Jane Urquhart Delivers 19th Annual Margaret Laurence Lecture
Acclaimed Canadian novelist and poet, Jane Urquhart, said it was a “splendid honour” to be invited to Trent as the nineteenth annual Margaret Laurence lecturer. On Wednesday, November 5, the award-winning author delivered a dynamic presentation entitled “Looking at the Work” to an engaged audience in Champlain College. During her lecture, Ms. Urquhart discussed the “tendency of readers to look too much at the author and not at the work.” She also explored the visual aspects of both reading and writing and discussed landscape and the role it plays in life and literature.
This most recent visit marked the fifth time Ms. Urquhart has come to Trent but her first as the Margaret Laurence lecturer. Calling herself an avid and “almost obsessive” reader of Laurence’s work, Ms. Urquhart was especially pleased to take up the challenge to speak in the popular lecture series founded in honour of Trent’s fourth chancellor.
“Margaret Laurence was deeply important to my early reading life and, that being the case, there are most certainly ties between her work and mine; some likely more unconscious than others,” Ms. Urquhart says. “Like Margaret Laurence, I am a woman writer and knowledge of her work, in some ways, gave me permission to at least give writing a try at a time when the notion of becoming an author --- especially a female author --- was not nearly as believable as it is now. Writers like Laurence, and those who preceded her are our literary mothers.”
Being able to deliver the lecture at Trent – a University where she has developed many strong ties over the years – was an added bonus.
“The academic community at Trent, to my mind, is one of the most vibrant, and vibrantly Canadian I have come across --- both in terms of students and professors,” she says. “I have always found the students at Trent to be both engaging and fully engaged.”
For more information about the Margaret Laurence Lecture at Trent, visit the website.
Posted on Thursday, November 6, 2008.