Fall writer in residence namedAccomplished poet working on new collection
By Janet Harron
One of the most versatile young writers in Canada has been named Memorial’s writer in residence for the fall 2008 term. Aislinn Hunter has published poetry, short fiction, a novella, a novel, literature essays and reviews and young adult non-fiction. She has been called a “genuine ambidexter, equally gifted in fiction and poetry.”
During her residency at Memorial, Ms. Hunter will concentrate on poetry, specifically a collection titled The Clock, The Hour. A major component of this collection is to be a series of “map poems” which will allow Ms. Hunter to explore her interest in historical cartography and the gulf between the known and the unknown.
Born in Belleville, Ont., Ms. Hunter moved to Dublin, Ireland, for a few years before making her home in British Columbia. She currently holds a creative writing faculty position at Kwantlen University College and has taught at the University of Victoria.
She has significant experience in dealing with aspiring writers through her work as writer in residence in venues as varied as Macquarie University (Australia), Lancaster University (England), and a public library in West Vancouver.
This will be Ms. Hunter’s first visit to Newfoundland and she is eagerly looking forward to the next few months.
“I’ve always wanted to visit Newfoundland as it’s been a place I have both imagined and read about… I think one of the best possible situations for most writers is this kind of opportunity: getting to be in an environment and around people that inspire and engage you while also being given the time and space to sit in the (proverbial) chair and do the work that a writer has to do,” said Ms. Hunter.
The Faculty of Arts and the English Department together are sponsoring Aislinn Hunter’s three-month stint as Memorial’s writer in residence for the fall 2008 term. The writer in residence serves as a resource for the entire community, meeting with writers at any stage, working in any genre. This service is provided free of charge, and is available to everyone, not just those with ties to the university.
The writer in residence committee also hopes to set up an online mentoring environment to allow those outside of the St. John’s area to be able to benefit from Ms Hunter’s mentoring. The committee also intends to send Ms. Hunter to Labrador to give a reading and lead a workshop, following in the footsteps of Michael Crummey, winter 2008’s writer in residence.
According to Professor Mary Dalton, co-chair of the writer in residence committee, Ms. Hunter is a perfect fit for the position.
“We struggled to decide among several stellar applicants for this position. Aislinn Hunter's fascination with place and voice in her writing, as well as an intriguing project with maps which she hopes to work on while she's here, led to the committee's recommending her.
"She brings verve, enthusiasm, and intellectual energy to a post which has been so ably filled recently by Don McKay and Michael Crummey.”
Ms. Hunter will hold drop-in office hours in room AA-3005 of the Arts and Administration Building. Her office hours are still to be confirmed. Once the fall term commences she can be reached at 737-6942.