Sonnet L'Abbe: Sonnet's Shakespeare

Monday, September 23, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award-winning poet SONNET L’ABBE returns with her third collection in which a mixed-race woman decomposes her inheritance of Shakespeare by breaking open the sonnet and inventing an entirely new poetic form.
Join us for the Toronto launch of Sonnet’s Shakespeare with special guest readers.

This reading and book launch is supported by the OCAD University Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the OCAD University Creative Writing Program, the League of Canadian Poets, and Penguin Random House Canada.

Books sold by A Different Booklist.

This is a free public event in a fully accessible venue.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul St., Room 270, The Great Hall
Book cover on a pink background. White text reads Sonnet's Shakespeare on black background,

Spoken Word Performance & Writing Activity with Taqralik Partridge

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 2:00pm

Spoken Word Performance & Writing Activity with Taqralik Partridge
Saturday, September 21, 2019
2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Co-presented with Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge

Onsite Gallery
199 Richmond St. West

Free event as part of Onsite Gallery's public event program for ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ / Among All These Tundras.

Join Inuk artist, writer, curator, throatsinger, spoken word poet and Onsite Gallery exhibiting artist, Taqralik Partridge, for a spoken word performance and writing activity.

The title of Onsite Gallery’s exhibition, ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ / Among All These Tundras, is taken from the poem ‘My Home Is in My Heart’ by famed Sámi writer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. During this event, Taqralik will perform one of her spoken word pieces and then guide attendees in a writing activity inspired by a shared theme.

Everyone is welcome—whether you consider yourself a poet or simply a lover of written or spoken word, join us as we experiment with text and language.


Taqralik Partridge is an Inuk artist, writer, curator, throatsinger, and spoken word poet. She is originally from Kuujjuaq in Nunavik, although she now splits her time between Canada and Kautokeino in northern Sápmi. Partridge’s writing focuses on both life in the north and on the experiences of Inuit living in the south. Partridge co-founded the Tusarniq festival held in Montreal. Her performance work has been featured on CBC radio one and she has toured with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Partridge has also worked as Director of Communications for the Avataq Cultural Institute. In 2010, her short story Igloolik won first prize in the Quebec Writing Competition and the same year she was a featured artist onstage at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. In 2018, Partridge was named as a finalist for the CBC Short Story Prize. Partridge is Editor-at-Large for the Inuit Art Quarterly. Her work will be featured as an official selection at the Sydney Biennale in Sydney, Australia in 2020.


ᐊᕙᑖᓂᑦ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓂᑦ ᓄᓇᑐᐃᓐᓇᓂᑦ
Among All These Tundras

September 18 to December 7, 2019

ᓛᑯᓗᒃ ᐅᐃᓕᐊᒻᓴᓐ ᐸᑦᑑᕆ
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory
ᑲᕈᓚ ᑯᕋᕼᐊᓐ
Carola Grahn
ᒫᔾᔭ ᕼᐋᓕᓐᑐ ᐅᓇᓗ ᓵᒥ ᕕᓐᓚᓐᒥᐅᑕᖅ
Marja Helander
ᓵᓐᔭ ᑲᓕᕼᐅ-ᑰᒻᔅ
Sonya Kelliher-Combs
ᔪᐊᖅ ᓇᓐᑰ
Joar Nango
ᑕᕐᕋᓕᒃ ᐹᑐᔨ
Taqralik Partridge
ᐱᐅᓕ ᐸᑐ
Barry Pottle
ᐃᓅᑎᖅ ᓯᑐᐊᑦᔅ
Inuuteq Storch
ᑲᔨᓐ ᐸᓐ ᕼᐅᕕᓕᓐ
Couzyn van Heuvelen
ᐊᓕᓴᓐ ᐊᑰᑦᓲᒃ ᒍᐊᑕᓐ
Allison Akootchook Warden

ᑕᑯᔭᒐᖃᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᑲᒪᔨᑦ: Hᐃᑐ ᐃᒡᓗᓕᐅᖅᑎ, ᐋᐃᒥ ᐳᕈᑎ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᓴᕆᓴ ᐹᓐ ᕼᐃᐅᓕᒐ
Curated by Heather Igloliorte, Amy Dickson and Charissa von Harringa

ᓴᕿᑕᐅᔪᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑐᓂᔭᐅᔪᖅ ᑖᒃᑯᓇᖓᑦ ᓕᓄᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐲᓇ ᐊᓕᓐ ᓴᓇᖕᖑᐊᖅᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᑕᑯᔭᒐᖃᕐᕕᒃ, ᑳᓐᑯᑎᐊ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᒃᔪᐊᖅ
Produced and circulated by the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University

Among All These Tundras, a title taken from the poem ‘My Home Is in My Heart’ by famed Sámi writer Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, features contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world. Together, their works politically and poetically express current Arctic concerns towards land, language, sovereignty and resurgence. Click here to read more.

Produced and circulated by: Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University
Patron Sponsor: Birch Hill Equity Partners
Supported by: Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage), Initiative for Indigenous Futures and Nexus Investments

Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. Visit our website for upcoming public events. The gallery is located at 199 Richmond St. W, Toronto, ON, M5V 0H4. Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 265. Opening hours are: Wednesdays to Fridays from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.

Onsite Gallery acknowledges that the new gallery construction project is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage, the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement and Aspen Ridge Homes; with gallery furniture by Nienkämper. Onsite Gallery logo by Dean Martin Design.


The Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge is a hub for facilitating the documentation, communication and translation of Indigenous ways of seeing. Drawing on the inseparable concepts of perception and knowing, Wapatah assists Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and researchers to collaborate on the presentation and representation of artistic knowledge. Wapatah promotes Indigenous research at multiple scales, from Indigenous-led research at OCADU to creating connections and partnerships at the global level.


Image: Taqralik Partridge, Tusarsauvungaa, 2018 - . Series of nine elements. Cotton, polyester, wool, silk, glass beads, metal beads, Canadian sealskin, reindeer leather, reindeer antler, thermal emergency blanket, plastic packaging, cardboard, Pixee lures, plastic tarp, Canadian coins, laundry tokens, United Kingdom coin, tamarack tree cones, dental floss, artificial sinew, goose feather and river grass. Installation view (detail), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, 2018. Photo: Paul Litherland/Studio Lux.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery: 199 Richmond St. West
416-977-6000 x456
Taqralik Partridge, Tusarsauvungaa, 2018 -

/nest/ Writing Workshops

nest writing workshops
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 10:00am to Monday, March 25, 2019 - 5:00pm

/nest/ Writing Workshops

Are you interested in publishing your creative, studio or critical writing? nest, an undergraduate platform by and for students, is hosting two submission workshops (with food!) to get you started. Developing the theme of texture, the workshop facilitator will bring you through prompts and offer opportunites for group writing and sharing. The workshops are open to students in any program, at any level. A light meal will be provided.  

What Is /nest/?

nest is a journal of student writing showcasing the diversity of writing in the creative disciplines. Our mandate as a publication is to publish diverse forms of critical and creative writing and to encourage works which express linguistic diversity, inclusive of a range of student abilities, years levels and disciplines. In doing so, our aim is to give students a safe place to incubate and nurture their ideas. nest was formed as a representation of OCAD University which provides us with space to develop and expand our creative endeavours.


Morning Workshop
10 - 11:30am
Lambert Lounge, 100 McCaul Street, Level 1

Afternoon Workshop
Learning Zone, 122 St. Patrick Street, Level 1

Both workshops are accessible at street level. There are accessible, single-stall washrooms available at both spaces. 

Venue & Address: 
Morning Workshop: Lambert Lounge, 100 McCaul Street, Level 1 Afternoon Workshop: Learning Zone, 122 St. Patrick Street (accessed via the Grange)
416.977.6000 x2662
nest workshops poster

Rescheduled: In Conversation with Tanya Tagaq

Photo of artist Tanya Tagaq smiling warmly in colourful dress on a baby blue background
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

In this free public talk, improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and novelist Tanya Tagaq discusses her bestselling first novel, Split Tooth.

Please arrive early as space is limited to 250 seats.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

100 McCaul Street, Room 190

7:00pm - 8:30 pm

Doors Open: 6:30pm

About Tanya Tagaq:

Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and bestselling novelist. A Member of the Order of Canada, Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner, Giller Prize Long Listed author and recipient of multiple honourary doctorates, Tagaq is one of the country’s most original and celebrated artists.

Tagaq’s improvisational approach lends itself to collaboration across genres and forms. Her work includes numerous guest vocal appearances (Buffy Sainte-Marie, Weaves, A Tribe Called Red, Fucked Up), original avant-garde classical compositions (Kronos Quartet, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra), commissions (National Maritime Museum in London, UK) and more. In its many forms, from novel Split Tooth to most recent album Retribution, Tanya Tagaq’s art challenges static ideas of genre and culture, and contends with themes of environmentalism, human rights and post-colonial issues.

This event is produced with the support of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Indigenous Visual Culture Program, the Creative Writing Program, and the Delaney Family Foundation.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Room 190

Groundings: Summit to Raise Up BIPOC Poets

Friday, November 23, 2018 - 5:00pm to Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 6:00pm

This Grounding will bring together poets, spoken word artists, dub & hip hop poets, students, creative writers, and word activists to pool their knowledge and know how to build cultural leadership as a means to develop, enrich, and advance our cultural communities who work with writing and language as artistic forms.

Friday, November 23rd 

A reception will be hosted in the evening. The group will be engaged in cross cultural dialogue, sharing strategic work, networking and checking-in.

Saturday, November 24th 

A full day of discussion regarding the spoken word form, diverse poetry, and aspects of the creative writing community beyond questions and critique. We will begin to envision and develop a 5 year strategy forward as a crucial cultural, artistic, and scholarly movement. In conjunction with the new Creative Writing BFA, we will be working to position OCAD University as a local, national, and international home/hub for the creative, scholarly, and social practice work of poets, writers, language & linguistic artistic creator-activists-- many of whom are already working seamlessly across genres and disciplines. We will be working with a vartiety of sectors (community, business, education, government, arts councils, health, entertainment, etc.) to establish experiential learning opportunities for students and create sustainable professional working opportunities for our graduates. One such successful example is the development of the ‘teaching artist’ now utilized throughout Boards of Education.

This first meeting is BIPOC focused.

Please email for registration and further information.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 113 McCaul St.
"GROUNDINGS" in Brown text "SYMPOSIUM TO RAISE UP BIPOC POETS" in cream on red, orange, beige, brown, and cream diagonal stripes

New Creative Writing program featured in NOW magazine

Professor Lilian Allen on the cover of Now Magazine
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Professor Lillian Allen’s smile graces the cover of NOW magazine’s education issue, where she is interviewed about the university’s new BFA in Creative Writing.

What sets the program apart from other creative writing programs in Ontario is the studio-based approach to the study and practice of writing as artistic creation. Students study writing while exploring multiple art and design practices, perhaps incorporating words and poetry into sculpture, installations, performance or painting in new and unconventional ways.

“If there’s one form that can work with any art form you can imagine, it’s the language-based form. You hardly see any artwork these days without writing involved. It’s also the way we’re guiding the program,” says Allen, who is a well-known dub poet and writer, as well as an academic.   

The program emphasizes the practice, craft and production of spoken, written, visual and verbal texts as well as experimental language forms that break from traditional ways of approaching the written word.

Writing in Dangerous Times: Survival, Resistance, Joy

Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

This event is a collaboration between Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP), TIA House (University of Calgary), and OCAD University, Creative Writing, co-sponsored by the Writing and Learning Center and organized in conjunction with the CCWWP board meeting to take place Sunday, October 29th at OCADU.

The October 28th 2017 program is free and open to OCAD University students and faculty, students and faculty from across Turtle Island, CCWWP members, Toronto writers and the general public. Please write to confirm your presence using the subject: Writing in Dangerous Times RSVP.

OCAD U is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free experience to students, faculty, staff, and visitors with accessibility needs. This event is fully wheelchair accessible. All panels will take place in OCADU’s Learning Zone, on the ground floor, room #110, 113 McCaul. The Learning Zone is a wheelchair accessible space with two accessible washrooms and no fixed seating. This is a mic’d event.

The Learning Zone is accessible through the McCaul or St. Patrick Street entrance at 122 St. Patrick St. Parking is available in the underground lot directly below the venue, with handicapped parking closest to the elevator at the McCaul Street entrance. The cost of parking is $15 daily maximum, $6 evening maximum.

Please contact 416-977-6000 extension 2205 or for information on the best barrier-free routes on campus, Wheel-Trans pick-up and drop-off points, locations of elevators and accessible washrooms, requests for ASL translators, or information in alternate formats.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Learning Zone, 122 St. Patrick Street, Level 1 (also accessible from 113 McCaul Street)
Writing in Dangerous Times Poster

Michelle Miller stafford

Michelle is a recent graduate of the PhD in York University's Language, Culture and Teaching program and a prior graduate of the MFA in creative writing at UBC. She researches representations of girls' adolescence in contemporary coming of age comic books, as well as the pleasures and the pressures of reading as an intellectual and emotional practice.

At OCADU, she teaches in the first year writing program, as well as a fourth year seminar on comics.

Her teaching (and writing and learning) practice is inspired by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, who writes:

Catherine Black

Catherine Black is Assistant Professor and First Year Writing Coordinator in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences at OCAD University. Catherine currently teaches or has taught writing-based courses such as Advanced Creative Writing, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction, The Essay and the Argument(Rhetoric, Mechanics, ESL/EAL) and Literary Criticism.

Professor Lillian Allen to receive Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier

Professor Lillian Allen
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 4:00am

Internationally-acclaimed writer, dub poet and community activist Lillian Allen will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wilfrid Laurier University at its convocation ceremonies in June.

Allen, a professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, has been teaching creative writing at OCAD University since 1992. 

As a writer and vocalist, Allen has recorded several albums. Revolutionary Tea Party (1986) and Conditions Critical (1988) won JUNO awards in the reggae/calypso category.

She is the founder of the DubPoets Collective in Toronto and has led such programs as Fresh Arts, Native Women in the Arts and Black Arts Service Organizations.

Allen is the recipient of the Margo Bindhardt Award, the City of Toronto Cultural Champion Award and the William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations.