Department of English

University of Toronto


 The Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence


The Writer-In-Residence Non-Credit Creative Writing Seminar

Sachiko Murakami will offer a non-credit creative writing seminar on poetry in the “S” term on Wednesdays, 6-8 pm, at Massey College. The course is by application and can accommodate no more than 15 participants. The seminar is open to everyone who is currently part of the University of Toronto community—faculty, students, and staff.

Those interested in taking this seminar, please submit directly to me ( a sample of five pages of poetry maximum in digital format (MS Word or PDF ) via a return .utoronto email address. No cover letter or note is necessary.

NB: Attachments should be saved under the applicant’s and the program’s names (e.g., Smith_JackMcClelland_Writing_Sample_2016) and the submission email should include the following subject heading: "Jack McClelland Writer in Residence Seminar.” The deadline for submissions is Monday, November 28th.

The screening will be done by the writer-in-residence, and results will be announced by the middle of December.

Each year the University of Toronto appoints a Canadian writer to work with students, faculty and staff interested in creative writing. The appointment process is internal; no external applications are considered or acknowledged.   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)


About Sachiko Murakami
With her first book of poetry, The Invisibility Exhibit (2008), shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Murakami entered the Canadian poetry scene as a writer whose central preoccupation is with space. Her second poetry book, Rebuild (2011), registers her various affective responses to the city of Vancouver, a city of cranes and excavation sites, a living archive of properties expropriated (like that of her father’s), taken away from its Native inhabitants, sold and resold, rebuilt.

Admired for her creative innovation and collaborative spirit, she is the creator of Project Rebuild (, a site that materializes Murakami’s line, “What is a poem but a rental unit of language?” Already inhabited by visual variations of what has come to be known as “The Vancouver Special,” a particular house style, the project invites anyone “to move into any of the poems . . . and renovate them.”

Her most recent collection, Get Me Out of Here (2015), recasts Murakami’s spatial imagination by focusing on the airport as a network hub. From YVR (Vancouver) to RKV (Reykjavik), people in transit contributed their impressions of things or events, an experiment in crowd-sourcing that Murakami has turned into fourteen-line poems.

A literary worker for numerous presses and journals, she has also dabbled in administration, marketing, and communications for organizations, including the Association of Book Publishers of BC, BookNet Canada and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. A collective member of the Kootenay School of Writing in Vancouver for a short period, she co-founded The Pilot reading series in Montreal in 2005, and was co-host of Pivot Readings at the Press Club in Toronto from 2010-2012. She is a resident of Toronto.

Office hours will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at House V, Room 6, Massey College, beginning the week of Jan. 16th.

Jack McClelland Writers-in-Residence

2016-17            Sachiko Murakami
2015-16            Rawi Hage
2014-15            Shani Mootoo
2013-14            David Bezmozgis
2012-13            Joy Kogawa
2011-12            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


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