The four-month residencies are co-sponsored through various combinations of funds from such sources as the Faculty of Humanities, the Canada Council, a generous donation from the Taylor family, and various contributing departments on McMaster campus. The 60/40 arrangement mentioned above is part of the conditions for the residency program established by the Canada Council, with 60% of the writer’s time being reserved for her or his own writing and 40% for consulting one-on-one with apprentice writers in the community. While Writers in Residence usually make classroom visits, they are not asked to teach classes. The Department of English and Cultural Studies is in full support of this arrangement because it offers us as the hosting institution the pleasure of contributing to Canadian writers’ financial security so they can have more time to write, and community members here have the opportunity to consult about new work with an established writer. Over the years, we’ve been pleased to see that our Writers in Residence have consulted as much or more with people from the general writing community in Hamilton as they have with writers from within McMaster itself.
Advertisements for the writer-in-residency are posted every two or three years in publications such as the Writers’ Union of Canada newsletter, and an internal committee then vets the applications. Through this process we have been able to offer residencies to highly acclaimed writers of a variety of genres who hail from places across the country. They include Daniel David Moses, Sandra Birdsell, M.T. Kelly, Ven Begamudré, Shyam Selvadurai, Marlene NourbeSe Philip, Catherine Bush, JohnTerpstra, Daphne Marlatt, Petronila Cleto, Sheng XUE, and Lawrence Hill.
Anyone wishing to contact the writer-in-residence or to inquire about the program should call the Department of English office at 905-525-9140, ext. 24491.