As an academic institution in a mid-size city, Trent has an incredible opportunity to bring new voices to the table and a distinct flavour to the local culture. With the Writers Reading series held at Traill College, students, academics and locals, have the opportunity to be inspired by writers with national and international reputation.
Since September, writers have been sharing a moment with readers, and organizer Dr. Lewis MacLeod, a faculty member in the English Literature department, has been delivering a line-up of top writing talent to the community and notes that it is all in the spirit of bringing people together.
“Authors seem genuinely happy and excited to come to Peterborough, to talk about their work and spend some time hanging around with all of us,” notes Professor MacLeod. “I know the idea of a "literary reading" can seem stuffy or intimidating to some people, but, really, it's just interesting people spending time with interested people in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Iconic Canadian Mary Walsh returns to Trent
So far this year, the series has delivered on an experience that offers up-close-and-personal chats with acclaimed authors, having welcomed Madeleine Thien, Lisa Moore, Douglas Gibson, Jordan Abel, as well as iconic Canadian comedienne, Mary Walsh.
Mary Walsh, who received an honorary degree from Trent in 1998, has also delivered a Margaret Laurence lecture at the Symons Campus. She shared with the crowd at Writers Reading that “books saved her life”. “I always had books, I had an auntie who read to me when I was little, and I spent a lot of my time alone with books,” Ms. Walsh explained.
She went on to discuss own book Crying for the Moon explaining, “I wanted to write a book [that] I wanted to read. Not a lot of poor people are creative because they don’t get a chance, and there weren’t that many stories that were like our family, and I wanted to read a story that seemed more like me.”
Jordan Abel, a Nisga’a writer who has recently penned books of poetry Injun and Un/inhabited, which reflect on racism and representation of Indigenous people, visited in October and reflected on his experience at Trent as a positive and dynamic one.
“I met a number of engaged students that asked really thoughtful and meaningful questions throughout,” noted Mr. Abel.
Writers Reading continues this month with events featuring novelist and poet Adam Foulds on November 13, and wraps up on November 21 with poet, Souvankham Thammavongsa sharing from her new collection, Cluster.