Internationally acclaimed Canadian poet and children’s author Jordan Scott is The University of Winnipeg’s 2022 Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence. His debut children’s book, illustrated by Sydney Smith, I Talk Like a River was a New York Times 2020 best Children’s book of the Year; a New York Public Library selected best children’s books in 2021, (Spanish translations); and the recipient of the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award which honors authors for the artistic expression of the disability experience.
I Talk Like a River tells the story of a boy who stutters, which caught the attention of famed English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who had a stutter growing up. Sheeran chose to read the book on the popular CBeebies Bedtime Stories. Sheeran said he was “delighted” to read the tale, noting “I hope the story helps inspire and support other children who stutter.”
The Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence program will be online beginning Monday February 7, 2022 until Friday March 11, 2022, but (excluding Reading Week, February 21 -25).
The residency also includes an online book reading and lecture by Scott that will be announced in the new year.
Scott’s books of poetry include: Silt (Newstar Books) blert, decomp, and Night & Ox (all from Coach House Books). Blert, which explores the poetics of stuttering, is the subject of two National Film Board of Canada projects, Flub and Utter: a poetic memoir of the mouth. Scott’s other books include Clearance Process (SMALL CAPS 2016), and Lanterns at Guantánamo (Simon Fraser University). Both books are based on his experience being allowed access to Guantanamo Bay in April 2015. Scott was the 2015/16 Writer-in-Residence at Simon Fraser University and the recipient of the 2018 Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize for his contributions to Canadian poetry.
UWinnipeg’s Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence Program honours the memory of Carol Shields, Pulitzer-prize winning novelist and Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg from 1996 to 2000. Shields was known as a generous mentor to emerging writers and this program reflects her spirit and is a fitting tribute to her.
Past writers in this program include Margaret Sweatman, Sandra Birdsell, John Weier, Maria Campbell, David Bergen, Ivan Coyote, Debbie Paterson, Gregory Scofield, Chandra Mayor, Jennifer Still, Rick Chafe, GMB Chomichuk, Katherena Vermette, Méira Cook, and Garry Thomas Morse.