Department of English

University of Toronto


 The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence

Shani Mootoo

On behalf of the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence Committee and the Chair of the Department of English at St. George, we are pleased to announce that the University of Toronto's Jack McClelland Writer in Residence for 2015 is Shani Mootoo

Shani's first novel, Cereus Blooms at Night (1996), took the Canadian literary scene by storm. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Giller Prize, among other awards, it has already attracted a lot of critical attention. Her subsequent novels enjoyed similar success: He Drown She in the Sea (2005) was longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award, and Valmiki's Daughter (2008) for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize. Her fourth novel, Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, has just been released from Doubleday. 


Shani's first fiction book was a collection of short stories, Out on Main Street (1992), and she has also published a poetry book, The Predicament of Or (2002). Beyond being a wonderful writer--she was the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature in 2012--Shani is also a multimedia visual artist.


Born in Dublin, Ireland, to Trinidadian parents, she grew up in Trinidad and relocated to Vancouver when she was in her twenties. She currently lives in Prince Edward County. 


As is our tradition, Shani will offer a creative writing seminar for members of the University of Toronto community in the spring term and meet with students at an office provided by Massey College, our hospitable partner in this prestigious position. I will circulate details about the application process later this fall.

Jack McClelland Writers-in-Residence


2013-14           David Bezmozgis
2012-13           Joy Kogawa
Michael Winter

2010-11           Barbara Gowdy

2009-10           Michael Redhill

2008-09           Christopher Dewdney

2007-08           David Gilmour

2006-07           Don McKay

2005-06           Camilla Gibb

2004-05           George Fetherling

2003-04           Steven Heighton

2002-03           Albert F. Moritz

2001-02           Kildare Dobbs

2000-01           Austin Clarke

1999-00           Erin Mouré

1998-99           Sarah Ellis

1997-98           Roo Borson

1996-97           Jane Urquhart

1995-96           Tom Wayman

1994-95           Susan Musgrave

1993-94           Tomson Highway

Spring 1993    Audrey Thomas

1991-92           Judith Merril

1990-91           Patrick Lane

1989-90           Lorna Crozier

1988-89           Erika Ritter

1987-88           Al Purdy

1986-87           Gwendolyn MacEwen

1985-86           Mary di Michele

1984-85           Leon Rooke

1983-84           Mavis Gallant

Spring 1983    Dorothy Livesay

Fall 1982          Brian Moore

1981-82           Irving Layton

1980-81           Marian Engel

1979-80           Timothy Findley

1978-79           Dennis Lee

1977-78           Carol Bolt

1976-77           John Newlove

1975-76           Adele Wiseman

1974-75           Fletcher Markle

1973-74           W.O. Mitchell

1972-73           Margaret Atwood

Spring 1971    Josef Škvorecký

Fall 1970         R.D.C. Finch

1969-70           Margaret Laurence

1968-69           Jack Ludwig

1965-68           Earle Birney



John Gordon "Jack" McClelland (1922 - 2004)

 John Gordon "Jack" McClelland (1922 - 2004)

Each year the University of Toronto appoints a Canadian writer to work with students, faculty and staff interested in creative writing. From January to April, the Writer-in-Residence offers a seminar on creative writing and holds office hours for consultations on writing. The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence Program is housed at Massey College and is jointly sponsored by Massey and the Department of English.

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