Canadian Poetry Today: Teaching, Expanding, and Advocating for Poetry Courses

Sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Recorded on 04/10/2023
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 309

In the second episode of this four-part series, we continue our discussion with Tanis MacDonald, professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and General Editor of the Laurier Poetry Series. She digs into the intricacies of teaching poetry in today’s classroom, first highlighting how Canadian literature has historically been taught through the lens of regionality; while these parameters have their merits, they also limit writing style and subjects. In addition, Tanis explains the monopoly that “the novel” has over English literature curricula, and points to the value of advocating for courses in poetry and drama—especially for young scholars. Last, Tanis chats about how the Laurier Poetry Series supports teaching courses in poetry, and how she encourages her students to get out of the classroom and experience poetry through live readings and online events.

About the guest:

Tanis MacDonald headshot

Tanis MacDonald
Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University

Tanis MacDonald (she/her) is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She is the author of three books of non-fiction and four books of poetry, and she is the General Editor of the Laurier Poetry Series. Her book The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies was a finalist for the 2012 ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism. She is the host and Artistic Director of Watershed Writers, a radio documentary and podcast that champions writers living and working in the Grand River Region in southwestern Ontario, traditional Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee territories. Her latest book,  Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female, received an Honourable Mention in the 2022 Betsy Warland Between Genres competition.

Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:

Check out our previous series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press:
– Animal Studies, Postcolonial Literature, and Multispecies Modernity
– Unpacking the Personal Library
– Cultivating Indigenous Studies
– Michelle Porter and the Métis Way
– Looking at Community Music

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