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Sheridan welcomes multi-talented artist Gary Barwin as its next Writer-in-Residence

October 01, 2020

The faculty, staff, and students of the Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing & Publishing (CW&P) program at Sheridan College are excited to welcome poet, novelist, composer, and creative force of nature Gary Barwin as the 2020-2021 CW&P Writer-in-Residence.

The author of more than 25 books of fiction and poetry, Barwin holds a PhD in music composition and remains a prolific mentor to and collaborator with artists in a multitude of genres and fields. His bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and was shortlisted for both the Giller and Governor General’s Awards in 2016. His recent works include For It is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems (Wolsak & Wynn), Ampers&thropocene (Penteract Press) and A Cemetery for Holes (with Tom Prime, Gordon Hill Press), and his latest novel, Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy, is forthcoming from Random House in 2021.

In welcoming him to the post, CW&P’s Associate Dean Genevieve Amaral highlights Barwin’s creative and formal dexterity, calling him “a multi-talented artist who’s committed to bringing writing to all kinds of communities and contexts, a value we share in CW&P. Furthermore, his interest in innovating with hybrid forms – crossing media, genres, writing and publishing – also resonates deeply with our program’s emblematic “&.” Sheridan’s degree is the only one in Canada to fuse creative writing and publishing. “We’re delighted he’ll be joining us this year,” she says.

Barwin will spend his time at Sheridan completing a personal writing project, visiting and contributing to writing and publishing classes, leading virtual public workshops, and providing creative leadership, mentoring, and public outreach to and on behalf of the program and school. 

“It’s an honour to welcome such a distinguished, multifaceted talent to the CW&P program,” says Sean McNabney, Dean of Sheridan’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Gary Barwin will be integral to the enhancement of our students’ learning, the program and the college at large. We look forward to seeing the impact his mentorship will have on our cohort of burgeoning writers.” 

The CW&P Writer-in-Residence program supports an annual non-teaching, community- and culture-building fixed-term position designed to complement existing CW&P programming and curriculum.


Pictured top right: Gary Barwin