Department of English

University of Toronto

Creative Writing Gala 2020 (Cancelled)

Event date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 120 St. George Street

MA Creative Writing Gala (Cancelled: March 13th, 2020)

Message from Professor Richard Greene

Each year the Department of English holds a Creative Writing Gala to display the accomplishments of our students and to pay tribute to those who have so generously supported the program. Sadly, this year things will be different. The spread of the Corona virus has made it necessary to cancel the Gala scheduled for March 25. However, we continue to honour the writers and to thank the friends of the program. We hope that next year's Gala will be an especially fine one and will do everything we can to make it a grand celebration.

With our sincere thanks and best wishes,

Richard Greene
MA in the Field of Creative Writing
Department of English
University of Toronto

Congratulations to Maxwell Koyama for winning the 2019-20 Adam Penn Gilders Scholarship for Creative Writing.

Valedictory note by Sam Solecki and Karen Mulhallen, the judges of the competition. 

A CONCISE HISTORY OF TRANSPARENT BASS IN THE AMERICAN WATER SYSTEM comes with an impressive pedigree: The Book of Jonah at one end, Walton's Compleat Angler in the middle and closer to our time Moby Dick and A Fish Called Wanda. That got it noticed.

Both judges also like titles. This one-long and ‘just the facts, ma'am, just the facts'*--creates a fluid zone for what follows: it might be an fishing essay by Wendell Berry or an entry by Lydia Davis on how to write about bass or things piscatorial, or a post-modern riff on fact and fiction, or even the ever-playful Anne Carson inventing a genre-or none or all of the above.

But its calm almost reportorial tone and straight-forward approach seduce quietly like a glimmer of a metal polychrome lure just under the water's surface. And the narrative voice, very cool, assured, controlled and almost neuroasthenically indifferent, floats documentary, reportage, fiction and satire toward the reader. . . and hooks him or her as if they were a little fish on a fictional hook.

Along the way comes what may be the funniest ‘fish story' line of the contemporary era, ‘HOW I LOST 60 POUNDS BY EATING TRANSPARENT BASS EVERY DAY.' Isaac Walton, the first great narrator of angling, might have smiled in 1653 when he published The Compleat Angler. Oprah's audience would take it seriously.

The piece accomplishes what Maxwell Koyama intends, if we dare speak of a writer's intentions. And of course we do-as we always do and as we should.

*Jack Webb, as Detective Joe Friday, in Dragnet, 1951-59

The Department of English invites you to our Creative Writing Gala hosted at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (120 St. George Street, Toronto). Please join us on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm to celebrate our MA in English in the Field of Creative Writing Program.

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 120 St. George Street

We will award the Adam Penn Gilders Scholarship. There will be a reading by Liz Howard, author of Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and a mentor in the program. There will also be readings by this year's graduating class: Aley Waterman, Jacob Morrow, Isabelle Zhu, Fawn Parker, Caroline Colantonio, and Brittney Hubley.

LIZ HOWARD's debut collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General's Award for poetry, and was named a Globe and Mail top 100 book. A National Magazine Award finalist, her recent work has appeared in Canadian Art, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Magazine, Walrus Magazine and Best Canadian Poetry. She is of mixed settler and Anishinaabe descent. Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in northern Ontario, she currently lives in Toronto.

Please RSVP here: by March 17th, 2020 to let us know you will be attending.

Event poster available here







































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