History of the Writer-In-Residence Program

We have had a long-standing history of hosting and funding programmes for eminent writers through the assistance of the Canada Council Author Residencies Programme. Since its early years when Writers-in-Residence Morley Callaghan and W.O. Mitchell successively nurtured a generation of Windsor writers, the Department has continued to develop residencies in innovative, responsive ways.

Diverse genres

Writers-in-Residence have included novelists (Adele Wiseman; Nino Ricci), poets (Tom Wayman; Judith Fitzgerald), playwrights (Daniel David Moses), and genre-fiction writers (Peter Robinson – crime fiction; Terry Griggs – children’s).

Canadian writers from far & wide

Writers-in-Residence have come from the west (Daphne Marlatt), the prairies (Marylin Dumont; Rosemary Nixon), the east (David French), the north (Mansel Robinson), central Canada (Margaret Christakos; Christopher Dewdney; Marlene NourbeSe Philip), and abroad (Canadian poet Alan Davies).

Nine-month residencies

We launched nine-month residencies in 2000. This enabled a substantially expanded impact. As a result, Writers-in-Residence have co-hosted writers’ festivals or workshop series, such as the Black Writers’ Festival held during Black History Month during Lillian Allen’s residency, the workshop series co-hosted by Daphne Marlatt and di Brandt in 2002, the Aboriginal Writers’ Festival organized during Marilyn Dumont’s residency, and various workshops directed at Education students, organized by Rosemary Nixon. These have been significant events for both campus and public communities.

Writers-in-Residence initiatives & projects

We have been fortunate to have writers complete manuscripts and projects during their nine-month residency. At the end of their residencies, writers Terry Griggs and Rosemary Nixon launched new books in the city. University Players has produced plays by our Writers-in-Residence, including Brebeuf’s Ghost by Daniel David Moses, and one of the last plays by David French. In conjunction with the School of Visual Art, we facilitated an inter-media multi-person performance event with Writer-in-Residence Margaret Christakos.

Short-term residencies

For fall 2011, the Department hosted and funded a term-length residency for poet and essayist Alan Davies.  From 1995-2004, the Department also hosted shorter three week-long residencies each year. These writers included Gail Scott, Reg Sylvester, John B. Lee, James Reaney, Harry Somers, Armand Garnet-Ruffo, Lee Gowan, Sally Clark, Heather Spears, Louise Halfe, Bonnie Burnard, Joe Fiorito, Shyam Selvadurai, John Wing, and Don McKay.