Alisa Gordaneer


Alisa Gordaneer was born in Ontario, and moved to Victoria with her family when she was a child. She earned a bachelor’s degree majoring in English and Women’s Studies, and a master’s degree in English with a focus on contemporary Canadian poetry, from the University of Victoria. She spent 15 years as a full-time newspaper reporter and editor, first in Victoria, and then in Detroit, Michigan, before returning to Victoria in 2001. She has held newsroom roles including arts editor, features editor, special sections editor, and editor in chief. She left full-time journalism to work as a freelancer, and wrote a regular column for Boulevard Magazine for five years before moving to full-time teaching and occasional contributions to CVV Online. She has taught at the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Camosun College, Royal Roads University and now teaches journalism at Vancouver Island University. When she is not teaching, she freelances as a communications consultant, and writes poetry. Her most recent book, Still Hungry, was published by Signature Editions in 2015. 

Teaching Philosophy

I expect my students to be accountable, responsible, and resourceful in their efforts to engage with the real world in the process of developing stories for class. I encourage students to think of their work as potentially publishable, and to imagine themselves actually earning an income through their efforts.

I also occasionally teach poetry, which requires an entirely different approach, as it’s possibly the least practical type of writing one can do. Nobody can expect to make a living as a poet, so instead, I help students an appreciation for the literary and poetic conversation of contemporary poetry, but allows students to explore their own voices and contributions to that conversation.