Writer-in-Residence Program at York Presents Karen Solie

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

On Thursday, February 2nd, York’s writer-in-residence program will feature Karen Solie, a writer from Moose Jaw who has been publishing since 2001. 

Pasha Malla, an associate professor in the department of English, was surprised that York did not have a writer-in-residence program. With the support of Ravi da Costa, the associate dean of research, the program came to fruition in December of 2022. 

“Solie was one of our top choices for the inaugural position, and while she’s been doing one-on-one consultations with students since the start of January, this event will be her public introduction to the York community,” explains Malla.

After attending community college, Solie worked as a newspaper reporter in Lethbridge before completing her BA at the University of Lethbridge and then her MA at the University of Victoria. She has been involved in writer-in-residence programs across Canada, the US, and the UK.

Solie says that “in the spirit of the writers who are bringing new work to me, I’ll be reading new poems included – at least I think they will be included, one never knows – in my manuscript-in-progress. A lot of them seem to be emerging from the relationship of memory, money, and the environment.”

A recent article by Writer’s Digest explains that while poetry is not only therapeutic to both readers and writers, it helps us to understand the world that we live in better and get closer to ourselves. What’s more, poetry can also help to spark creativity and explore new ideas. 

When asked what advice Solie would offer to aspiring writers, she advises to simply read more.

“Read widely, across genres. Follow your weird research interests. Generally, just be interested in the world, and pay attention to other people, other beings, and things. Look outward. Also, if you’re at all inclined, learn to do some very practical things: carpentry, sewing, rewiring lamps. And not only because then you can rewire your lamps and the lamps of your friends. Any expertise is good for writing, for thinking,” continues Solie.

Malla shares that if readers would like to send Karen their poetry or prose for her feedback, they can set up a meeting here on Calendly. 

This event will be a hybrid event, with both online and in-person opportunities. To attend in-person, head to the Junior Common Room in McLaughlin 014 at 2 pm or to attend virtually, click on this Zoom link: https://yorku.zoom.us/s/93426796265.

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor


Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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