Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 25, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Joseph Boyden - Laurier's 2011/2012 Writer-in-residence

Joesph Boyden -2011/2012 Writer-in-Residence

Laurier annually sponsors a writer-in-residence to offer support to Canadian writers and to give students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community, the opportunity to discuss the writer's work and the writing process.  Writers-in-residence meet with classes, reading groups, and community members during their engagement at the University.  Recent writers-in-residence have also lent their time to the raising of funds for student scholarships in areas of deep interest to the writers-in-residence.  A hallmark of the event is a public lecture in which the writer-in-resident draws on significant themes or contexts in which her/his writing is broadly positioned. 

Joseph Boyden -Laurier's Writer-in-Residence for 2011/2012

Boyden was warmly received at Brantford and Six Nations on November 17 and 18, 2011 and will be at the Waterloo campus from March 6th to the 8th.

Events and Activities


Joseph Boyden, a Canadian of Metis, Irish and Scottish heritage was born in Willowdale, Ontario. He attended the Jesuit- run Brebreuf College School and went on to receive a B.A. (Honours) from York University in 1991 and an M.F.A (with distinction) from the University of New Orleans in 1995. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nippissing University in June, 2009.

Since receiving his MFA degree at the University of New Orleans, Joseph has pursued a career of writing and teaching. He has taught at the University of New Orleans for the past twelve years where he has won a number of teaching awards. He also teaches at the University of British Columbia in the MFA program and lectures at universities across Canada and the United States as well as overseas.

Joseph published a book of short stories Born With a Tooth in 2001. His debut novel, Three Day Road, published in 2005, was short listed for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and has won numerous awards including France’s Prix Literaire, and the Rogers Writers Trust Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year, in Canada First Novel Award, the CAA MOSAID Technologies Inc. Award for Fiction Silver Medal, the 2005 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year and the 2007/2008 London Reads Competition. It has been translated into 15 languages and was chosen by Isabelle Allende for the Today Show’s book club and was selected by Barnes and Noble for the Discover Great New Writers Program.

His second novel, Through Black Spruce, has been a Canadian bestseller since its publication in 2008. It won Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, the ScotiaBank Giller Award in 2011 as well as the Libris Book of the Year and Libris Author of the Year awards. It has been translated into more than a dozen languages around the globe.

Joseph has written two works of non-fiction, From Mushkegowuk to New Orleans: A Mixed Blood Highway in 2008 and Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont in 2010.

He is a contributing writer for Canada’s Maclean’s and Zoomer magazines and has published fiction and non-fiction in a variety of places, including Spirit Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Walrus, Driven, and Globe and Mail. His work has been anthologized in PEN International, Penguin Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories and elsewhere.

A remarkable storyteller, Joseph has had a profound impact on Canadian society with exceptional novels that portray the history and contemporary reality of life for aboriginal people in Canada with honesty and depth that moves and sometimes shocks.

Past Press  

Related Information Title Type
Jan 10/12 Writer-in-residence Joseph Boyden to visit Laurier’s Waterloo campus in March News
Nov 18/11 Laurier writer-in-residence Joseph Boyden working on third novel News
Nov 2/11 Author Joseph Boyden to be Laurier’s 2011-2012 writer-in-residence News