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Hark! Comics About Gender, Labour, and Oil!
Talking About Kate Beaton's Ducks with Dr. Julie Rak and Dr. Sara Dorow

Monday, March 4, 2024

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Enter the university classroom to encounter and discuss cutting-edge University of Alberta research from Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair, Dr. Julie Rak (English and Film Studies) and Professor and Director of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, Dr. Sara Dorow (Sociology). 

Join us on Monday, March 4, 2024, from 6:00-7:30 PM, in Room 129, Education Centre South (ED 129). This event is free and open to students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

Dr. Julie Rak: "Big Trucks, Big Oil, Big Debts: How Kate Beaton Makes Us See Labour"

Dr. Sara Dorow: "Bitumen and Bituwomen in Camp, at Site, and in Between"

Please register here to let us know if you are coming!

About the speakers:

Dr. Julie Rak (FRSC) holds the Henry Marshall Tory Chair in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her latest book is False Summit: Gender in Mountaineering Nonfiction (2021). She has written extensively on nonfiction, including Boom! Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market (2013) and Negotiated Memory: Doukhobor Autobiographical Discourse (2004). Her latest edited collection is the Identities volume of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory (2022), and with Sonia Boon, Candida Rifkind, and Laurie McNeill, The Routledge Introduction to Auto/biography in Canada (2022).

Dr. Sara Dorow is Professor of Sociology and Director of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology at the University of Alberta. Her areas of research include migration/mobility, work, family, and the social facets of resource extraction, where she deploys transnational, interdisciplinary, and intersectional feminist lenses. Her recent publications on the oil/tar sands have appeared in Human RelationsThe Extractive Industries and SocietyEnvironment and Planning, and Gender, Place & Culture. Dorow currently leads a multi-media project exploring the meaning of work. 


Register Now! The 2024 CLC Kreisel Lecture with Kate Beaton

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Register Now Social Media Poster for Kate Beaton Kreisel Lecture


Award-winning cartoonist and author Kate Beaton will give the 2024 Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture on March 7, 2024, at 7:00 PM, on stage at the TIMMS CENTRE for the ARTS.

Please register to join us for Beaton's lecture, followed by a reception and book signing.

Register Here


The lecture, "Bodies of Art and Bodies of Labour,will examine class and its influence on the Arts in Canada:

Class has always been a reality in Canada, but not a reality whose influence and power we have always acknowledged in the Canadian Arts scene. A working class person or a poor person is much less likely to become an artist than a middle class person or a wealthy person. They are less likely to be able to tell their own stories to a wider audience, and thus create the culture that we share—what becomes our national culture, the way we see ourselves, or the way we see each other. Yet, in demographic surveys of Arts, Publishing or Culture in Canada, you will rarely see economic background accounted for. In this and other ways, class remains an outlier. One thing is certain though—if working class and poor people do not write themselves into stories, other people certainly will.

I have been aware of class my entire life. Class has shaped my identity, my career, and my art. As I said in Ducks, the graphic novel you probably know my name by, we are from the have-not region of a have-not province, and it has not boomed here in decades. And so I want to talk about class and literature from my perch here in that region, the coasts of Cape Breton Island. Plenty has been written over the years, from writers up and down the class spectrum. Results vary. 

Plenty of art has been made as well. My book dealt with some harrowing truths of working in isolated work camps in the oil sands. It was the reality of life. But I would not say it was the whole picture. I know I am here as a working artist today partly because I am the beneficiary of a community and a culture that has long valued art. Art for no money, for each other, for yourself, for memory, for community, for joy. That is a working class legacy as well, the value of my mind I learned from my community, even as I, like everyone else, shipped my body out for labour to the oil sands. 

Kate Beaton is a cartoonist and graphic novelist from Nova Scotia. While studying history at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Beaton began writing comics for the student newspaper. Her comics, which combined literature, history, and off-beat humour, became immensely popular online, leading to the publication of two acclaimed comic volumes: Hark! A Vagrant (2011) and Step Aside, Pops! (2015), as well as children’s picture books The Princess and the Pony (2015) and King Baby (2016). Beaton’s first graphic memoir, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, received wide acclaim upon publication in 2022. In addition to being the first graphic narrative to win Canada Reads, Ducks received the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Memoir and praise from Quill and Quire, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and President Barack Obama. Kate Beaton currently resides in Nova Scotia with her husband and two children. 



Masterclass with Wayne Arthurson

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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We are pleased to announce our upcoming virtual masterclass with the 2023-24 U of A Writer-in-Residence, Wayne Arthurson!

The acclaimed Edmonton writer and literary agent will discuss key clauses in a book contract and other writerly business. You can read more about Wayne Arthurson and his work in the news item below, or on the Writer-in-Residence webpage

This ONLINE masterclass will take place on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, from 12:00-1:00 PM MST, via Zoom.













Reading and Conversation with Wayne Arthurson

Friday, January 26, 2024

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Join us for a Reading and Conversation Series event with Wayne Arthurson, the U of A's current Writer-in-Residence!

This event will take place at the U of A on Friday, January 26, from 10:00-11:00 AM, in Henderson Hall (Rutherford Library South 1-17). Enjoy coffee and snacks as we listen to Wayne discuss his novella The Red Chesterfield, as well as writing about and from Edmonton.

Wayne Arthurson is a writer and literary agent from Edmonton, Alberta, and is the author of eight novels and five books of nonfiction. Arthurson’s work focuses on the Indigenous experience in Canada and is informed by his Cree and French Canadian heritage. His debut novel Final Season is set in an Indigenous community that faces severe environmental upheaval due to a new hydroelectric project. His novella The Red Chesterfield won the 2020 Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence (formerly the Arthur Ellis Award) in the Best Novella category. He has been twice shortlisted for the High Plains Book Award in the Best Indigenous Writer category, and his novel Fall from Grace won the 2012 Alberta Readers' Choice Award.

For more than thirty years, Wayne has been living, writing and working in Edmonton and has been an active member of the city's arts scene. He has served on the boards of prestigious municipal arts organizations, such as the Edmonton Arts Council and Litfest, and has judged several literary competitions. His background in journalism and broadcasting have helped to further his career as a writer in Alberta and he continues to work with and for the arts in Canada and abroad.




December 2023
New CLC Podcast Episode: Hari Alluri & Michelle Porter, hosted by Alice Major 

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We are thrilled to present the latest episode of our podcast. In episode 12, which is also part of our “Air and Fire” series of readings and conversations this year, Hari Alluri, Alice Major, and Michelle Porter explore the literal and metaphorical significance of fire in a brilliant, wide-ranging reading and conversation. Their words crackle with energy, burn and smoulder, warm and renew, sparking new ways of imagining this powerful element, whose increasing presence in our lives demands reflection and articulation. 

Hari Alluri (he/him/siya [pronounced sha]) is an uninvited migrant poet of Philippine and South Asian descent living, writing, and working on unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, and Kwantlen, Katzie and Kwikwetlem lands of Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking peoples. Author of The Flayed City (Kaya Press), chapbook Our Echo of Sudden Mercy (Next Page Press) and, forthcoming in 2025, Like a Feather Holds the Sky (Brick Books), he is a co-founding editor at Locked Horn Press, a workshop facilitator, and a bookseller at Massy Books. His award-winning work can be found in journals, anthologies, and online.

Dr. Michelle Porter is a writer and scholar from Alberta and living in Newfoundland and Labrador. She is the descendent of a long line of Métis storytellers. Many of her ancestors (the Goulet family) told stories using music and today she tells stories using the written word. She is the author of Approaching Fire, Scratching River. Her first novel, A Grandmother Begins the Story (Penguin 2023), was a finalist for the Atwood-Gibson Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction in 2023. Her first book of poetry, Inquiries, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry, Canada 2019 and was a finalist for the E.J. Pratt Poetry Award 2021. She teaches creative writing at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Alice Major has published eleven collections of poetry, two novels for young adults, and an award-winning collection of essays about poetry and science. Alice is the founder of the Edmonton Poetry Festival, was the first poet laureate of Edmonton, and the past president of both the Writers' Guild of Alberta and the League of Canadian Poets.



Save the Date! Thursday, March 7, 2024

Introducing the 2024 CLC Kreisel Lecture with Kate Beaton

Save the Date Poster for Kate Beaton Kreisel Lecture

We are excited to announce the 2024 Henry Kreisel Memorial Lecture with Kate Beaton! Please mark your calendars for March 7, 2024, 7:00 PM at the TIMMS CENTRE for the ARTS.

Stay tuned to the CLC's website and social media for more news in the coming months. 

Kate Beaton is a cartoonist and graphic novelist from Nova Scotia. While studying history at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Beaton began writing comics for the student newspaper. Her comics, which combined literature, history, and off-beat humour, became immensely popular online, leading to the publication of two acclaimed comic volumes: Hark! A Vagrant (2011) and Step Aside, Pops! (2015), as well as children’s picture books The Princess and the Pony (2015) and King Baby (2016). Beaton’s first graphic memoir, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, received wide acclaim upon publication in 2022. In addition to being the first graphic narrative to win Canada Reads, Ducks received the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Memoir and praise from Quill and Quire, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and President Barack Obama. Kate Beaton currently resides in Nova Scotia with her husband and two children.


 Praise for Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

“Her staggering skill as a cartoonist and obvious efforts to be unusually fair as a storyteller lend to this standing as a revealing historical document decades, if not even longer, from now.”

-- Fish Griwkowsky for the Edmonton Journal (Read more here)

“This book is a window into so many critical conversations about the environment, about Indigenous land rights, about the student debt crisis and about gender relations.”

-- Mattea Roach on championing Ducks for Canada Reads (Read more here)




Friday, October 20, 2023

Trina Moyles in Conversation with Omar Mouallem

Poster for Moyles and Mouallem Event


In partnership with LitFest, the Centre for Literatures in Canada/Centre de littératures au Canada presents Trina Moyles in conversation with Omar Mouallem.

Join us Friday, October 20 from 12 to 1 PM in Henderson Hall (Rutherford Library South 1-17).

Trina Moyles is an author, journalist, and creative producer based between Alberta and the Yukon Territory. She is the author of three non-fiction books, including Women Who Dig (2018), Lookout (2021), which won the 2022 Alberta Memoir Award, and Black Bear, which is forthcoming with Alfred A. Knopf in 2025. Her award-winning writing, often focusing on social and environmental justice issues, has been published in the Globe and Mail, Hakai Magazine, The Walrus, and Canadian Geographic. In 2022, she received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Her first book, Women Who Dig, is being adapted into a documentary film series by Edmonton-based filmmaker and director, Anna Kuelken. 

Omar Mouallem is an author, filmmaker, and educator. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, WIRED, and The Wall Street Journal. He coauthored Inside the Inferno: A Firefighter’s Story of the Brotherhood that Saved Fort McMurray, with firefighter Damian Asher, which was a national bestseller. His latest book Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas won the 2022 Wilfred Eggelston Nonfiction Award and was named one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2021. His documentary The Lebanese Burger Mafia, which documents the unlikely link between fast-food and Lebanese immigrants, won the 2023 Audience Choice for Best Doc at Northwest International Documentary Festival. He also teaches creative nonfiction at the University of King’s College and is the "fake dean" of Pandemic University School of Writing, a virtual school he founded in support of writers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.






le mercredi 18 octobre 2023

Martine Delvaux en conversation avec Evelyne Gagnon

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Joignez-vous à nous lors d’un midi littéraire sur Zoom sous le signe du feu, avec la romancière et essayiste féministe Martine Delvaux, qui discutera de son ouvrage Pompières et pyromanes (2021) avec la poète Evelyne Gagnon.

Mercredi le 18 octobre de 12h à 13h MDT sur Zoom.

Romancière et essayiste féministe, Martine Delvaux est notamment l’autrice de Blanc dehors, Le monde est à toi, Thelma, Louise & moi et Pompières et pyromanes. Elle a été finaliste à de nombreux prix, et plusieurs de ses livres ont été traduits en anglais et en espagnol. Son essai Le boys club a remporté le Grand Prix du livre de Montréal.


Face à la crise climatique, Martine Delvaux refuse l’abattement et choisit le combat, celui que mène la génération de sa fille, qui tient tête aux décideurs et réclame avec force la protection de la vie sur Terre. Solidaire, elle offre ici un livre-collage tissé de catastrophes, mais surtout d’espoir, où le feu occupe une place centrale. Feu sacré des, bûchers où tant de femmes ont péri, feux follets, feux de forêt dévastateurs, rage incendiaire et feux de joie : certaines flammes nous détruisent, quand d’autres nous éclairent. Les pompières pyromanes qui habitent ce livre savent lesquelles entretenir amoureusement.

Ces pages sont nées de ma fascination pour le feu. Elles sont remplies de souvenirs brûlants, de scènes incendiées, de flammes qui ont marqué l’histoire des femmes. J’ai voulu établir une filiation de femmes qui portent le feu, rendre hommage à celles qui ont joué avec le feu. Qui ont résisté à l’injustice avec détermination, constance et patience, parfois au prix de leur vie. Toutes celles qui ont fait oeuvre de feu pour la suite du monde.

Finaliste, Prix Victor-Barbeau de l’Académie des lettres du Québec
Liste préliminaire, Prix des libraires 2022

Poète et essayiste, Evelyne Gagnon vit à Edmonton, où elle est professeure en études littéraires à l’Université d’Athabasca. Spécialiste de la poésie, elle s’intéresse aussi aux formes de la mélancolie contemporaine et, notamment, à ses liens avec l’écoanxiété et avec l’écoféminisme. Elle a fondé, en 2014, le Concours de poésie du Centre de littérature canadienne, qui entamera cette année sa 10 e édition. Ayant publié des études sur la poésie dans plusieurs ouvrages scientifiques au Canada, aux États-Unis et en France, Evelyne Gagnon a également reçu, en 2001, le Prix de poésie Clément-Marchand et ses poèmes ont paru dans Le SabordMoebius et Les écrits. Son recueil, Incidents (et autres rumeurs du siècle), est paru aux Éditions du Noroît, à Montréal, en 2022.



September 27-29, 2023

Three Events with Olive Senior

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The Centre for Literatures in Canada/Centre de littératures au Canada and Canada Research Chair Nominee Dr. Michael A. Bucknor present award-winning essayist, poet, novelist, and children’s literature writer Olive Senior.

Please join us for as many of these events as you can, and share widely!


Wednesday, September 27 from 12 to 1 PM 

Reading + Q & A in Henderson Hall (Rutherford Library South 1-17). This event kicks off the CLC's 2023-24 Reading and Conversation Series on the theme of "Air and Fire." Open to the U of A community and to the public. Tea, coffee, and cookies will be served!


Thursday, September 28 from 3 to 4 PM 

Interview with Dr. Michael A. Bucknor: “The Writing Life: Artistic Vulnerabilities and Resilience” in Henderson Hall (Rutherford Library South 1-17). Open to the U of A community and to the public. Tea, coffee, and cookies will be served!


Friday, September 29 from 10 AM to 1 PM

Creative Writing Workshop: “Writing Your Environment” in person, registration required. Offered in partnership with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, this workshop is open to all emerging creative writers. Black, Indigenous and other racialized writers are especially encouraged to join. Registration is free and open to the public but will be capped at 15 participants. 
Headshot Photo of Olive Senior









Olive Senior’s books, articles and lectures span multiple genres, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature. Her twentieth book, Hurricane Watch: New and Collected Poems, was recently published by Carcanet in the UK. It follows Pandemic Poems: First Wave (2021), a work consisting of alphabet poems derived from the language of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work has found worldwide resonance in numerous critical essays and translations and is taught in educational institutions at various levels. Most recently, Summer Lightning (her first short story collection; 1986) was named one of the 70 outstanding books from the Commonwealth chosen to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee (The Big Jubilee Read).

Her many awards include Canada’s Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, honorary doctorates from the University of the West Indies and York University and the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica.

Olive Senior lives in Toronto but returns frequently to Jamaica and the Caribbean which remain central to her work. She is the Poet Laureate of Jamaica for 2021-2024.

Photo Credit: Alex Rice 



Introducing the 2023 CLC Kreisel Lecture with Wayde Compton

We are thrilled to announce the 2023 CLC Kreisel Lecture with Wayde Compton! Please mark your calendars for March 8, 2023 (7:30 p.m. at the TIMMS CENTRE for the ARTS).

Compton is a poet, historian, graphic novelist, essayist, short story writer, anthologist, sound poet, and (with David Chariandy and Karina Vernon) the co-founder of Commodore Books—the first Black Canadian literary press in Western Canada. His lecture, “Toward an Anti-Racist Poetics,” promises to probe Canada’s myths about race and multiculturalism and expand how we think about the role writers play in creating anti-racist imaginaries.

Wayde Compton's writing is as deeply theoretical as it is funny. For example, The Outer Harbour, a work of speculative fiction, traces the fate of Pauline Johnson Island, a volcanic island that suddenly bubbles up off the shore of West Vancouver. In tracing the evolution of the island—from ecological reserve, to condominium development, to prison complex—Compton's writing refutes the characterization of colonization as a historical act. Instead, Compton imagines how ongoing colonial practices might manifest if 'new land' were to materialize. —Kristine Smitka, incoming Acting Director

Wayde Compton has written five books and has edited two literary anthologies. His collection of short stories, The Outer Harbour, won the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2015 and he won a National Magazine Award for Fiction in 2011. His work has been a finalist for two other City of Vancouver Book Awards as well as the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. In 2006 Compton co-founded Commodore Books, western Canada’s first Black Canadian literary press. Compton has been writer-in-residence at Simon Fraser University, Green College at the University of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Public Library. From 2012-18, he administrated the Creative Writing Program in Continuing Studies at SFU, including the award-winning Writer’s Studio. He is currently working on a re-imagining of The Argonautika by Apollonius of Rhodes as surrealist slave narrative set on the west coast of North America in the 18th century. Compton is currently the chair of Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC.

Photo credit: Roger Hur



Congratulations to the University of Alberta Press!

Heartfelt congratulations to the University of Alberta Presswhose publication of Dionne Brand's An Autobiography on the Autobiography of Reading has won a 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Award! Order or download your copy HERE!
Learn more about the 2019 Kreisel Lecture and watch it on our YouTube channel!



 The CLC Warmly Thanks Marie Carrière for a Decade as Director


After more than 10 years at the helm of the CLC, Marie Carrière is concluding her term as director and moving into a new position as Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Arts, while continuing to serve on the CLC’s Executive Board. The Centre has flourished under Marie’s passionate and talented leadership. Her development of a diverse and engaging program of Brown Bag Lunch readings, research seminars, scholarly lectures, international conferences, and high-profile literary events has enriched our community immeasurably. She created the web-based research initiative “Inside the Bag,” as well as the Centre’s postdoctoral fellowship. She brought the Kreisel Lecture series to a wider Canadian and International audience through partnerships with the CBC Radio programme, Ideas, and the University of Alberta Press, while nurturing a vibrant local community of readers and writers both in and beyond the University here in Edmonton. These are just a few of Marie’s many contributions to the vibrant life of this Centre. Through all of her initiatives, Marie made the CLC a warm and hospitable bilingual space connecting the many creative and scholarly communities that animate Canada’s literary culture. Merci, Marie; bonne chance and best wishes in your next adventure!