University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Creative Writing Faculty

Larissa Lai

Associate Professor
Social Sciences 1052
(403) 220-6431

Larissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; and two books of poetry, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers’ Award, she has been shortlisted for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Her critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s has just come out with the TransCanada Series at Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 

Shannon Maguire

Assistant Professor
Social Sciences 1050
(403) 210-7341

Shannon Maguire is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, fur(l) parachute (BookThug, 2013)—which was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry—and Myrmurs: An Exploded Sestina (BookThug, 2015). She is also the author of four chapbooks including Fruit Machine (Ferno House, 2012), which was a finalist for the bpNichol Chapbook Award, and As An Eel Through the Body (Dancing Girl, 2016), a Finnish/English collaboration with Helsinki-based poet and literary scholar Vappu Kannas. She was a finalist for the Manitoba Magazine Awards Best Suite of Poems in 2012. Shannon edited and wrote the critical introduction to Planetary Noise: Selected Poetry of Erín Moure, a 40-year retrospective of the celebrated poet’s writing practice, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in 2017. With Lesley Belleau, she is the guest co-editor of a special issue of Contemporary Verse 2 on Northern Ontarian Innovative and Indigenous Poetics, forthcoming in Winter 2017. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Canadian Literature and Doris Lessing Studies

Clem Martini

Professor Department of Drama, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts
Adjunct Professor English Department
(403) 220-5425

A professor in the University of Calgary Drama Department, Clem Martini is also an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and writer of short fiction. His areas of specialization include playwriting, screenwriting, improvisation, acting, developmental drama and drama creation. He is a winner of the National Playwriting Competition and twice recipient of the Alberta Writer's Guild Playwriting Award. He's an Artistic Associate at Lunchbox Theatre, co founder of the International Institute for Research Of The One Act Play, and works with troubled youths in the capacity of drama consultant through the charitable organization, Woods Homes. His published works include "Illegal Entry", "A Three Martini Lunch" "Turnaround" and "The Unauthorized Oral History of Theatresports". He is currently the President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Suzette Mayr

Associate Professor
SS 1048
(403) 220-4659

Suzette Mayr holds an M.A. degree from the University of Alberta. She is a poet and novelist, the author of the acclaimed novels Moon Honey (Newest, 1995), a finalist for both the Georges Bugnet and Henry Kreisel First Novel Awards, The Widows (Newest, 1998), finalist for the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book in the Canadian-Caribbean Region, and most recently, Venous Hum (Arsenal Pulp, 2004). Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and in collaborations with visual artists. Her fiction, with its original voice, clipped, deadpan satirical style, is on this country's cutting edge of contemporary explorations into issues of race, sex and identity.

Suzette Mayr is widely versed in contemporary 20th century Canadian literature and particularly in representations of race and ethnicity.

Vivek Shraya

Assistant Professor
SS 1046
(403) 220-3002

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. Vivek’s 2017 album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part-Time Woman, was included in CBC’s Best Canadian Albums of 2017. Her first book of poetry, even this page is white, won a 2017 Publisher Triangle Award and was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. Her debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books, and her book I’m Afraid of Men will be out in Fall 2018 (Penguin Canada). Vivek has read and performed inter­nationally at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books.

A four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, and has received honours from the Toronto Arts Foundation and The Writers’ Trust of Canada. Vivek is currently a director on the board of the Tegan & Sara Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.

Aritha van Herk

Professor, AOE, FRSC
(403) 220-5481

Aritha van Herk, a graduate of the University of Alberta, is both a recognized scholar with a University Professorship, and an internationally recognized Canadian author whose work has been translated into ten languages. Her novels include Judith (1978), winner of the Seal Book Award, No Fixed Address: An Amorous Journey (1986), which was nominated for the Governor General's Award, and Restlessness (1998). Her experiments in creative non-fiction and ficto-criticism are available in A Frozen Tongue (1992), In Visible Ink (1991), and Places from Ellesmere, Explorations on Site: A Geografictione (1990). Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta (2001) served as the inspiration for the Glenbow Museum's permanent exhibition of the same name, launched in 2007. Her latest works, In This Place and Prairie Gothic (with photographer George Webber) develop the idea of geographical temperament as tonal accompaniment. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence, and she is the most recent recipient of the Lorne Pierce Medal, awarded to recognize achievement of special significance and conspicuous merit in imaginative or critical literature in Canada.

Aritha van Herk's work is particularly recognized for her innovations in creative non-fiction and, in her fiction, for the affirmative images of women resisting societal norms and familial expectations. She has been an active editor and strong supporter of her many students' work since the mid 1980s