The University of New Brunswick will be bringing some of the nation’s strongest creative voices to Fredericton from June 9-11 when it hosts Canada’s Writing Conference, an annual event for the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs organization.

UNB English professor and writer Dr. Sue Sinclair sits on the organization’s board, and was tasked with helping bring the national conference to Atlantic Canada.

“We decided we would like to hold our conference at UNB because our creative writing group hadn’t been a presence in Atlantic Canada,” says Dr. Sinclair. “It’s a chance for UNB to connect with both individuals and institutions from across the country. It’s such a diverse bunch of presenters, a moment to showcase some of what’s going on in Atlantic Canada, as well as to see ourselves in the context of the country in terms of creative writing.”

The weekend schedule will feature four keynote presentations open to the public, representing a broad cross-section of Canadian writers.

Herménégilde Chiasson, perhaps best known to New Brunswickers as the former lieutenant governor of the province, is also one of its most-celebrated authors and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Jan Zwicky is a poet, philosopher and musician and former professor in the English department at UNB. The Governor General’s Award winner is currently living in British Columbia. Her work focuses on the intersection between philosophy and literature.

El Jones, a spoken-word activist and teacher, uses poetry in prison outreach and youth engagement. She currently teaches in the African Canadian Transition Program at Nova Scotia Community College and in the women’s studies department at Acadia University.

Tracey Lindberg is a citizen of the As’in’i’wa’chi Ni’yaw Nation Rocky Mountain Cree whose debut novel, Birdie, is a bestseller. She earned her law degree at Harvard, the first Canadian Indigenous women to do so, and teaches Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Law at the University of Ottawa.

“I’m delighted that UNB is hosting this important annual event for the first time, and I’m looking forward to a stimulating weekend of readings, panels, and discussions,” says Dr. John Ball, chair of the department of English at UNB. “With the department of English now offering one of only two creative writing PhD programs in Canada, the conference is an ideal opportunity to showcase what UNB has to offer.”

Dr. Sinclair says broad support from the UNB community has been key to bringing this conference to Atlantic Canada.

“It’s been really intense getting it organized,” she says. “We’ve had a lot of support from the English department, the French department, and across UNB’s leadership.”

Media contact: Colin Hodd

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