MA in the Field of Creative Writing Program Faculty Biographies

Claire Battershill is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and the Department of English at the University of Toronto. She's the author of a collection of short stories, Circus (McClelland & Stewart 2014); an academic monograph, Modernist Lives: Biography and Autobiography at Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press (Bloomsbury 2018); two collaboratively written academic books (Scholarly Adventures in Digital Humanities, Palgrave 2017, and Using Digital Humanities in the Classroom, Bloomsbury 2017); a handful of poems; some short stories; some book reviews; and many academic articles and book chapters on book and publishing history, digital archives, contemporary letterpress printing, and 20th-century literature.

Writer, critic and scholar Randy Boyagoda is Professor of English and holds the Basilian Chair in Christianity, Arts, and Letters at the University of St. Michael’s College, where he also serves as Principal and Vice-President. He is the author of two novels, Governor of the Northern Province (2006) and Beggar’s Feast (2011), an academic monograph about race and immigration in the writing of Salman Rushdie, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner (2008), and a biography of the Catholic priest and neoconservative intellectual Richard John Neuhaus (2015). His work has been nominated for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize and named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, in addition to earning critical acclaim around the world. He also regularly contributes opinions, reviews and essays to publications including The New York TimesGuardianNew Statesman, and Financial Times (UK) and serves as President of PEN Canada. He is currently working on a new novel, which will be published in 2018.  

Poet, writer, and scholar George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. The inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has also taught at Duke University (1994-99), McGill University (1998-99), The University of British Columbia (2002), Mount Allison University (2005), and Harvard University (2013-14). His many honours include the Portia White Prize for Artistic Achievement (1998), Governor-General's Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005-2008), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and eight honorary doctorates. He was Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and is Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2016-17). His second novel is The Motorcyclist (2016). His newest poetry works are Traverse (2014), Extra Illicit Sonnets (2015), Gold (2016), and Canticles I (MMXVI) (2016), the first part of a projected three-book epic.


Andrew DuBois is the author of a book of poetry (All the People Are Pregnant, 2021), a collection of essays and reviews (Start to Figure, 2020), a lyrical novella (He We Her / I Am White, 2019), and a book of criticism (Ashbery's Forms of Attention, 2006). He also co-edited Close Reading: The Reader (2003) and The Anthology of Rap (2010), the latter of which was named a Top Ten Book of the Year by New York Magazine and The Village Voice, called by Cornel West "an instant classic," and deemed by Nikki Giovanni to be "much needed, much needed." A proud past Editor-in-Chief of echolocation, Andrew's work has appeared in such places as American Literary HistoryHarvard ReviewLA Review of BooksMusic & LiteratureThe New York Times Book ReviewSouth Atlantic Quarterly, and World Literature Today. Book chapters can be found in such collections as The Cambridge History of American LiteratureA Companion to American PoetryMelville and Aesthetics, and The Turn Around Religion in America, while multiple encyclopedia entries appear in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American ExperienceThe Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry, and The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. He has emceed or hosted events featuring such respected figures as Kurtis Blow, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Common, LaTasha Diggs, Grandmaster Caz, Immortal Technique, Imani Perry, and Touré, and in 2015 he was one of a handful of curators, artists, and critics asked to narrate the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now's the Time. His poem "Yellow Tulips" was recently chosen to appear in Best Canadian Poetry 2021. A graduate of Duke (B.A.) and Harvard (Ph.D.) and a professor here since 2004, Andrew splits his time between the GTA and Carbonear, Newfoundland, where he is owner of the Green Door Book Store. His current projects include co-editing a collection of Charles Whibley's essays, writing a critical biography of Anita Loos that looks at her work and her hat collection, and trying to learn Icelandic.




Richard Greene is a poet, biographer, and critic. His third collection of poems Boxing the Compass (Signal Editions, 2009) was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Nigel Beale observed in The Globe and Mail that it was “Characterized by powerful, arresting openings, sharp aphoristic jabs ... sonnet-like solutions, pithy ironies...; and Thomas Hardy's ability to convey poignant, pointed feeling using just a faint brush stroke...” His fourth collection, Dante’s House (Signal Editions, 2013) contains a long poem in terza rima, set in contemporary Italy; George Elliott Clarke has described that work as “a masterpiece” and compared Greene’s poetry to that of Derek Walcott (Chronicle Herald). In 2015, Greene’s poem “You Must Remember This” was awarded the National Magazine Award (Gold). Following scholarly books on Mary Leapor and Graham Greene, his major biography of the modernist poet Edith Sitwell was published by Little, Brown in 2011. A two-fisted assault on critical orthodoxy, it reasserts the value of an often derided modernist poet. Stuart Kelly observes in The Scotsman: “Greene very boldly claims Sitwell as the finest female English poet of the 20th century, and the pre-eminent poet of the blitz…. Greene's [strategy] works… [T]he book gives a proper overview of her oeuvre.” Auden’s biographer Richard Davenport-Hines writes of this book: “It glows with loving admiration for her generous spirit, fierce sense of vocation, and shameless, irrepressible quirkiness…. Richard Greene is an intelligent, sympathetic writer” (Sunday Telegraph). Anthony Burgess’s biographer Roger Lewis describes it as “Brilliant, wise, funny and affectionate. It is perfection, actually, and I am consumed with professional jealousy” (Daily Mail). He is currently writing a new authorized biography of Graham Greene, commissioned by Little, Brown UK, W. W. Norton, and Knopf Canada.


Robert McGill is an associate professor in the Department of English and the director of its MA program in Creative Writing. His first novel, The Mysteries, was named one of the top five Canadian fiction books of 2004 by Quill & Quire. His second novel, Once We Had a Country, is published by Knopf Canada and by Jonathan Cape in the UK. Robert’s publications also include two nonfiction books, War is Here: The Vietnam War and Canadian Literature and The Treacherous Imagination, as well as short fiction in Hazlitt, Toronto LifeThe Journey Prize AnthologyGrainThe Dalhousie ReviewThe FiddleheadThe New Quarterly, and Descant.

More information about Robert’s writing can be found at


A. F. Moritz has published more than fifteen books of poetry. His work has earned honours including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and selection to the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. He has translated seven books of poetry and a novel from Spanish and French, and in collaboration with Theresa Moritz has written biographies of Emma Goldman and Stephen Leacock, and The Oxford Literary Guide to Canada. He holds a doctorate in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British poetry. His The Sentinel (2008) won the 2009 Griffin Prize for poetry. His most recent books are Sequence: A Poem (2015) and the 2015 re-issue by Princeton University Press of his 1986 collection The Tradition


Avery Slater holds an M.F.A in poetry from the University of Washington. Her poetry has appeared in Slate MagazinePoetry LondonLiterary ImaginationParnassus, RaritanPrairie SchoonerPoetry Northwest, North American ReviewMissouri Review and other journals. Several times nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she is also a recipient of the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize (2007) and is a three-time scholarship alum of Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Her creative work has engaged ecological activism, whether through collaborative work with scientists and artists (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) or through grants for psychogeographic treks to landscapes of industrial damage, such as from the Atkinson Centre for a Sustainable Future to visit and write on toxic chemical spills in West Virginia’s Elk and Kanawha Rivers. These ecopoetic and digital media projects have appeared at venues including the 2015 Venice Biennale / AQUAE Venezia. She co-curated the SOON reading series in experimental poetry in Ithaca, New York while completing her Ph.D. in English at Cornell University, and she is also interested in the theory and practice of literary translation.


Daniel Scott Tysdal is the ReLit Award-winning author of three books of poetry, Fauxccasional Poems (icehouse 2015), The Mourner’s Book of Albums (Tightrope 2010), Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method (Coteau 2006), and the poetry textbook The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems (Oxford University Press 2014). Online, he runs the Fauxccasional Poems Video Project (, and he delivered the TEDx talk, “Everything You Need to Write a Poem (and How It Can Save a Life)” ( Tysdal’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry and Best Canadian Essays, and has earned him awards including honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards (2003), the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Award (2006), the Matrix Lit Pop Award (2010), and the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence (2014). He is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, at the University of Toronto Scarborough. In 2012, the UTSC student newspaper, The Underground, named him one of their four “Professors of the Year.” 


Ian Williams is the author of six acclaimed books. His latest book, Word Problems, a poetry collection considers the ethical and political issues of our time as math and grammar problems. His novel, Reproduction, won of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award for the best work of global fiction. Reproduction was published in Canada, the US, and the UK, and translated into Italian. In fall 2021, he will publish Disorientation, a linked essay collection on race.
His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone's Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. CBC named him as one of ten Canadian writers to watch. He is a trustee for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Professor Williams formerly taught poetry in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. and was Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary's Distinguished Writers Program.



Emeriti Faculty Biographies


John Reibetanz has published eleven collections, and his poems have appeared in such magazines as Poetry (Chicago), The Paris Review, The Walrus, and Canadian Literature. In addition to poetry, he has written essays on Elizabethan drama and on modern and contemporary poetry, as well as a book on King Lear and translations of modern German and French poetry. A finalist for the National Magazine Awards, the National Poetry Competition, and the ReLit Award, John has given readings of his poetry in major cities all across Canada. He has won prizes in the annual national competitions sponsored by Vallum and by The Fiddlehead and has won first prize in the international Petra Kenney Competition. He was elected a Senior Fellow of Massey College in 2010. Rosemary Sullivan describes his book Afloat (Brick Books, 2013) as “wondrous,” and his most recent collection, Where We Live (McGill-Queen’s Press, 2016), contains the poem that won The Malahat Review’s P.K. Page Founders’ Award in 2015. Other recent poems are in The Fiddlehead and The Antigonish Review and further work is forthcoming in The Malahat Review. A twelfth collection, By Hand, is currently being edited for publication, and The Essential John Reibetanz, edited by Jeffery Donaldson, is published by The Porcupine’s Quill (2017).


 Rosemary Sullivan received her BA from McGill University (1968); her MA from the University of Connecticut (1969); and her PhD from the University of Sussex (1972). She has published fourteen books of creative non-fiction and poetry. Her works include Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (2015); the children’s book Molito with CD (2011); The Guthrie Road (2009); Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille (2006); CubaGrace Under Pressure (2003); Labyrinth of DesireWomenPassion and Romantic Obsession (2001); Memory Making: Selected Essays (2001); The Red ShoesMargaret Atwood Starting Out (1998) Shadow MakerThe Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen (1995); By HeartElizabeth Smart/A Life (1991); and The Bone LadderNew and Selected Poetry (2000). Molito, co-authored with Juan Opitz and with a CD of music, was selected by The Globe & Mail as one of the best children’s books of the fall season in 2011. Shadow Maker was awarded the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction; the City of Toronto Book Award; The Canadian Author’s Association Award; the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography; and nominated for the Trillium Award. She has received National Magazine and Western Magazine awards for her journalism. Villa Air-Bel was awarded the Canadian Jewish Books Yad Vashem Award in 2006, as well as The Independent Bookseller’s Award for the best book of nonfiction and was translated into six languages. Toronto Poet Laureate Dionne Brand selected lines from her poem “Exile” as the first installation in the project “Poetry is Public is Poetry”; the lines were set in bronze in sidewalk of Cedarbrae Library, 2010. The Royal Society of Canada awarded her the Lorne Pierce Medal for her “Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Literature and Culture” in 2008. She was the McLean Hunter Chair of Literary Journalism at the Banff Centre (2004-06) and has received Camargo, Guggenheim, Killam, Jackman and Trudeau Fellowships. Her recent book, Stalin’s Daughter was the Winner of the BIO Plutarch Prize for Best Biography of 2015; the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction, 2015; the RBC Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, 2016; the BC National Non-Fiction Prize, 2016; and was a finalist for the 2016 American PEN/Bograd Weld Award for Biography, and the National Books Critics Circle Award. It was named one of Newsday’s Best Books of 2015; The Daily Mail’s Book of the Year 2015; one of The Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2015; A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice 2016; a 2016 American Library Association Notable Book; one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Nonfiction Books of 2015; one of The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2015; one of the Washington Post’s Notable Nonfiction Books of 2015. Rights have been sold in twenty-two countries. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012.

Rosemary Sullivan's Homepage.