Department of English

University of Toronto


 The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence


Photo courtesy of David Bezmozgis's website  
The Department of English is pleased to announce that award-winning writer and filmmaker David Bezmozgis will be the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence for the 2014 Spring term.

Bezmozgis's first book, Natasha and Other Stories, was published in 2004 in the US and Canada and has since been translated into fifteen languages. Natasha was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, the LA Times First Book Award, and the Governor General’s Award. It won the Toronto Book Award and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for First Book. Bezmozgis’s first novel, The Free World, published in 2011 by HarperCollins, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2011 and a Globe and Mail Best Books Title for 2011. The Free World was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, and the Trillium Prize, and won the First Novel Award. Critics have described Bezmozgis as a skilful storyteller, packing his brief tales with plot twists, quick revelations, and amusing characters.

David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, and came to Canada when he was six. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. Bezmozgis’ first feature film, Victoria Day, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2010, he was named one of The New Yorker’s most promising fiction writers under the age of forty. He currently lives in Toronto.

David will conduct a creative writing seminar for members for the University community and will meet with students in an office provided by Massey College, our generous partner in this important position. Details regarding the application process will be available in the fall.

For more information about David Bezmozgis please click on the following link:

Jack McClelland Writers-in-Residence


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


David will be conducting a non-credit creative writing seminar in the "S" term on Wednesdays, 6-8 pm. The course is by application and can accommodate no more than 15 students. David's office hours will be Wednesdays 3:30-5:30.

Those interested please submit an attachment of one two-page sample of fiction or non-fiction to Smaro Kamboureli via email ( No cover letter necessary. The deadline is Monday, December 2nd. (If you prefer to submit a hard copy, please mail it to my address below, but make sure you include your email address in the package).

The screening results will be announced by the end of December.

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.


John Gordon "Jack" McClelland (1922 - 2004)


 John Gordon "Jack" McClelland (1922 - 2004)

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