This winter’s UPEI writer-in-residence is Steven Heighton, an award-winning novelist, poet, short-story writer and essayist.
He will give a public reading on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m., and will lead two writing workshops on Saturday, Feb. 10. Both events will be in the Faculty Lounge of UPEI’s SDU Main Building.
Raised in Toronto and northern Ontario, Heighton travelled and worked in western Canada, Australia and Asia, studied at Queen’s University, and settled in Kingston, Ontario, where he writes full time. His distinctions include several gold medals for fiction and poetry from the National Magazine Awards and the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry for The Waking Comes Late. He has been writer-in-residence at several universities and has led writing workshops in diverse settings including The Banff Centre, the Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan, and the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia.
His morning workshop (9:30 a.m. to noon) will feature “re-enactive” techniques, which allow writers “to create sentences or passages of great vividness and sensual intensity.
“To work re-enactively is to embody, in the full sensory meaning of that word, whatever you're writing about, rather than just describing it,” explained Heighton.
In the afternoon workshop (1:30-4 p.m.), writers will practise “homophonic translation.” This exercise involves “translating” from a language participants don’t know, just on the basis of sound.
“The results,” said Heighton, “are always funny and often spectacularly good — and sometimes also moving. The process is a wonderful way to make writers approach their work with greater acoustical/musical sensitivity rather than simply, flatly saying something about how they feel.”
To register and to find out more information about the cost, see the UPEI Winter’s Tales Authors’ Reading Series Facebook site.