Current Writer-in-Residence

Writer-in-Residence, 2020-21
J.R. Carpenter

J. R. Carpenter was born in Nova Scotia. She lived in Montreal for many years before emigrating to the United Kingdom in 2009. She has a PhD in Performance Writing and Digital Literature from the University of the Arts London. She has since been awarded visiting fellowships from the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. We are thrilled to have her here with us in Edmonton for 2020-2021.

J. R. writes across live performance, print, and digital media. She works extensively with archival material, often incorporating found text, data, maps, and images. She is the author of five books, as well as innumerable zines and performances. Her recent poetry collection, An Ocean of Static was highly commended for the Forward Prizes 2018. Most of her work for the page comes through digital processes. Her pioneering works of digital literature have been presented in museums and festivals around the world.

Themes of place, displacement, migration, and climate change have long pervaded her writing. For an introduction to these themes and an overview of her work, take a look at her recent multi-media essay Mapping Place | Troubling Space published in The Digital Review in June 2020.

Recent Projects

J. R.’s web-based work The Gathering Cloud addresses the environmental impact of so-called cloud storage by calling attention to the materiality of clouds in the clouds in the sky. Both are commonly perceived to be ephemeral; both decidedly are not. The Gathering Cloud won the New Media Writing Prize 2016. A print book by the same name was published by Uniformbooks in 2017 featuring a foreword by media theorist Jussi Parikka and an afterword by poet Lisa Robertson.
This is a Picture of Wind: A Weather Poem for Phones was written in response to the winter storms which battered south west England in early 2014. This work calls on live wind data to evoke through the materiality of language a force such as wind which we can only perceive indirectly through its affect. A print book iteration of This is a Picture of Wind was published by Longbarrow Press in June 2020, featuring a forward by Johanna Drucker and a poetic afterword by Vahni Capildo.
To read more of her work online visit her website:

Teaching and Mentoring

J. R. has a wide range of teaching and mentoring experience informed by her highly interdisciplinary practice. She was a faculty mentor for the In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge writing residency at The Banff Centre 2010-2014. She was a dissertation supervisor at University of Plymouth 2017-2019. In recent years she has given talks and hands-on workshops on zine making, translation as a compositional process, digital writing, writing as material, working with archives, and practice-led research methodologies. Her approach to teaching and mentoring is process oriented, applicable to any genre. She has devised and delivered online courses through the Poetry School in London. She looks forward to finding new ways of engaging with students, faculty, and the community over the coming year.

Meeting the moment in the time of pandemic - Writer-in-Residence J.R. Carpenter at home in the digital sphere
Article written by Donna McKinnon

Experimenting with archives: the U of A’s 2020-21 Writer-in-residence J.R Carpenter
The gateway article written by Amanda Dang


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