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.

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!

18 March 2017

Pamela Mordecai and Tasneem Jamal read 31 March!

To close off our exciting Journeys series, we're delighted to feature two local global authors!

Please join us for readings by Pamela Mordecai and Tasneem Jamal at 4:30pm on Friday 31 March in SJ1 3027.
Our opening act for this reading will be Suzanne Heeg.

Photo by David Mordecai
Pamela (Pam) Mordecai writes poetry and long and short fiction. In 2015, her first novel, Red Jacket, was shortlisted for the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and Mawenzi House published her sixth book of poetry, de book of Mary. She also writes poetry, plays and stories for children and is committed to the use of her heart language, Jamaican Creole, in her work. Born in Jamaica and educated there and in the USA, Pam and her family moved to Canada in 1993. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

Tasneem Jamal was born in Mbarara, Uganda, and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1975. She has worked as a journalist for over a decade at a number of Canadian newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and National Post. In 2014, her debut novel, Where the Air Is Sweet, was published to critical acclaim. That same year, the CBC named Tasneem one of 12 rising CanLit stars on its annual list of Writers to Watch.

27 January 2017

Tim Conley reads 10 March!

Please join us at 4:30pm on Friday 10 March in SJ1 3027 for a reading by Tim Conley!

Tim Conley's recent books include Dance Moves of the Near Future (2015), the poetry collection
One False Move (2012), Burning City: Poems of Metropolitan Modernity (edited, with Jed Rasula, 2012), and Nothing Could be Further: Thirty Stories (2011). He lives in St. Catharines, ON, where he teaches English at Brock University, and has published widely on Joyce, Nabokov, and other topics in twentieth-century literature.