Writer-in-Residence Ready to Receive Writers

January 10th, 2011 · No Comments · English, News Release

The University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture is pleased to announce that Méira Cook has been selected to fill the post of Winter 2011 Writer-in-Residence.

Cook will be in residence from January 6 to April 29, 2011, and will be available, by appointment, to mentor creative writers who wish to improve their work. She will also visit classes and give readings over the course of the semester.In addition, she will be working on a novel set in South Africa entitled Sticky Fingers.

Cook began writing poetry when she immigrated to Canada in 1991. Of that experience she says, “I was living in a small town in northern Manitoba at the time, suffering from cultural displacement and fear of snow. I still remember hovering over the airspace above Winnipeg on that appallingly cold day in February and to my naïve and untutored eye the landscape looked as white and flat as an empty page. So I decided to write my way onto that page proving-I suppose-that I was a poet all along since I could not then (and have not since) been able to resist a good metaphor.”

Cook was born in Johannesburg where she worked as a freelance arts and culture correspondent before moving to Winnipeg. Her poetry collections include A Fine Grammar of Bones (Turnstone 1993), Toward A Catalogue of Falling (Brick 1996), Slovenly Love (Brick 2003) and A Walker in the City (forthcoming from Brick in Fall 2011). She has published a novel, The Blood Girls (NeWest 1998), a book of literary criticism, Writing Lovers: Reading Canadian Love Poetry by Women (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005) and edited and introduced a selection of Don McKay’s poetry entitled Field Marks: The Poetry of Don McKay (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006). Her poetry won first place in the CBC Literary Awards in 2007, has been published in The Best Canadian Poetry of 2008, and has been featured in Winnipeg Transit’s “Poetry in Motion” program. She has been the poetry editor of Prairie Fire Magazine and has taught creative writing classes at the University of Manitoba.

Cook holds a Ph.D. specializing in Canadian literature from the University of Manitoba and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.

“It is a privilege for us to host a poet, novelist and mentor of Méira Cook’s calibre,” says Warren Cariou, director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture and Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures. “Her writing is remarkable for its vividness, eloquence and utterly charming sense of voice, and she is very highly regarded as an editor and a teacher of creative writing. She will be an invaluable resource for the many aspiring writers at the University of Manitoba.”

The Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture was created to provide a space for scholars, students and visiting artists to collaborate, create works of verbal art and study the relationship between oral and written culture.

Méira Cook may be reached for interviews at: 204-480-1067.

Information about the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture is available at http://www.umanitoba.ca/centres/ccwoc

You are invited to join in welcoming Méira Cook at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 21, 2011, in University College’s Great Hall (Room 218) at 220 Dysart Road on the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry Campus.

The event will include an exclusive reading by Cook as well as a reading by University of Manitoba alumnus Keith Cadieux.

This event and the reception to follow are both free and open to the public. All are welcome.

For further information, please contact Jessica Woolford at: 204-480-1065 or email: ccwoc@cc.umanitoba.ca

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