Gustafson Trust

A.F. Moritz, Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto, to give VIU Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet Lecture and Reading

A.F. Moritz, Poet Laureate of City of Toronto

Photo provided by artist.

A.F. Moritz, one of Canada’s most esteemed and decorated poets, is VIU’s Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2021-22. The annual lecture will take place at the Ralph Gustafson Lecture Theatre in the Arts and Sciences Building (Bldg. 355) on March 3 at 7:30 pm at Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus.

His talk, entitled “Poetry: Present Future of the Past” will discuss the phenomenon of what writers choose to let live on the page. “For all my love of writing, reading, books, printed pages, I insist that poetry is in its sound,” writes Moritz. “Then what is the role of the preserved poem, the written poem, the poem perhaps written while it is being sung, bit by bit?” After recently publishing a collection of his selected works, Moritz has come to believe that all poems engage the mystery of what memories and feelings in us are chosen and developed, what is not just experienced but left for posterity.

A.F. Moritz has written over 20 books of poetry, and won numerous awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also won the Bess Hokin Award of Poetry magazine, the Elizabeth Matchett Stover Award of the Southwest Review, the ReLit Award, selection to the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, and three of his books have been named finalists for the Governor General's Award. In 2021, As Far As You Know was a finalist for Ontario's Trillium Award. Moritz is presently the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto (2019-2023).

Moritz will deliver this year’s Gustafson Lecture in person at the Ralph Gustafson Lecture Theatre in the Arts and Sciences Building (Bldg. 355, max 50 persons; proof of vaccination required). On Wed March 2, Moritz will read from his work at the Innovation Room in the Windsor Plywood Trades Discovery Centre (Bldg. 108, Room 105, max 30 persons). Both events are open to the public and will be streamed.

Reading and Q&A   

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 4 pm (Pacific) / 7 pm (Eastern)

Gustafson Lecture  

Thursday, March 3, 2022 -  7 pm (Pacific) / 10 pm (Eastern)

Register for Zoom online stream. To put your name on the list for attendees for one or both events, please email

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