To Brazil and beyond

The Brazilian Association for Canadian studies (ABECAN) hosted York Humanities and English professor Patricia Keeney as a visiting artist/scholar in Brazil during the month of November. Keeney spoke on the theme of creative marginality in modern Canadian literature at the ABECAN Congress in Gramado (southern Brazil) and participated in workshops and events relating to Canadian/Brazilian cultural and environmental relations.

Right: Patricia Keeney

Keeney then visited a number of Brazilian universities to lecture on Canadian literary topics, the process and practice of creative writing at a post-secondary level and to read from her own fiction and poetry. Her tour took her as far north as Salvador in the state of Bahia and into the interior Amazon region. Keeney conducted both radio and television interviews during her visit and met with a number of university officials and professors of literature, especially interested in Canadian culture. She also participated in enthusiastic plans for the translation of Canadian literary texts — both her own and others — and the placing of them on Brazilian university syllabi for Canadian Studies.

More about Patricia Keeney

Poet, novelist, editor, writer and teacher, Patricia Keeney was a regular critic and columnist for a variety of poetry and literary magazines ranging from Maclean’s to Canadian Literature. In 1983, she became poetry and theatre editor for Canadian Forum. In 1988 she published her first book of poetry, Swimming Alone (Oberon). A volume of her selected poetry with an introduction by Yevgeny Yevtushenko was published in 1996. A member of the international editorial board of Unesco’s World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, she has been teaching creative writing and other literary subjects at York University since 1983.

In 1995, she was awarded one of Canada’s first NAFTA grants in the field of culture and spent the summer in Mexico working on a volume of inter-cultural conversations with Mexican women poets. Her poetry has also been published in Bulgarian, Hindi and Chinese, with individual poems translated into Spanish and German. She has recently completed her second novel, a “docu-mythography” involving international intrigue and artistic exploration, called One Man Dancing and is working on a third novel, a “bio-mythography” of biblical suspense, spiritual search and feminist satire, called Emptiness and Angels.