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Faculty of Arts
UNB Fredericton

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Writing submission guidelines

For your initial submission, keep to the following guidelines:

  • Poetry: 6-10 pages
  • Fiction or non-fiction: 12-20 pages
  • Other genres: as suitable

You may also request a meeting to discuss questions about the writing life generally, if you wish (or other subjects relevant to the Writer in Residence).

Classroom and community visits for readings, interviews, and other literary conversations can be arranged outside the hours listed above, as suitable. If you’re an instructor and would like to book a classroom visit, send some information about your course and yourself, what sort of presentation you’re hoping for, and a few possible meeting times. She will respond within a few days.

Di Brandt will give several public poetry readings of her own work during the Residency. She will also offer several poetry writing workshops, on particular subjects. Please check this site regularly for updates and further details! The workshops will be available free of charge for emerging and established professional writers across New Brunswick. UNB students and faculty members are invited to attend.

Di Brandt is a multiple award-winning poet, novelist, playwright, literary critic and editor, whose work has received wide acclaim and critical attention in numerous subject areas. Her poetry titles include questions i asked my mother, Agnes in the sky, Now You Care, Walking to Mojácar (with French and Spanish translations by Charles Leblanc and Ari Belathar), Glitter & fall: Laozi’s Dao De Jing, Transinhalations, and most recently, The Sweetest Dance on Earth: New and Selected Poems (forthcoming Turnstone Press, Fall 2022). Her prose work includes Watermelon Syrup: A Novel (with Annie Jacobsen and Jane Finlay-Young), and So this is the world & here I am in it (a collection of creative and critical essays). Her award-winning critical anthology (co-edited with Barbara Godard) is Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry.

Di Brandt has taught Canadian Literature and Creative Writing in several Canadian universities, and has held numerous guest residencies, fellowships and lectureships across Canada and internationally, as well as the first Canada Research Chair in the Creative Arts. She has given creative writing workshops and literary readings at schools, libraries, literary festivals and community groups, including prisons! Di Brandt thrives on intercultural dialogue and collaborative projects, having grown up in a traditionalist Mennonite community, and having had the great good luck to work with numerous musicians, visual artists and performers of diverse backgrounds and traditions. She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate at Grant McEwan University in Edmonton for her many influential and innovative literary engagements. She looks forward to interacting with the New Brunswick literary community in the coming year.

Di Brandt’s poetry

From her Foreword to The Sweetest Dance on Earth: New and Selected Poems (forthcoming Turnstone Press, Fall 2022), cited with the publisher’s permission.

Northrop Frye famously said there are two kinds of writers, Mozarts and Beethovens. The Mozarts write the same song over and over, in many minute variations. The Beethovens evolve over time, inventing many new songs along the way.

By that standard, I guess I’m a Beethoven, there have been so many imaginative leaps to make in my life which started in a very traditionalist Plautdietsch speaking, German hymn singing Mennonite farming village in southern Manitoba, Canada, and ended up in contemporary multicultural Winnipeg, Manitoba, with forays into the globalized post-industrial scenes of Ontario and Canada, and visits to both traditionalist and modern scenes around the world. What a ride that’s been! I’m so grateful to have been surrounded by many other writers and supportive colleagues and literary texts to draw inspiration from along the way.

Temperamentally and sensibility-wise, I’m perhaps more a Mozart. I never really left the flowery, romantic, barefoot, fantastical, intergenerational, interspecies, spiritually inflected cosmology of my traditional Mennonite upbringing in my evolving poetic expressions, nor the deep memory of the wide open prairie, still resonant with wildflowers and faint sound of drumming and bison herds thundering across the land during the years of my childhood. You can see and hear these influences singing through all the formal and visionary changes that mark the trajectory of this collection, which spans nearly forty years of work.

Some of Di Brandt’s published and forthcoming poetry

Poems for the City of Winnipeg

Poetry, Turnstone Press

Poetry, Coach House Press

Collaborative Literary Criticism and Fiction, Wilfrid Laurier University Press

A chapter in Green Matters: Ecocultural Functions of Literature ed. Maria Loeschnigg and Melanie Braunecker (Brill)