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 2014

Shyam Selvadurai reads 15 January!

For our first reading of the new year, we are proud to feature Shyam Selvadurai.

Please join us on 15 January at 8pm in Siegfried Hall.

Shyam Selvadurai
Shyam Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1965. He came to Canada with his family at the age of nineteen. He has studied creative writing and theatre and has a BFA from York University, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia..
Funny Boy (1994), his first novel, won the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award and in the US the Lambda Literary Award. It was also named a Notable Book by the American Library Association, and was translated into 8 languages. His second novelCinnamon Gardens, was shortlisted for Canada’s Trillium Award, as well as the Aloa Literary Award in Denmark and the Premio Internazionale Riccardo Bacchelli in Italy. His novel for young adults, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and is the winner of the Lambda Literary Award in the US, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award and Silver Winner in the Young Adult Category of ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. Shyam is also the editor of an anthology, Story-Wallah: A Celebration of South Asian Fiction, published in Canada and the US. His fourth novel, The Hungry Ghosts (2013) was shortlisted for Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for Fiction and longlisted for the DSC South Asia Literature Prize. His latest work is a comprehensive anthology of Sri Lankan literature, Many Roads Through Paradise.

31 October 2014

Olive Senior reads 20 November!

We are delighted to present the prolific and versatile Olive Senior as the next writer in this year's series, Writing the Self / The Self Writing. 

Please join us Thursday 20 November, 4:30pm, in STJ 3027.

Photo by Caroline Forbes
Olive Senior is the prizewinning author of 14 books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and children’s literature. She won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (for Summer Lightning) and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry (Over the Roofs of the World). Her other poetry books are Talking of Trees, Gardening in the Tropics (on the syllabus of Caribbean schools) and Shell. Her novel Dancing Lessons was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize, the First Novel Award, was a Globe Best Book and was long listed for the IMPAC Dublin International Prize. Her children’s picture books are Birthday Suit and Anna Carries Water. Her latest work, Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panana Canal has just been released by University of the West Indies Press in the centenary year of the opening of the Panama Canal. She returns to short fiction in 2015 with the release of The Pain Tree by Cormorant Press.

Olive Senior conducts writing workshops internationally and is on the faculty of the Humber School for Writers, Toronto.

06 October 2014

Ayelet Tsabari reads 30 October!

Next in our series of Writing the Self / The Self Writing, we're proud to welcome Ayelet Tsabari. Please join us Thursday 30 October at 4:30 pm in STJ 3027.

Photo credit: Sean Brereton
Ayelet Tsabari is the author of the short story collection The Best Place on Earth (HarperCollins), which was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her nonfiction has won a National Magazine Award and a Western Magazine Award and she is a two-time winner of Event’s Creative Non-Fiction Contest. A graduate of the MFA program at Guelph, Ayelet has taught creative writing through the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. She was named as one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC.

19 September 2014

Karen Connelly reads 25 September!

As an excellent start to this year's Writing the Self / The Self Writing series, we're pleased to welcome Karen Connelly.

Please join us Thursday 25 September at 8pm in STJ 3014.

Karen Connelly is the author of ten books of award-winning poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Much of her work explores exile, dissident politics, human rights, and linguistic immersion, particularly in Burma, Thailand, and Greece. She also writes, in various genres, about transgenerational violence and trauma. Her most recent collection of poetry, Come Cold River, is a memoir about her troubled family, as well as a moving homage to many people in Canada who are invisibilized and silenced.

Her acclaimed novel The Lizard Cage was the winner of Britain's Orange Broadband New Writers Prize; Touch the Dragon, winner of the Governor General's Award; Burmese Lessons: A Love Story, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and the BC National Award for Nonfiction.

03 September 2014

Eric McCormack is back! Reading 18 Sept

Beloved and legendary former St. Jerome's professor, Eric McCormack, has a new book just out and will be regaling us with a reading. 

The small print:
Fireplace Lounge, Sweeney Hall, St. Jerome's University, 290 Westmount Rd. N., Waterloo, ON. Free parking available at St Paul's University College. For more information, please contact Kelly Macnab at 519-884-8111 ext. 28301,

02 September 2014

Announcing our 2014-15 Series: Writing the Self / The Self Writing

Our series this year features writers who explore the relationship between self and world -- socially, politically, culturally -- and dynamically balance imagination and "real life".

Hope to see you at these exciting readings!

Karen Connelly
Thursday 25 September, 8pm, STJ 3014

Ayelet Tsabari
Thursday 30 October, 4:30pm, STJ 3027

Olive Senior
Thursday 20 November, 4:30 pm, STJ 3027

Shyam Selvadurai
Thursday 15 January, 8pm

Patrick Friesen
Thursday 22 January, 4:30pm

06 March 2014

Daniel David Moses reads 27 March!

Photo credit:  John Reeves
We draw our Literartistry series to a resounding close with a reading from the wonderful Daniel David Moses. Please join us on Thursday 27 March at 4:30pm in STJ 3014. The opening act will be A. Y. Daring.

Daniel David Moses hails from the Six Nations lands along the Grand River in southern Ontario. He is registered there as a Delaware Indian.

His poems are collected in Delicate Bodies, The White Line and Sixteen Jesuses. Other publications include Pursued by a Bear, Talks, Monologues and Tales, essays (2005), Kyotopolis, a play in two acts (2008), and A Small Essay on the Largeness of Light and Other Poems (2012), all from Exile Editions, and his best known play Almighty Voice and His Wife (2009), Playwrights Canada Press. He is also co-editor of Oxford University Press’ An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, the fourth edition of which has just appeared (February 2013).

He holds an Honours BA in General Fine Arts from York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and, as an associate professor, teaches playwrighting in the Department of Drama at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

14 February 2014

Our next two readers: Lisa Moore (26 Feb) and rob mclennan (5 Mar)

Come and hear the author of February this February at St Jerome's! We're excited to welcome this bestselling novelist, a tremendous addition to our Literartistry series.

Lisa Moore reads Wednesday 26 February at 8pm in Siegfried Hall.

The opening act will be Justine Alkema.

Then March will come in like a lion for us with the dynamic rob mclennan, poet, novelist, non-fiction writer, publisher, editor, reviewer...

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

The opening act will be Elizabeth Bate.

More about the authors:
image source:

Lisa Moore is a three-time Giller Prize nominee, for her novels Open, Alligator and Caught. Her novel February was long listed for the Man Booker Prize and won the CBC Canada Reads competition in 2013. Last Fall she received the Writers' Trust Findlay / Engel Prize. She has done animation work, written for television and radio, and has also written art criticism.

photo credit: Christine McNair
Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2011, and his most recent titles are the poetry collections Songs for little sleep, (Obvious Epiphanies, 2012), grief notes: (BlazeVOX [books], 2012), A (short) history of l. (BuschekBooks, 2011), Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011) and kate street (Moira, 2011), and a second novel, missing persons (2009). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, Chaudiere Books (with Jennifer Mulligan), The Garneau Review (, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, and regularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at