Canadian Writing Comes to You -- Live!

The Reading Series has been bringing cutting-edge Canadian writers to St. Jerome's University for many years.

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.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

01 December 2016

Carolyn Smart reads 26 January!

Photo by Bernard Clark
To start off Journeys Vol. 2 in Winter term, we welcome Carolyn Smart.

Please join us Thursday 26 January at 8pm in SJ1 3027.

Alannah Slattery will be the opening act.

Carolyn Smart has written six collections of poetry, including Careen, Hooked, and the Way to Come Home (all with Brick Books). A section of her memoir, At the End of the Day (Penumbra Press), won first prize in the CBC Literary Contest, Non-Fiction category. She is the founder of the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, poetry editor for McGill-Queen's Press, and since 1989 has taught Creative Writing at Queen's University.

08 November 2016

Farzana Doctor reads 25 November!


Photo by Vivek Shraya
We welcome Farzana Doctor -- a novelist and a registered social worker -- for a fascinating reading to close Vol. 1 of our Journeys series (more Journeys in Vol. 2 in Winter term!)

Please join us at 4:30pm on Friday 25 November in SJ1 3027.

Opening act: Alys Reed

Farzana Doctor is a Toronto-based author of three novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which won a Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award) and the recently released All Inclusive. Farzana was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now” (2012), was Voted Best Author in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Best of Toronto Readers’ Choice Poll and was the recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Award (2011). She curates the Brockton Writers Series.

25 October 2016

Dimitri Nasrallah reads 4 November!


Photo by Gopesa Paquette
As part of our Journeys theme, we welcome novelist, editor and translator Dimitri Nasrallah.

Please join us at 4:30pm on Friday 4 November in SJ1 3027.

Opening act: David Di Iorio

We're delighted to be sharing Dimitri with The New Quarterly's Wild Writers Festival where he will be featured as part of panel discussions on Publishing and on Translation.

Dimitri Nasrallah has been the editor for Véhicule Press's fiction imprint, Esplanade Books, since 2013. In that time he has initiated a new translation program, working with well-known authors such as Neil Smith and Claire Holden Rothman to translate new Quebecois fiction for Canadian readers. The initiative has resulted in Esplanade's first-ever nomination for a Governor General's Literary Award. Nasrallah is the author of the novels Niko (2011, winner of the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction) and Blackbodying (2005, winner of the McAuslan First Book Award).  His translation of Éric Plamondon's Hungary-Hollywood Express was published this year.

04 October 2016

Fred Wah Reads 21 October!

One of our favourite writers ever is back! Fred Wah gave a spectacular reading at St Jerome's several years ago -- if you were there, you'll remember and want to see him again, and if you weren't there, now's your chance!

Please join us at 4:30pm on Friday 21 October in SJ1 3027.

We continue our tradition of featuring local talent from SJU creative writing classes as opening acts. Opening for Fred Wah is Sammi Zhao!

Fred Wah was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in 1939, grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia and now lives in Vancouver. His work has received many honours, including the Governor General’s Award. He was Parliamentary Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2013 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013. He has published over 20 books of poetry and prose, including Sentenced to Light (2008) and is a door (2009). A recent collaboration, High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese, An Interactive Poem, is available online. His current project involves the Columbia River.

04 September 2016

Our 2016-17 Series: Journeys

We're excited to present this coming year's series, on the theme of Journeys.  Our writers will take you to amazing places...

In the Fall term, we have three fabulous events lined up: 
  • Fred Wah, 4:30pm, Friday 21 October, SJ1 3027
  • Dimitri Nasrallah, 4:30pm, Friday 4 November, SJ1 3027
  • Farzana Doctor, 4:30pm, Friday 25 November, SJ1 3027
 Hope to see you there!


And in the Winter term we'll be welcoming:
  • Carolyn Smart
  • Tim Conley 
  • Pamela Mordecai and Tasneem Jamal
 Stay tuned!

14 March 2016

Larissa Lai & Rita Wong read 17 March!

We will close this season of the Reading Series with a double serving of reading with Larissa Lai and Rita Wong! Please join us on 17 March at 4:30 pm in STJ 2009. 


Make that a triple serving: the icing on the cake will be opening act Rameesha Qasi.


Larissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; two books of poetry, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and most recently, a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers' Award, she has been shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing there.

To find out more information about Larissa please see her website!

Rita Wong is the author of four books of poetry: undercurrent (forthcoming in 2015 with Nightwood), sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai, Line Books 2008), forage (Nightwood 2007), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang 1998). forage won Canada Reads Poetry 2011. Wong received the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop Emerging Writer Award in 1997, and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2008.  She is currently researching the poetics of water. Her work investigates the relationships between contemporary poetics, social justice, ecology, and decolonization.


To find out more information about Rita please see her website!

Thank you for attending the Reading Series this season and we look forward to returning with a new series in Fall 2016! 

26 February 2016

Catherine Greenwood Reads 10 March!


Please join us on Thursday March 10 at 4:30 pm in STJ 2009.

The opening act will be Menaka Shanmuganantha.


Catherine Greenwood's poetry and fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and her poems have won several prizes, including The Banff Centre’s Bliss Carman Award and a National Magazine Gold Award. Her first book, The Pearl King and Other Poems, based upon the life of the inventor of the cultured pearl, was a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book. The Lost Letters was shortlisted for BC’s Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, The City of Victoria’s Butler Book Prize, and the Relit Awards. Catherine lives in Victoria, BC, where she currently works for the Ministry of Justice.

12 February 2016

Catherine Hunter reads 26 February

We are excited to continue our Reading Series with Catherine Hunter! 

Please join us on Friday 26 February at 4:30 in STJ 3027. 
This event is hosted in collaboration with the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. 

Also reading for us as an opening act will be Ayesha Imran. 


Catherine Hunter is a poet and novelist who teaches Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. Her previous books include the poetry collection Latent Heat (Manitoba book of the year, 1997) and the crime novel Queen of Diamonds. Catherine’s new novel, After Light, spans four generations of an Irish-American-Canadian family in an exploration of love, war, trauma, and the power of art.

04 January 2016

Steve Noyes reads 11 February!

Welcome back to the winter installation of the Reading Series! We're continuing our theme of Alternate Realities this term beginning with Steve Noyes. 

Please join us on 11 February at 4:30 in STJ 2009.




Steve Noyes is from Winnipeg and was educated at Carleton University's School of Journalism and UBC's MFA program. Over the years he has worked at many jobs, including editor, parking lot attendant, printing press grunt and disabilities advocate. More recently, he has taught English in Chinese universities several times and spent more than a decade as a policy analyst in the BC Ministry of Health.

Steve has published nine books of fiction and poetry, and more than a hundred journal publications in Canadian literary magazines and newspapers. His most recent poetry collections are small data (Frog Hollow Press) and Rainbow Stage-Manchuria (Oolichan Books). His first novel, It is just that your house is so far away (Signature Editions), prompted reviewers to call it "a portrait of China that is honest, intimate and layered" and "a wonderful book." He has recently published a second novel, November's Radio (Oolichan Books).

These days, Steve divides his time between Victoria, where he lives with his wife, the poet Catherine Greenwood, and Canterbury, England, where is he pursuing a PhD in Writing at the University of Kent.


To find out more about Steve, please visit his website.