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Literary Arts Program Announcement: 2020-2021

By Erin Brandt Filliter Posted on October 31, 2019

Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts, Derek Beaulieu, announces Literary Arts Programming for 2020-2021

BANFF, AB, October 30, 2019 – Derek Beaulieu joined Banff Centre in October of 2018 and has focused on bringing new faculty and new opportunities to writers. He has focused his efforts on building new partnerships, expanding international connections, and strengthening Albertan and Canadian writing.

"This year’s Literary Arts residencies will emphasize pairing faculty mentors who bring an exceptional practice, a generosity of spirit and dynamic mentorship experience. Our faculty and residents look to find the edges of what we believe possible in language, and explore that boundary through practice-based research. They expand our understanding of the artfulness and potential of the Literary Arts to facilitate new ways of knowing. They are dedicated to the understanding that artistic creation is a community-driven process; it interweaves us.”

 “The best writers model a practice to their peers and to emerging members of the wider literary community: editing, publishing, offering advice and consultation, they listen and lead by example in open conversation about difference, practice, voice and form – all of which leads to an art-form which is generous and generative.”

-Derek Beaulieu 

Highlights for the 2020-2021 programming year include:

  • Seasonal Writers Retreats: A series of independent seasonal self-directed programs that offers time and space for writers to retreat, reconnect, and re-energize their writing practice with faculty mentors:
  • Giller Prize Finalists Gary Barwin and Anakana Schofield (January 2020)
  • Giller Prize Finalist Zoe Whittall and acclaimed poet Lucas Crawford (March 2020)
  • Griffin Prize Recipient Jordan Abel and acclaimed poet Kaie Kellough (August 2020)
  • Griffin Prize Recipient Karen Solie and Governor-General Award nominee Sina Queyras (December 2020)
  • Novelist / journalist Waubgeshig Rice and poet Emma Healey (January 2021)
  • Poet/performer Angela Rawlings and poet Jenna Butler (March 2021)


Poetry, Politics and Embodiment (April 6 – 18, 2020)

Explore poetry as a vehicle of liberation and protest; about subjectivity and embodiment as poetry’s context; and about how race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability pressurize aesthetic categories with Griffin Prize Recipient Billy-Ray Belcourt and acclaimed poet Mercedes Eng.

Writing Studio (April 27 – May 30, 2020)

An ideal environment for artistic inspiration and growth, Writing Studio provides writers and poets with an extended period of uninterrupted writing time and one-on-one editorial assistance from Program Director Caroline Adderson, Associate Director (Poetry) Karen Solie, Associate Director (Fiction) Shyam Selvadurai and Faculty Kazim Ali, Anosh Irani, Rawi Hage, Ian Williams, Marina Endicott and Paula Morris.

Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) (June 1 – 20, 2020)

This fully-scholarshipped residency offers student, emerging, and professional literary translators a period of uninterrupted work on a current project. Participants will work individually and as a group with a faculty of accomplished translators of French, English, and Spanish. The new Director of BILTC will be announced shortly.

Literary Journalism (June 29 – July 25, 2020)

This fully-scholarshipped month-long residency encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation in writing. Designed to challenge and stimulate, the program aims to inspire creative pieces of writing, which might otherwise be difficult to complete. A preeminent space for long-form journalism, this residency emphasizes the strengths of thorough and articulate reporting, distinctive storytelling, and literary devices. The new Rogers Communications Chair of Literary Journalism will be announced shortly.

Fall Thematic (August 24 – September 5, 2020)

Banff Centre’s first residency dedicated to Speculative Fiction, with Sunburst Award Recipient Nalo Hopkinson, Hugo Prize Recipient Emily Pohl-Weary and internationally-acclaimed author Jeff Vandermeer as guest speaker.

Investigative Journalism (September 14 – 23, 2020)

This residency provides a wide-ranging introduction to the use of investigative research in nonfiction writing. Through a combination of interactive seminars and workshops with Faculty Patti Sonntag and Robert Cribb, participants will learn to identify research sources, mine the necessary information, and turn data and interviews into rich, engaging narratives.

Emerging Writers (September 28 – October 6, 2020)

This fully-scholarshipped, workshop-based program embraces multiple genres, providing structured support for new creative writers wanting to improve their writing skills with Director Katherena Vermette and a team of exceptional mentors.

Mountain and Wilderness Writing (October 23 – November 14, 2020)

This three-week residency for nine writers working in any genre (fiction, nonfiction, journalism, or poetry), on environmental journalism, mountain narratives, stories of wilderness adventure, or projects with an environmental theme is housed in Banff Centre’s prestigious Leighton Studios.

View Literary Arts Programs


Learn More about Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts, Derek Beaulieu has received national and local awards for his teaching of creative writing and contemporary literature. A prolific author, editor, and visual artist, his work has also been exhibited internationally in over 20 solo and group exhibitions. Derek Beaulieu is the author and editor of over 20 collections of poetry, prose, and criticism including two volumes of his selected work Please No More Poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (2013) and Konzeptuelle Arbeiten (2017). His most recent volume of poetry is the technicolour Aperture (Penteract press, 2019).

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is Canada’s largest postgraduate arts and leadership school. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach.