Catch a rising star with York’s Canadian Writers in Person series

Many of the rising stars of Canlit will present readings of their works at this year’s Canadian Writers in Person series. Twelve Canadian authors, including York alumnus and Griffin Poetry Prize winner Christian Bök (PhD ’98), award-winning playwright Karen Hines and Rawi Hage, author of the critically acclaimed novel DeNiro’s Game, will read from their works during the popular series, which launches Sept. 20 and runs through March 27.

"This year’s line-up is very exciting. It offers a selection of emerging and established writers," said Professor Stephen Cain (left), coordinator of the Canadian Writers in Person course. Cain, an alumnus of York (MA ’95, PhD ’02), is the author of  three poetry collections – American Standard/ Canada Dry (Coach House, 2005), Torontology (ECW, 2001), and dyslexicon (Coach House, 1999) — and a work of collaborative fiction, Double Helix (Mercury, 2006), written with Jay Millar. He presented a reading as part of the 2005 Canadian Writers in Person Series (see the Nov. 22, 2005 issue of YFile). Cain currently teaches English in the School of Arts & Letters in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies.

The readings, which are free and open to the public, will be held Thursdays at 7pm. For more information on the series, e-mail Cain at or visit the Canadian Writers in Person Web site.

Christian Bök reading: Eunoia – Sept. 20
Bök is the author of two poetry collections, Crystallography (Coach House, 1994) and Eunoia (Coach House, 2001). Eunoia, one of the best-selling books of Canadian poetry in history, was the winner of the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of the academic study Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science (Northwestern, 2002). 

Eden Robinson reading: Blood Sports – Oct. 4
Based in British Columbia, Robinson is a writer of Haisla and Heiltsuk descent and the author of two novels – Monkey Beach (Vintage, 2000) and Blood Sports (McClelland & Stewart, 2006) – and a collection of short stories, Traplines (Vintage, 1998). Monkey Beach was nominated for both the Governor General’s award for fiction and the Giller Prize. Traplines won the Winifred Holtby Prize for first fiction in 1998.

Karen Hines reading: The Pochsy Plays – Oct. 18
A Toronto-based playwright and actor, Hines has been nominated for several Dora and Chalmers awards. Her two published dramas are The Pochsy Plays (Coach House, 2004) and Hello … Hello (Coach House, 2006). The Pochsy Plays was a finalist for a Governor General’s award for drama in 2004, and the winner of the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama at Alberta Book Awards in 2005.

Lorna Crozier reading: Before the First Word  – Nov. 1
The author of over a dozen collections of poetry, most recently Whetstone (McClelland & Stewart, 2005) and Before the First Word (Wilfrid Laurier University, 2005). She has also edited numerous collections of poetry, including two volumes of Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets (with Patrick Lane). Crozier won the Governor General’s award for poetry in 1992 and has twice won the Pat Lowther award for poetry.

George Elliott Clarke reading: Black – Nov. 15
Clarke is the author of eight collections of poetry including Waylah Falls (Polestar, 1990), Execution Poems (Gaspereau, 2001), and Black (Polestar, 2006). He has written three plays, as well as the novel George and Rue (Harper, 2005), and edited two collections of black Canadian writing. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the Order of Nova Scotia and a Governor General’s award for poetry in 2001.

Rawi Hage reading: DeNiro’s Game – Nov. 29
Hage is a writer, visual artist and curator. His writings have appeared in Fuse Magazine, Mizna, Jouvert, The Toronto Review, Montreal Serai, and Al-Jadid. His visual works have been shown in galleries and museums around the world. Hage is the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. He resides in Montreal and is the author of DeNiro’s Game (Anansi, 2006) which was nominated for both the Giller Prize and a Governor General’s award for fiction in 2006.

Steven Heighton reading: Afterlands – Jan. 10
A prolific writer, Heighton is the author of several collections of poetry (including The Ecstasy of Skeptics, 1994, and The Address Book, 2004), two editions of short stories (Flight Paths of the Emperor, 1992, and On Earth as it Is, 1995), a collection of non-fiction (The Admen Move on Lhasa, 1997), and two novels: The Shadow Boxer (Knopf, 2000) and Afterlands (Vintage Canada, 2005). He was the editor of Quarry (1988-1994) and has been nominated for the Governor General’s award for poetry and the Trillium Award.

R.M. Vaughan reading: Ruined Stars – Jan. 24
Vaughan is a playwright, visual artist, critic, poet, and fiction writer from Toronto. His novels include A Quilted Heart (Insomniac, 1998) and Spells (ECW, 2003) and he is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ruined Stars (ECW, 2004). He has written numerous plays, two of which have been published as Camera, Woman (Coach House, 2001) and The Monster Trilogy (Coach House, 2003). His writing also appears in the anthology of gay male writing, Plush (Coach House, 1995)

Hiromi Goto reading: Hopeful Monsters – Feb. 7
Goto is the British Columbian author of Chorus of Mushrooms (NeWest, 1994) which won the Canada-Japan Book Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for 1995. Subsequent books include The Water of Possibility (Coteau, 2000), The Kappa Child (Red Deer, 2002) and the short story collection Hopeful Monsters (Arsenal, 2004).

Lynn Coady reading: Mean Boy – Feb. 28
A Cape Breton author, Coady has published four works of fiction: Strange Heaven (Goose Lane, 2000), Play the Monster Blind (Vintage, 2001), Saints of Big Harbour (Anchor, 2003) and Mean Boy (Anchor, 2006). She is the editor of Victory Meat: New Fiction from Atlantic Canada (Anchor, 2003) and has won the following literary awards: the Dartmouth Book Award, 1999; the Atlantic Bookseller’s Choice Award, 1999; the Air Canada/ Canadian Authors Association Award for Most Promising Writer Under Thirty, 1998; and the Canadian Authors Association’s Jubilee Award for a short fiction collection.

Angela Rawlings (a.rawlings) reading: Wide Slumber for Lepidoperists -March 13
a.rawlings is a poet and multidisciplinary artist whose first book is Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists (Coach House, 2006). A movement and sound-based version of this text was performed at Harbourfront in Toronto in 2006. Rawlings received the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing from York University in 2001 and was co-editor of the anthology Shift and Switch: New Canadian Poetry (Mercury, 2005).

Heather O’Neill reading: Lullabies for Little Criminals – March 27
O’Neill is the Montreal author of the poetry collection Two Eyes Are You Sleeping (DC, 1998) and the novel Lullabies for Little Criminals (Harper, 2006). Her novel was the winner of the CBC’s 2007 "Canada Reads" series.

Now entering its ninth year, the Canadian Writers in Person Series showcases some of Canada’s best literary talent. The series is sponsored by the Master’s Office and the School of Arts & Letters of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and a host of other sponsors including support from the Canada Council for the Arts.