The Department of English annually sponsors a writer-in-residence, both to offer support to Canadian writers and to give students direct access to the writer's advice and experience. The writer-in-residence holds regular office hours for students who wish to discuss their own work, visits classes upon invitation, gives public readings, and on occasion teaches a course.
The program is funded jointly by the Faculty of Arts and the Canada Council.

2022 - 2023

Kagiso Lesego Molope

Kagiso is an Indigenous South African who writes post-apartheid, feminist and resistance literature. Her work centres the history and experiences of indigenous South Africans and tackles issues of race, class, sexuality and identity. Her published novels are Dancing in the Dust, The Mending Season, This Book Betrays My Brother and Such a Lonely, Lovely Road. Her play, Maya Angelou: Black Woman Rising has been produced and staged at Oslos Nordic Black Theatre. She became the first indigenous South African writer to be on the IBBY List in 2006 and to win the Patrick Fitzpatrick Award for Young Adult Literature. In 2019 she won both the Ottawa Book Award and the Inaugural Pius Adesanmi Memorial award, for her third and fourth books respectively. She has been living in Canada for the past two decades.

Starting in September, Kagiso will be available to provide feedback on studentsown creative writing. She will also be offering occasional readings and workshops. Stay tuned for those announcements!

Kagiso will also be teaching ENG 4397, an advanced writing seminar entitled Writing the Young Adult Voice.” The class looks at writing for and about young adults and will help aspiring writers develop an authentic and nuanced voice to reach young people. Her reading list will include the likes of Cherie Dimaline, Heather Smith, Jay Odjik and Sabina Khan, among others.

Kagiso Lesego Molope
Kagiso Lesego Molope, novelist, young adult author, and playwright

2008-2009: Steven Heighton

2006-2007: Allan Cumyn

2004-2005: Gary Geddes

2002-2003: Charles Gordon

1992-1993: David Adams Richards

1990-1991: Jane Urquhart

1989-1990: Carol Shields

1987-1988: Janette Turner Hospital

1984-1985: Guy Vanderhaege

1981-1983: Jack Hodgins

1978-1979: Irving Layton

1977-1978: Joy Kogawa

1976-1977: Dorothy Livesay

1974-1975: Miriam Waddington

Contact us

Department of English

Hamelin Hall, room 338
70 Laurier Avenue E.
Ottawa ON Canada K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5764
Fax: 613-562-5990
[email protected]