UBC alumni share anecdotes and accolades in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the University’s Creative Writing Program. Emceed by Annabel Lyon.
Théodora Armstrong is a fiction writer and poet whose work has appeared in numerous literary magazines across Canada such as Prairie Fire, Descant, The New Quarterly and Contemporary Verse 2. She received a Western Magazine Award for Fiction in 2008, and her stories have been included in The Journey Prize Anthology 20 and Coming Attractions 10. Armstrong presents her debut fiction collection, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility, a deft depiction of families, friendship and human frailty set against the landscape of British Columbia.
Joseph Boyden’s debut, Three Day Road, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award and the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award. His second novel, Through Black Spruce, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was named the Fiction Book of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association and earned him the CBA’s Author of the Year Award. Boyden presents his latest novel, The Orenda, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language Fiction and named the winner of 2014 Canada Reads. It is a nearly 400-year-old tale about the kidnapping of a young Iroquois girl, her Huron Nation captor and a Jesuit missionary.
Wayne Grady is the author of 14 books of science and natural history and the editor of six anthologies of short fiction. He has translated 15 works from the French, winning the Governor General’s Literary Award for his translation of Antonine Maillet’s On the Eighth Day. He currently teaches Creative Non-Fiction at the University of British Columbia. Grady shares his unforgettable debut novel, Emancipation Day, about fathers and sons, husbands and wives and the complicated state of race relations during the 1930s and ‘40s in Canada.
Ann Ireland is the author of four novels, including The Instructor, Exile and A Certain Mr. Takahashi, which won the $50,000 Seal First Novel Award. She teaches creative writing courses at Ryerson University. A past president of PEN Canada, Ireland also served on the Authors’ Committee of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. She presents her latest novel, The Blue Guitar, about the International Classical Guitar Competition in Montreal. Careers can begin or end there, as scheming judges and contestants battle for glory on a stage where much more than beautiful music is performed.
Annabel Lyon‘s story collection, Oxygen, and book of novellas, The Best Thing for You, were published to wide acclaim. Her first novel, The Golden Mean, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Literary Award for English Fiction and a regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Lyon’s second novel, The Sweet Girl, follows the intelligent 16-year-old Pythias, the recently orphaned daughter of Aristotle, as she attempts to forge a path for herself in a superstitious and biased world.
Ania Szado is the bestselling author of Studio Saint-Ex – a novel about fashion and The Little Prince in 1940s NYC – and Beginning of Was, which was regionally shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Ania was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read” (2014). Her short fiction has been anthologized, most recently in Polish(ed): Poland Rooted in Canadian Fiction.