A new book of poetry by Dr. Rob Winger, award-winning poet and associate professor of English Literature at Trent University, has hit the shelves in Canada and the United States.
It Doesn’t Matter What We Meant follows Professor Winger’s three previous, highly-acclaimed collections, including his first, Muybridge’s Horse, a Globe and Mail Best Book and CBC Literary Award winner that was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, Trillium Book Award for Poetry and Ottawa Book Award.
"It's been seven years since I had a new book of poems out, and I've been at Trent, now, for eight, meaning that a lot of the concerns and geographies in these new poems took shape while I was teaching and working with students,” he says. “So, folks who have been in my classes over the years, I think, are likely to recognize some of my own preoccupations popping up throughout these new pages."
Boosting Trent’s creative writing profile
Since starting at Trent in 2013, Prof. Winger has played a pivotal role in broadening the number of creative writing and literature courses and workshops at both the Peterborough and Durham GTA campuses.
He’s currently the program coordinator for Trent’s new Option in Creative Writing, which gives students in any program the opportunity to study the theory and craft of writing and to apply what they learn through writing activities, assignments and workshops.
In 2016, Prof. Winger also spearheaded a new initiative – Chickenscratch – an annual anthology of creative writing that gives Trent students the opportunity to get published too.
Since then, Chickenscratch has become a winter-semester course that allows students to review hundreds of submissions, narrow them down to a select few, and then copyedit and proofread.
Generally, Traill College hosts an end-of-year launch event that includes readings and an opportunity to purchase the anthology. Although this is currently on hold due to the pandemic, Chickenscratch is still available this year through the Trent University Campus Store.
Nurturing talent and exchanging ideas
Prof. Winger looks forward to many more years of engaging with Trent students, exchanging ideas and nurturing creativity.
“What I love about Trent is that the small class sizes allow me to better know students and really engage with their ideas,” he says. “Our faculty genuinely cares about our students and we really value both the literature we talk about and the ideas with which we engage in class.”
An online launch for the book, which is edited by Canadian writer Dionne Brand and published by McClelland & Stewart, will be held on April 13.