Indigenous Writer in Residence Leanne Betasamosake Simpson brings creativity and insight to UBC

The School of Creative Writing is welcoming Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson as writer in residence from January 15 to January 26.

Leanne has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.

Working for two decades as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and the United States and has over twenty years experience with Indigenous land based education. Leanne is the author of eight books, including her most recent, Rehearsals for Living, co-authored with Robyn Maynard. Leanne has been a finalist for multiple awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Dublin Literary Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award. Leanne is also an award-winning musician.

Leanne will visit classrooms, offer one-to-one consults with students and work on her own creative projects during her residency. Creative Writing students can book an appointment online starting the second week of January (students will receive a link to the registration system by email). Everyone is invited to two public events that will provide the community an opportunity to meet and learn from Leanne. See below for the registration details for these free sessions.

Learn More about Leanne

We’re thrilled to have Leanne visiting us and teaching our students. To learn more about Leanne, we’ve asked her to share her perspectives on teaching and mentorship, and the projects she’ll be working on during her stay.

What is something that you enjoy about teaching, and what is most important to you about teaching and mentorship?

I love working with emerging writers to support them in finding their voice, their artistic vision and assisting in the execution of that vision.  The most important thing to me is that students feel supported and encouraged in developing their practice of writing.

What creative projects will you be working on while you are at UBC?

 I’ll be working on the edits to my forthcoming non-fiction book, Theory of Water, and also fine tuning a novel called the Breathing Lands. I’ll also likely be working on writing lyrics for my next record.

Special Events with Leanne

Welcome Reception on Monday, January 15

All staff, faculty and students at UBC are invited to join us on Monday, January 15 on campus for a reception to welcome Leanne on the first day of her residency. Please RSVP on the events page to attend.

Virtual Reading with Leanne and Special Guests on January 22

Everyone is welcome to join our special virtual reading with Leanne, Canisia Lubrin and Junie Désil on Monday, January 22 at 3:00 pm on Zoom. Professor Billy-Ray Belcourt will host the event. View the event page for registration details.