Award-winning speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson joins UBC

Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo Hopkinson (Photo credit: David C. Findlay, 2021)

Award-winning speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson has joined the UBC School of Creative Writing as a professor.

“We are simply thrilled that Nalo Hopkinson has joined our faculty. She’s one of the world’s most highly lauded writers of speculative fiction, as well as a passionate and committed teacher and advocate. Our community will benefit enormously from her insight, creativity and vision,” says Alix Ohlin, director of the UBC School of Creative Writing.

Hopkinson was born in Jamaica, and spent the first 16 years of her life in Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and the US before her family moved to Canada. She writes science fiction and fantasy, exploring their potential for centering non-normative voices and experiences. Prior to joining UBC she was a professor of creative writing at the University of California Riverside.

Hopkinson has received multiple awards for her six novels and numerous short stories. Her first novel, Brown Girl in the Ring, won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest in 1998. Most recently, Hopkinson received the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master lifetime honour from Science Fiction Writers of America. She was the youngest person to receive the award, and first woman of African descent.

“One of the reasons I’m excited to join UBC’s School of Creative Writing is its recognition of the broad range of genres and media in which creative writing can happen, and the amazing talent of the creators who teach it there. As well as continuing my own fiction writing, I plan to approach the teaching of the genre as I usually do; through an anti-oppressive lens,” says Hopkinson.

Hopkinson is a multi-faceted author and creator who often uses themes of Caribbean folklore, Afro-Caribbean culture and feminism in her work. Her writing ex­plores subjects of race, class and sexuality within fantastical or futuristic settings.

At UBC Hopkinson will teach courses in speculative fiction. She will also work to establish a centre for the Black Speculative Imagination to support, promote and connect marginalized voices in the genre.