Ukrainian poet, local novelist named McMaster, Hamilton library writers-in-residence


Published August 31, 2022 at 2:12 pm

A Ukrainian poet who has fled from war, and a Hamilton writer who lives with cerebral palsy, have been named writers-in-residence at McMaster University and Hamilton Public Library (HPL).

McMaster’s English and cultural studies department, the McMaster library system and HPL select one writer from the city and one who is in “e-residence” for the academic year. The program provides dedicated time for both writers to pursue projects, and they are both available for 1-on-1 writing consultations with residents of the Hamilton region. They will also offer writing workshops, in-person and virtual classroom visits, and public readings.

Kateryna Babkina, a Ukrainian creative whose is the author of four poetry collections, will be the International Writer in E-Residence. Amanda Leduc, a Hamilton writer who is disabled and is a recent finalist for the Governor General’s Award in Non-Fiction, has been named the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence.

A welcome reception for both is scheduled for Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central library branch on York Blvd.

Babkina (right photo) is living in London, England with her mother and daughter amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In addition to her four poetry collections (“Lights of Saint Elm”; “The Mustard, Painkillers and Sleeping” Pills; “Charmed for Love”; “Does Not Hurt”), she has published a novel (“Sonia”), a novel in short stories (“My Grandfather Danced the Best”), and two collections of stories (“Lilu After You”; “Happy Naked People”).

She has also written three children’s books and a fourth co-authored with Mark Livin. There are several short movies based on Babkina’s stories.

The Hamilton-based Leduc’s non-fiction tome “Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, And Making Space” was shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Non-Fiction. It was also longlisted for the 2020 Barbellion Prize, which is dedicated to the furtherance of ill and disabled voices in writing.

Leduc (left photo) is also the author of two novels: “The Miracles Of Ordinary Men” and “The Centaur’s Wife.” Her essays and stories have appeared in publications across Canada, the United Kindom, the United States and Australia. Leduc speaks regularly across North America on accessibility and the role of disability in storytelling.

The International Writer in E-Residence is supported by McMaster’s office of the provost and faculty of humanities, as well as the English and cultural studies department, the university library, and HPL.

The Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer in Residence program is led by Mac’s English and cultural studies department in partnership with the university and public library systems. It is supported by the Taylor family.

(Cover photos provided by McMaster University, Trevor Cole.)

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