Course Instructors | College of Arts

Course Instructors

MFA Coordinator and Plenary Instructor
Catherine Bush

Associate Professor, Full Time Faculty

catherine bushCatherine Bush is the author of five novels, including Blaze Island (2020), a Globe & Mail Best Book. Her work has been critically acclaimed, published internationally and shortlisted for literary awards. Accusation (2013) was one of NOW magazine’s Best Ten Books of 2013 and a Canada Reads Top 40 pick. Minus Time (1993), her first novel, was shortlisted for the Books in Canada/SmithBooks First Novel Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. Her second novel, The Rules of Engagement (2000) was a national bestseller and chosen as a New York Times Notable Book and one of the Globe and Mail’s Best Books of the Year. Her third novel, Claire’s Head (2004), was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award and was a Globe & Mail Best Book.

Bush’s fiction, praised for its intelligence and daring, often plumbs moral quandaries in which the public and private lives of its characters collide. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in publications including the Globe and MailThe New York Times Magazine, the literary magazine Brick and the anthology, The Heart Does Break. Bush has a degree in Comparative Literature from Yale University, has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, has held a variety of Writer-in-Residence positions and taught Creative Writing at universities including Concordia, the University of Florida, the University of Guelph, and in the University of British Columbia’s low-residency MFA. She lives in Toronto and is the Coordinator of the Creative Writing MFA at the University of Guelph.


Poetry and Prose Instructor
Dionne Brand

Professor, Teaching and Supervising Faculty

dionne brandDionne Brand, Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies, is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist. Her writing is notable for the beauty of its language, and for its intense engagement with issues of social justice. She was Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto 2009-2012 and has received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing.

An award-winning poet, Dionne Brand won both the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Prize for Literature for her volume Land to Light On. Among her works the volumes No Language Is Neutral and Inventory respectively were nominated for the GG. She has won the Pat Lowther Award for poetry for her volume thirsty, which was also nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Toronto Book Award and the Trillium prize for literature. Her work of Poetry, Ossuaries won the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize.

As a novelist, Brand has also achieved distinction. Her critically acclaimed novel, What We All Long For, won the Toronto Book Award. Her latest novel, Love Enough was short listed for the Trillium Prize for Literature, 2015. Her fiction includes the novel In Another Place, Not Here, a New York Times notable book, and At the Full and Change of the Moon, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book.

Brand’s non-fiction works include Bread Out Of Stone, and A Map to the Door of No Return, which, has been widely taken up in scholarly work on Being in the Black Diaspora.


Writing for Performance Instructor
Judith Thompson

Professor, Teaching and Supervising Faculty

thompsonPlaywright, director, actor, dramaturge, artistic director of RARE theatre and Professor of theatre, Judith Thompson is the author of 17 published and produced plays, including The CrackwalkerI Am YoursLion in the StreetsPerfect PieLion in the Streets, Palace of the EndWho Killed Snow White, and Elektra in Bosnia, performed in Hydra and Athens, Greece, as part of 2012 international Women & War Project. Many of her works have been translated and produced all over the world. She has also authored two feature films, Perfect Pie and Lost and Delirious, as well as several made-for-TV movies, including the award-winning Life With Billy and Turning to Stone, and numerous radio plays. 

Her first Devised work was Body and Soul which she created in 2006 with 14 older women telling their own stories in their own words, which played to sold-out houses at the Young Centre and the Tarragon Theatre and at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.   In 2012 she created the play Rare, with nine performers with Down Syndrome, and founded the RARE theatre company. The huge success of Rare was followed by Borne, with nine performers who are wheelchair users, After the Blackout, with six performers with various disabilities, Welcome to my Underworld, featuring writing by nine diverse, emerging writer/performers, and most recently, in 2021, a radio play for the Pandemic called Children Speak, featuring 14 children. 


Fiction Instructor
Michael Winter

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Michael Winter.Michael Winter has published two collections of stories, five novels, and one work of non-fiction. He has won the CBC short story contest, the Winterset Award, and received the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award. He has served as a juror for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, held the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence position at the University of Toronto, and been both an editor and mentor to a wide range of writers, from community literacy workshops to MFA creative writing programs. He currently lives in Toronto.



Poetry Instructor
Kevin Connolly

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Kevin Connolly.Kevin Connolly is a poet, journalist, and editor. He is the author of five collections of poetry: Happyland (2002), Drift (2005), which was the winner of the Trillium Book Award, Revolver (2008), which was shortlisted for the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and Xiphoid Process (2017).

Connolly has served as an editor for ECW Press, House of Anansi, Coach House Books, and McClelland and Stewart. He lives in Toronto with his partner, writer Gil Adamson. Connolly runs the poetry imprint at House of Anansi.


Instructor: Writing the Decolonial (Fiction)
Carrianne Leung

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Carrrianne LeungCarrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo, published by Inanna Publications was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You, was released in 2018 by HarperCollins and in 2019 in the US by Liveright Publishing. It received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, and was named as one of the Best Books of 2018 by CBC, That Time I Loved You was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards 2019, long listed for Canada Reads 2019 and was awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2019. Leung’s work has also appeared in the PuritanRicepaper, the Globe and MailRoomPrairie Fire and Open Book Ontario. Her third book titled, The After will be released by Harper Collins Canada in 2022.


Instructor: Hybrid Forms and Mixed-Mode Narratives
Kyo Maclear 

Teaching and Supervising Associated Faculty

Image of Kyo Maclear.Kyo Maclear is an essayist, novelist, arts writer and children's author. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages, published in over twenty-five countries, optioned for theatre and television, and garnered nominations from the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Governor General's Literary Awards, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, the First Novel Award, and the National Magazine Awards. Her most recent book is the hybrid memoir Birds Art Life(2017), winner of the Trillium Book Award. Kyo lives and works in Toronto, on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Huron-Wendat. She holds an MA (Cultural Studies and Education/OISE, University of Toronto) and a PhD (Environmental Humanities/York University). In addition to the University of Guelph, she also teaches creative writing with Humber School for Writers and Banff Centre for the Arts.


Instructor: Creative Nonfiction

Ayelet Tsabari

Ayelet TsabariAyelet Tsabari was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. She is the author of the memoir in essays The Art of Leaving, winner of the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for memoir, a finalist for the Writer’s Trust Hilary Weston Prize and for The Vine Awards, and an Apple Books and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2019. Her first book, The Best Place on Earth, won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was longlisted to the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016, and has been published internationally. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe Globe and MailForeign PolicyMaclean’sLitHub, and The National Post, and were awarded a National Magazine Award (silver) in 2013 and a Best American Essays notable essay in 2019. Her translations appeared in The New Quarterly, Berlin Quarterly, Paper Brigade, and Mantis