New Chapters, Sights and Sounds – Summer 2021

Madhur Anand

Madhur Anand

2020 Governor General’s Literary Award

Dr. Madhur Anand, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, has won this year’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction.
She won for This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart: A Memoir of Halves. The experimental memoir focuses on immigration and storytelling through generations and is rooted in the themes of partition and divide.

Dr. Thomas King, College of Arts professor emeritus, was nominated for a Governor General’s fiction award for Indians on Vacation.

Gutter Child Book Cover

Jael Richardson

Gutter Child

Jael Richardson, a 2010 graduate of U of G’s MFA in creative writing program and a 2003 BA alumna, released her first novel, Gutter Child, early this year. The book was shortlisted for the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Richardson is the founder and director of the popular Festival of Literary Diversity, held online this year in early May.

Sally Frater


Oakville Galleries

U of G alumna Sally Frater was named executive director of Oakville Galleries in Oakville, Ont., in March. She earned a BA in studio art in 1999 from U of G and an MA in contemporary art from the University of Manchester. Before joining Oakville Galleries, she was curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Guelph and artistic director of Centre[3] for Artistic and Social Practice in Hamilton.

Canisia Lubrin


Windham-Campbell Prize

University of Guelph alumna Canisia Lubrin and her mentor, U of G professor Dionne Brand, were among eight winners worldwide of the 2021 Windham-Campbell Prize for outstanding international writers of fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry.

Dionne Brand

A professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies, Brand was recognized in the fiction category for her novel Theory, which won the 2019 Toronto Book Award.

Lubrin, a 2015 graduate of U of G’s MFA creative writing program, was honoured for her poetry collections, Voodoo Hypothesis and The Dyzgraphxst.

How To Pronounce Knife Book Cover


2020 Giller Prize

Two writers and thesis advisers in the creative writing program in the College of Arts had outstanding showings in the 2020 ScotiaBank Giller Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards.

Souvankham Thammavongsa won the $100,000 literary price for her short-story collection How to Pronounce Knife, her first work of fiction. Shani Mootoo, a 2011 MA grad in English and drama from U of G, was one of four other finalists for her novel Polar Vortex.

Bardia Sinaee



Bardia Sinaee enrolled in U of G’s MFA in creative writing program in 2015, right around the time he was diagnosed with cancer. His studies helped him write through his treatment. His inaugural poetry collection, Intruder, published in 2020 by House of Anansi Press, explores the theme of encroachment, whether from cancer, COVID-19 or the internet. He completed the book during the pandemic.

Azadeh Elmizadeh


Painting Award

Painter Azadeh Elmizadeh, a U of G grad, garnered the 2020 Joseph Plaskett Foundation award in post-graduate painting, valued at $30,000. The Tehran-born artist and graduate of the master of fine art program at U of G in 2020 will use the award to further develop her art practice in Europe when international travel allows.


Odyssey and Shammy Go to School

Odyssey and Shammy Go to School, a children’s book by Saskatchewan veterinarian Dr. Barry Heath, DVM ’72, portrays the roles, training and needs of service dogs.

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