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.

09 November 2015

Amanda Leduc & Elisabeth de Mariaffi read 19 & 20 November!

Our next two visiting writers are Amanda Leduc & Elisabeth de Mariaffi!

Please join us on 19 November at 4:30 pm, STJ 3014 to welcome Amanda Leduc. 

Amanda Leduc's essays and stories have appeared in publications across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia and been shortlisted for a number of awards, among them the 2014 CBC Canada Writes Fiction and Non Fiction Contests, the 2012 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest, and the 2012 PRISM International Short Fiction Contest. Her novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, was published in 2013 by Toronto's ECW Press and shortlisted for the 2014 ReLit award. She currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she is at work on her next novel.

Check her out at:

Opening for Amanda Leduc: Catherine Vendryes.

Please join us on 20 November at 4:30 pm, STJ 3027 to welcome Elisabeth de Mariaffi. In collaboration with Wilfred Laurier University English Department. 

Elisabeth de Mariaffi is the Giller Prize-nominated author of one book of short stories, How To Get Along With Women (Invisible Publishing, 2012) and the new novel, The Devil You Know (HarperCollins, Canada; Simon & Schuster USA 2015). Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in magazines across Canada. In 2013, her story “Kiss Me Like I’m the Last Man on Earth” (published in The New Quarterly) was shortlisted for a National Magazine Award. Elisabeth now makes her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she lives with the poet George Murray, their combined four children and a border collie — making them CanLit’s answer to the Brady Brunch.

Check her out at:

Opening for Elisabeth de Mariaffi: Erin Taylor.

For our exciting Winter 2016 lineup, please see our 2015-16 schedule page!

12 October 2015

James Alan Gardner reads 22 October!

We are excited to kick off this year's Reading Series on the theme of Alternate Realities with science fiction writer (and UW grad in applied mathematics), James Alan Gardner

Please join us on Thursday 22 October at 4:30pm in STJ 3014.

James Alan Gardner has published eight science fiction novels and a collection of short stories. He has won the Aurora Award twice, as well as the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and the Asimov’s Magazine Readers Choice award; he has also been a finalist for the Nebula and Hugo awards. In his spare time, he teaches kung fu and is working on a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences (Geology).

Check him out at

07 September 2015

Our 2015-16 Series: Alternate Realities

In our upcoming series, we invite you to explore with us the elusive and attractive territory between the familiar and the fantastical, the mundane and the magical. We're thrilled to welcome a bunch of amazing Canadian writers who create a fascinating range of Alternate Realities in poetry and fiction.

Fall Term:

James Alan Gardner 22 October 4:30pm, STJ 3014

Amanda Leduc 19 November 4:30pm, STJ 3014

Elisabeth de Mariaffi 20 November 4:30pm, STJ 3027
in collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University English Department

Winter Term: (locations TBA)

Steve Noyes 11 February 4:30pm

Catherine Hunter 25 February 4:30pm
in collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University English Department

Catherine Greenwood 10 March 4:30pm

Larissa Lai and Rita Wong 17 March 4:30pm

Save the dates -- we look forward to seeing you there!

13 March 2015

Daphne Marlatt Reads 26 March!

We are thrilled to present a surprise addition to our series: the Can Lit legend Daphne Marlatt!

Please join us Thursday 26 March at 7:30 pm in STJ 3014.

The opening act will be Jeremy Fajardo.

This reading is made possible by the St Jerome's English Department and WLU Press. Our grateful thanks to both! 

Photo Credit: Jocelyn Mandryk
Daphne Marlatt was born in Australia and immigrated to Vancouver as a child. She studied English and writing at UBC (BA 1964), where she was a member of the TISH group of young writers. She is known best as a poet (Steveston, Touch to my Tongue) but has also published works of fiction (Ana Historic, Taken), poetics (Readings from the Labyrinth, At the River’s Mouth) and oral history. She has worked extensively as an editor, writer-in-residence, and teacher. In 2006 she was appointed to the Order of Canada, and in 2009 was awarded the Dorothy Livesay Prize for Poetry for The Given. In 2012 she received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Her recent work includes The Gull, the first Canadian play staged in the tradition of the Noh theatre, awarded the Uchimura Naoya Prize in 2008. Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now revises a 1969-70 series and adds a 2012 series of poems about her home city. Wilfrid Laurier University Press recently released her selected poetry, Rivering, edited by Susan Knutson.

18 February 2015

Kim Fu reads at St Jerome's! 12 March

To close off our series on Writing The Self / The Self Writing, we are delighted to welcome Kim Fu.

Please join us Thursday 12 March at 4:30pm in STJ 3014. 

Photo by Inti St. Clair

Kim Fu is the author of the novel FOR TODAY I AM A BOY (2014), a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, short-listed for the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award and long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. As a journalist and essayist, she has written for the Atlantic, NPR, Maisonneuve, the National Post, Ms., and the Tyee, among others, and her work has been included in Best Canadian Essays. Fu is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA in Creative Writing. She lives in Seattle.

We would like to thank everyone for coming out to all of our readings this season and would especially like to thank the VPAD's office for funding this event!

05 January 2015

Patrick Friesen reads 22 January!

Please join us for a reading by Patrick Friesen on 22 January at 4:30pm in STJ 3014. 

Photo by Terence Young
Patrick Friesen, formerly of Winnipeg, now lives in Victoria. He writes poetry, essays, drama, scripts, songs, and text for dance and music; he has also co-translated several Danish poetry books with P. K. Brask. Friesen adapted his book The Shunning for stage; it premiered at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in 1985 and was staged in 2011 at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Friesen has collaborated with various musicians, choreographers and dancers and has recorded two CDs of text and improv music. He was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 1997, for the Dorothy Livesay Award in BC in 1998 and 2003, won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award in Manitoba in 1996 and the ReLit Prize for poetry in 2012. His most recent poetry book were jumping in the asylum (Quattro Press, 2011) and a dark boat (Anvil Press, 2012). His upcoming book of poetry, a short history of crazy bone, will be out with Mother Tongue Publishing in early 2015.