Lorna Crozier reads at Vancouver Island University on November 8

VIU’s Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2018 will be the renowned Lorna Crozier.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Lorna Crozier has been acknowledged for her contributions to Canadian literature, her teaching, and her mentoring, with five honourary doctorates, most recently from McGill and Simon Fraser Universities. Her books have received numerous national awards, including the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry. The Globe and Mail declared The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things one of its Top 100 Books of the Year, and Amazon chose her memoir as one of the 100 books you should read in your lifetime. A Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria, she has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and has read her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, on every continent except Antarctica. Her latest book, What the Soul Doesn't Want, was nominated for the 2017 Governor General's Award for English-language Poetry. In 2018, Lorna Crozier received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives on Vancouver Island with writer Patrick Lane and two cats who love to garden.

Vancouver Island University will host Lorna Crozier on November 7 and 8 for a series of free events.

Reading and Q&A for Students

Wednesday, November 7

2:30 to 4 pm, Building 355, Room 211, Vancouver Island University


Public Reading

Wednesday, November 7

7:30 to 8:30 pm, White Sails Brewing, 125 Comox Road, Nanaimo


Distinguished Poet’s Lecture“Writing and Risk"

Thursday, November 8

7 pm, Building 355, Room 203, Vancouver Island University

When I asked the brilliant John Newlove why he trembled when he was giving a reading, he told me that he feared someone shouting from the back of the room, “What right do you have to be up there instead of me?” That’s one of the biggest risks writers take—assuming that we have some kind of permission to tell our stories to strangers and that those strangers will want to listen. As John feared, things can go terribly wrong. Then there are other risks: among them, the revelation of who you really are, for no matter how much the poems are riddled with fiction, the character of the speaker comes through. How much do I dare to say? How much of a story does anyone have the right to tell? Who is at risk of getting hurt by what I choose to say?

The lecture will be followed by a catered reception with cash bar.  Courtesy parking will be available in the N lots, below Building 355.


For more information, email Sonnet L'Abbe, Chair of the Gustafson Committee.

Copies of chapbooks of past lectures can be purchased through the VIU Campus Store.

Photo provided by Lorna Crozier

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