Triny Finlay

Teaching Professor


Carleton Hall 229

1 506 458 7564

Triny Finlay (she/her) is a white settler poet and writer, living and working on the unsurrendered and unceded lands of Wolastoqiyik.

Triny’s creative work intersects with her research and teaching interests, which include creative writing, contemporary Canadian literatures, poetics, the long poem, genre theory, and gender and sexuality in literature.

Research and creative projects

Triny’s serial long poem, Myself A Paperclip (icehouse/Goose Lane 2021), explores her experiences with mental illnesses, their treatments, and stigma. Myself A Paperclip won the 2022 Fiddlehead Poetry Prize (New Brunswick Book Awards) and was shortlisted for the 2022 JM Abraham Poetry Award (Atlantic Book Awards). Triny is also the author of the critically-acclaimed books Histories Haunt Us (Nightwood 2010) and Splitting Off (Nightwood 2004), along with the chapbooks Anxious Attachment Style (Anstruther 2022), You don’t want what I’ve got (Junction 2018) and Phobic (Gaspereau 2006).

Triny’s writing has appeared in anthologies and periodicals such as The Ampersand Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Best Canadian Poetry 2023, Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, Contemporary Verse 2, The Fiddlehead, The Globe & Mail, Grain, The London Reader (UK), The Malahat Review, Marsh Blue Violet: A Queer New Brunswick Anthology, Plenitude, The Temz Review, University of Toronto Quarterly and Untethered.

Triny’s current research investigates the relationships among formal innovation, documentary poetics, and the elegiac mode in contemporary Canadian poetry, using book-length long poems by authors such as Anne Carson, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Soraya Peerbaye, and Esta Spalding as case studies for her analysis.


Triny approaches teaching from a feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial perspective, with a strong focus on issues of social justice, often informed by her own positionality as a queer, cisgender woman who lives with chronic mental illness. In recent years, she has taught the following courses, troubling conventional conceptions of the English literary canon and challenging colonial, racist, and cis-heteronormative narratives:

  • ENGL 1000: Introduction to Modern Literature in English
  • ENGL 2195: Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and Drama
  • ENGL 2603: Literature of Atlantic Canada
  • ENGL 2608: Introduction to Contemporary Canadian Literature
  • ENGL 2703: Introduction to Modern American Literature
  • ENGL 2011/2901: Survey of English Literature to 1660
  • ENGL 2012/2902: Survey of English Literature 1660-1900
  • ENGL 2987: Introduction to Queer Literature
  • ENGL 3123: Creative Writing: Poetry
  • ENGL 3698: Canadian Literature Since 1970
  • ENGL 3883: Women’s Writing in English
  • ENGL 5184: Identity in Atlantic-Canadian Literature—Honours Seminar
  • ENGL 5188: Innovative Poetics in English Canada Since 1945—Honours Seminar
  • ENGL 5189: The Contemporary Canadian Long Poem—Honours Seminar
  • ENGL 5623: Re-Conceiving the Long Poem—Honours Seminar
  • ENGL 6105: Directed Reading: Critical Race Theory and BIPOC Poets—Graduate Seminar
  • ENGL 6123/43: Creative Writing: Poetry—Graduate Seminar
  • ENGL 6623: Innovative Poetics in Canada—Graduate Seminar

Graduate supervision

Triny has supervised creative graduate theses in poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction, covering a wide range of fields and ideas, such as: feminist poetics of ecological and personal trauma; the effects of immigration and dislocation on women’s and children’s lives; the intergenerational impact of exile and genocide; women’s lived experiences of chronic illness; feminist poetics of food, trauma, and the body; ekphrastic poetries of place; representations of bisexuality; the relationship between queerness and faith; queering food culture through transgender experience; and representations of mental illness in outsider art.

Current member of the Graduate Academic Unit.

Recent graduate supervisions

  • Rebecca Salazar, PhD (CW: Poetry and Non-Fiction): “ANTIBODY // Traumatic Entanglement, Eco-Poethics, and Speculative Horror as Survivor Futurisms” (Co-Supervisor with Dr. Randall Martin)
  • Melissa Spohr, MA (CW: Poetry): “A Pickled Egg for Adam” (Supervisor)
  • Ben Dawson, MA (CW: Poetry): “Breaking Things Apart and Putting Them Back Together” (Supervisor)
  • Izza Hassan, MA (CW: Creative Non-Fiction): “Ammi” (Supervisor)
  • Claire Hoffman, MA (CW: Fiction): “Both/And” (Supervisor)
  • Grace Annear, MA (CW: Fiction): “Chronic” (Co-supervisor with Prof. Mark Jarman)


Triny is the current Director of First and Second Year for the Department of English. She also organizes the Department of English Reading Series. She serves on, or has served on, a wide variety of departmental, faculty, and university committees.

Watch Triny's interview with Atlantic Books Today magazine.

Read Triny’s interview with Room magazine.