Whether they lived here or merely visited, Quebec City has been the setting for works by some of the great English-language authors. Our Writings’ panel discussions, featuring modern-day Quebec City writers, will examine these authors, while the panelists will discuss their experiences and the places in our magnificent city which inspired them.
2 p.m.: Quebec as a Setting
Moderator: Raquel Fletcher
- George Elliott Clarke, the 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17), is a revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays, and poetry. Now teaching African-Canadian literature at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke University, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard University. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. His recognitions include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. Clarke’s work is the subject of Africadian Atlantic: Essays on George Elliott Clarke (2012), edited by Joseph Pivato. (Photo: Harvard University)
- Bernadette Griffin, a musician, translator and writer, is the author of Scenes of Childhood, a fictionalized memoir, and Canine Confessions, a novel awarded Honorable Mention by the New England Book Festival in 2015. Her latest novel, Four Sorrowful Mysteries, will be published in 2018.
- Patrick Donovan is completing a Ph.D. in history (Université Laval) on the evolution of ethno-religious boundaries within social service networks for Quebec City’s English-speakers. He has a Masters degree in Heritage Preservation (Université de Montréal), and played an instrumental role in the restoration and establishment of the Morrin Centre. Patrick has worked on projects for the Quebec English-Speaking Community Research Network (QUESCREN) since 2010, and has been Associate Coordinator since 2014. He is also the coauthor of Iron Bars and Bookshelves (2016).
3:30 p.m.: Quebec’s Influence on Authors
Moderator: Merrianne Couture
- H. Nigel Thomas is the author of ten books, including four novels: Spirits in the Dark (shortlisted for the QSPELL Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award), Behind the Face of Winter, Return to Arcadia, and No Safeguards (finalist for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 2015); three collections of short stories: How Loud Can the Village Cock Crow, Lives: Whole and Otherwise, and When the Bottom Falls Out and Other Stories; a collection of poems, Moving Through Darkness; and two works of non-fiction: From Folklore to Fiction: A Study of Folk Heroes and Rituals in the Black American Novel and Why We Write: Conversations with African Canadian Poets and Novelists. He is a former Montreal high-school teacher and retired professor of United States literature at Université Laval. He lives in Longueuil.
- Neil Bissoondath, the author of six novels, two short-story collections and a book-length essay. He has been awarded, among others, a National Magazine Award for Fiction (for his short story Dancing, 1986), the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction (The Innocence of Age, 1993), the Gordon Montador Award (Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada, 1994), and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction twice (Doing The Heart Good, 2002; The Unyielding Clamour of the Night, 2005). He has been short-listed for many other awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Guardian Fiction Award (UK) and the Prix Fémina/étranger (France)
twice. The recipient of honorary doctorates from York University (1999) and l’Université de Moncton (2008), he was named Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec in 2010. He is professeur titulaire in the Département des littératures at Université Laval in Québec, where he has taught creative writing in French for the past 17 years.
- Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Raquel Fletcher is a television reporter and the author of autobiographical book The Year I Turned 25. It’s a series of humorous and touching misadventures during a yearlong project to take daily inventive selfies.In the beginning of her career, she worked as a freelance journalist and photographer in Africa. She worked for Global News in Regina, where she was born until she moved to Quebec City as Global’s National Assembly Correspondent. She’ll always be a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, but she sometimes cheers for the Alouettes too.