ground
like universal suffrage,
a writ of habeas corpus,
speech before writing.
They say, dirt. They say, get up.

- from Adam Dickinson's "The Good, part I"

It's Spring -- Get up and come hear Adam Dickinson read! We welcome him to bring to a rousing close another great year of The Reading Series at St Jerome's -- and to celebrate the release of his latest book, The Polymers (a poetry collection "structured as an imaginary science project"), hot off the presses from Anansi. 

Please join us on Thursday, 4 April at 4:30pm in STJ 3014.

Chrissy Brown will be the opening act.

Adam Dickinson is a writer, researcher and teacher. His poems have appeared in literary journals in Canada and internationally as well as in anthologies such as Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets and The Shape of Content: Creative Writing in Mathematics and Science. His collection Kingdom, Phylum was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. He is the author most recently of The Polymers (Anansi 2013). He is also working on another poetry project that involves testing his blood and body for chemicals and microbes. When not giving his body to science, he teaches at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he researches intersections between pataphysics and ecopoetics.

11 March 2013

Vincent Lam reads 19 March!

Photo: Barbara Stoneham
What do emergency medicine and fiction writing have in common? More than you might think! And who could take on both as simultaneous careers? Vincent Lam. We are delighted to welcome Dr Lam as part of this year's series, on our theme of the intersections of literature and science. 

Please join us Tuesday, 19 March, at 8pm, in the St Jerome's Community Centre.

The opening act will be Kenzie Reid.

Vincent Lam is a practicing physician whose first book of short stories, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and has recently been adapted for television and broadcast on HBO Canada. His first novel, The Headmaster’s Wager, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Award. Lam is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam, and was born in Canada. He is a Lecturer with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has also worked in international air evacuation and expedition medicine on Arctic and Antarctic ships.

25 February 2013

Brian Henderson reads on 7 March!

We'll be welcoming Brian Henderson on Thursday, 7 March, at 4:30pm, in STJ 3027 (rescheduled from his original slot in October). Please join us!
Graeme Ruck will be the opening act.

Photo by Anna Ross

Brian Henderson is the author of 10 collections of poetry, one of which, Nerve Language (Pedlar Press 2007), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. His latest, Sharawadji (Brick Books), was shortlisted for the 2012 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. He has published articles, reviews, and poetry in many literary magazines, has a PhD in Canadian Literature and is the director of WLUPress.

09 January 2013

Winter Festival: Susan Musgrave, Nora Gould and Anne Michaels

Our winter term readings start off strong with three amazing women writers in three weeks!

Susan Musgrave -- Thursday, 24 January, 8pm, STJ 3014
Nora Gould -- Thursday, 31 January, 4:30pm, STJ 3014
Anne Michaels -- Wednesday, 6 February, 4:30pm, STJ 3027


With these readings, for the first time, we are featuring creative writing students from St Jerome's as five-minute opening acts. Come and see the visiting writers, and come and encourage our budding local talent!

Photo by Bruce Stotsebury
Susan Musgrave’s latest poetry collection is Origami Dove (M&S, 2011). A new novel, Given, has recently been published (Thistledown) and two books for children (Orca) are on their way too. She has published over twenty-five books and has received awards in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, personal essay, children’s writing and for her work as an editor. We are very happy to welcome Susan, a former Writer-in-Residence, back to St. Jerome’s for this event. 
Opening Act: Eric Wallace

Photo by Danielle Schaub

Nora Gould writes from east central Alberta where she ranches with her family and volunteers in wildlife rehabilitation with the Medicine River Wildlife Centre. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in veterinary medicine. I see my love more clearly from a distance is her first poetry collection. In 2009 Nora Gould won the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award.
Nora Gould comes to us with the generous support of Brick Books. Thank you, Brick!
Opening Act: Emilie Gardham
Anne Michaels is an award-winning poet and novelist. Her first novel, Fugitive Pieces (1996),  was not only nominated for the Giller Prize, but also won the Trillium Prize, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, The Beatrice and Martin Fischer Award (the main prize in the Jewish Book Awards), and England's prestigious Orange Prize. Previous to this success, she won the Commonwealth Prize for the Americas for the collection The Weight of Oranges (1986) and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Miner's Pond (1991). In 2007, Fugitive Pieces was made into a film. Her most recent novel is 2009’s The Winter Vault.
Opening Act: Adan Jerreat-Poole