Writer in Residence

Karen Solie, Fall 2018 Writer in Residence

Karen Solie

The Department of English at Memorial is pleased to announce that accomplished poet Karen Solie is the university Writer-in-Residence during the Fall semester of 2018. This position is sponsored by the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Residency Activities


Karen is currently available, by appointment, for one-to-one consultations on poetry. Writers interested in sitting down with her to review their work should contact Karen directly at ksolie@mun.ca.


Karen will also be offering an open poetry workshop, “Getting Started" on Tuesday November 6th, 7:30-9:30 pm in room A1046 in the Arts Building Atrium. This is a great opportunity for poets working at any level, and comes to us by the good offices of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Memorial. All welcome. Free parking will be available in lot 15b.

The blank page is a field of possibilities. But, let's face it, it's intimidating. How do we put those first lines down, in order to have something to work with? How can we banish the internal censor telling us what subject matter and language is, and is not, "poetic"? How can we bring the particulars of our lives to the page in ways that will connect with readers?

This session will involve an exercise of six simple prompts that address these questions in unexpected ways, in order to counter the inertia and frustration of the encounter with the blank page. Bring pen and paper, your imagination, and your sense of humour. Time permitting, and if you choose, there will be an opportunity to share, and have others respond to, your work. In addition to one strategy for getting started, this workshop will suggest possibilities for future work. And you might discover, in the evening's writing, the seed of a poem.


Nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of her work, Solie's work has received great acclaim, beginning with her debut collection, Short Haul Engine, published in 2001 and shortlisted for the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize; that book won the Pat Lowther Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and the ReLit Award. Her second book of poems, Modern and Normal (2005) was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award, a prize which she won in 2010 for her third volume, Pigeon, which also won the Griffin Poetry Prize that year. In 2013 Bloodaxe Books in England brought out a selection of Solie's poems, The Living Option.

Solie's 2015 collection, The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out, was published by Anansi in Canada and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the U.S. Reviewing the book for Poetry Magazine Jim Johnstone observes that Karen Solie is "already one of Canada’s most internationally acclaimed poets, needing only five books to ascend to the head of her class." She has been described elsewhere as "A sublime singer of existentialist bewilderment," one who "restlessly excavates our civilization, the moments of tough luck, casual violence, naked desire, and inchoate menace...."

Past Writers in Residence


Department of English

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