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Wilfrid Laurier University Provost & Vice-President: Academic
June 24, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Elizabeth Hay (credit: Lorraine Brand)

Visiting Writer Program

Elizabeth Hay: Laurier's Visiting Writer for 2014

Laurier is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Hay to its Waterloo and Brantford campuses from March 17-21, 2014.

Events and Activities

Use the #LaurierReads hashtag on Twitter to connect with the Laurier Reads Elizabeth Hay community.

Laurier Reads Elizabeth Hay reading group

Creative writing workshop

Panel discussion at Laurier's Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science

  • Monday, March 17 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Foyer of the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science.
  • About the event: This is a panel discussion with Northern themes around literature, science and music. Panelists include Elizabeth Hay, the Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence Colleen Murphy, Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw, and Laurier Vice-President: Academic and Provost Deb MacLatchy.
  • Please contact Sondra Schwartz at or 519-884-0710 ext. 3139 to register for this event.

"Unofficial History," a Brantford campus public lecture, reading and Q&A featuring Hay's latest book Alone in the Classroom

"Sounds and Voices," a Waterloo campus public lecture, reading and Q&A featuring Hay's Giller Prize-winning novel, Late Nights on Air

A conversation with Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence Colleen Murphy

  • Friday, March 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
  • Location: the Hawk's Nest.
  • About the event: In this public dialogue, Elizabeth Hay and Colleen Murphy will discuss the passions and the pitfalls of engaging with history and politics in their writing lives, and talk about how different genres can address a wide variety of subjects. As writers, both Hay and Murphy are concerned with psychological and social issues from historical as well as contemporary perspectives, and they share an interest in the ways that the decisions of history form our political and personal engagements with the world. Their works question human motivation and explore responsibility for issues such as the erosion of the environment, human trafficking, the sex trade and gendered violence, and offer character studies that explore desperation, longing and the cultural price of fear.

Hay's books Alone in the Classroom and Late Nights on Air will be available for purchase at all public events. Books may be purchased with cash, debit or credit.

  • Alone in the Classroom: $30 (hardcover), plus tax
  • Late Nights on Air: $22 (paperback), plus tax

Elizabeth Hay Biography

Elizabeth Hay is an award-winning Canadian author. Late Nights on Air, her book set in and around a small radio station in Yellowknife in the Canadian north of the 1970s, won the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize, among other awards. Hay won Laurierís 1993 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, for The Only Snow in Havana. She has appeared multiple times on shortlists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor Generalís Award, and in 2002 the Writersí Trust of Canada presented her with the Marian Engel Award for her body of work, which includes novels, short stories and creative non-fiction.

About the Visiting Writer Program

Laurier annually sponsors a one-week Visiting Writer program 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. Visiting Writers meet with classes, reading groups and community members during their engagement at the university. Recent Visiting Writers have also lent their time to the raising of funds for student scholarships in areas of deep interest to the Visiting Writer. A hallmark of the event is a public lecture in which the writer draws on significant themes or contexts in which her/his writing is broadly positioned.

Previous Visiting Writers

  • Alissa York, 2012/2013
  • Joseph Boyden, 2011/2012
  • Lawrence Hill, 2010/2011