Visiting Authors

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies invites accomplished novelists, essayists, poets, screenwriters, and playwrights present their work through the public FCCS Reading Series at the Okanagan Regional Library and other venues around the Okanagan. The Writer-in-Residence program promotes Canadian writing and literature to Okanagan residents and provides emerging writers with the opportunity to get feedback on their creative work.

Public Reading Series

Book Launch: Matt Rader, Ghosthawk

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2021
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Location: Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave.

This event is hosted and organized by the Inspired Word Café, sponsored by the Faculty of Creative an Critical Studies. Come join us for an IWC Reading Series event with Matt Rader in the launch of his new book, Ghosthawk.

Matt Rader is an award-winning author of four volumes of poetry and a collection of stories, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This (Nightwood Editions, 2014). His work has appeared in Best Canadian PoetryGeistThe WalrusWales Arts ReviewThe Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review. Rader is a core member of the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan where he lectures in creative writing. He lives in Kelowna, BC.

Ghosthawk is a guidebook of imagination from grasslands to star fields to the weather of the poet’s body. Where’s home in the crises of ecological collapse and mortal illness? Where’s joy with constant pain, a future blurred by smoke? Carrying these questions, Matt Rader wrote down the names of the wildflowers he met in the mountains, canyons and woodlands of his home in the Okanagan Valley. These poems are what he learned, the directions as he can best describe them. Ghosthawk was published by Nightwood Editions.

Find out more about the Inspired Word Café here:

Proof of vaccination and masking is required to attend the event. Attendance spots are limited and first come first serve.

Annual Sharon Thesen Lecture

Sharon Thesen was the first full professor in the Department of Creative Studies and is now professor emerita here at UBC. She is also a renowned Canadian poet and editor. The Creative Writing program at UBC intends for the Sharon Thesen lecture to acknowledge her contributions to British Columbian and Canadian literature and to the Creative Writing Program at UBC Okanagan. In her honor, a different writer each year will give a lecture that tackles key issues of contemporary writing, poetics, and Canadian literature. By recording each lecture, we will create a wonderful resource of contemporary thinking by writers.

Kevin Chong, professor of Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan gave the second Annual Sharon Thesen Lecture on Thursday April 29, 2021. The full lecture, Middle of it All: On Writing, Teaching, And Middles During A Pandemic can be viewed below.

Told as an auto-fictional story about the rivalry between two middle-aged, mid-career writers, this lecture looks at craft, ideological, technological issues faced by writers and writing teachers in the pandemic.

Kevin is the author of six books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently the novel The Plague. Those titles have been named books of the year by Globe and Mail, National Post, and, listed for a CBC prize, a BC Book Prize, and a National Magazine Award, optioned for film and TV, and published in the US, Europe, and Australia. His creative nonfiction and journalism have recently appeared in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Rumpus, and the South China Morning Post.

John Lent gave the first Annual Sharon Thesen lecture on November 19, 2020. Lent took us on a writer’s and teacher’s journey through the power and promise of modernism and the teaching of creative writing. View the lecture, Aspects of Poetics in Contemporary Fiction and Poetry: a practical logic of legacies, a working arc of continuance, via the link below.

First Annual Sharon Thesen Lecture


Past Visiting Authors