Campus Life  

Okanagan icon John Lent is UBCO’s writer-in-residence

Poet, editor and fiction writer will select Okanagan Short Story Contest winner

John Lent, a Vernon-based professional author, editor, singer and songwriter is this spring’s writer-in-residence at UBC Okanagan. He will be on campus from March 9 to 26 working with students, faculty and the community in various writing and literary projects.

The writer-in-residence program promotes Canadian writing and literature to Okanagan residents and provides emerging writers an opportunity to get feedback on their creative work, explains Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Professor Nancy Holmes.

Vernon-based author, editor, singer and songwriter John Lent is this spring’s writer-in-residence at UBC Okanagan.

Vernon-based author, editor, singer and songwriter John Lent is this spring’s writer-in-residence at UBC Okanagan.

“Our definition of a great writer-in-residence is someone who has writing expertise and who loves to talk to emerging writers about their work,” says Holmes, a creative writing instructor at UBCO. “John more than fits the bill.”

Lent, who taught Creative Writing and Literature courses at Okanagan College for more than 30 years, has published 11 books and edited 35 volumes of poetry, fiction and non-fiction for publication.

While in residence, he will announce this year’s winners of the Okanagan Short Story Contest. Lent will also read and offer feedback on manuscripts from local writers. Writers of fiction or poetry are invited to submit manuscripts for review and feedback. Deadline for manuscripts is February 21. For details, visit: fccs.ok.ubc.ca/about/events-workshops/authors

“John is a terrific writer, a master teacher of fiction and poetry, an in-demand editor and someone who pretty single-handedly created the contemporary literary culture in the Okanagan,” says Holmes. “We are so looking forward to having John on campus again. People lucky enough to be involved will have a great experience.”

Lent will hold the inaugural Sharon Thesen Lecture on Writing. The lecture—Aspects of Poetics in Contemporary Fiction and Poetry: a practical logic of legacies, a working arc of continuance—takes place on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m., in the University Theatre (ADM 026). This lecture is free and open to the public.

Thesen, a renowned Canadian poet and editor, was the first full professor in the department of creative studies and is now a UBC professor emerita.

“The UBC creative writing program wants to honour all that she contributes to Canadian literature and all that she did to establish the creative writing program at UBC Okanagan,” adds Holmes.

We decided an annual lecture that tackles key issues of contemporary writing, poetics and Canadian literature was the very thing that would recognize her significant contributions to British Columbia, to Canada and to UBC,” she says. “We’ll be recording each lecture which will be given by UBC faculty or visiting authors. The lectures will be a wonderful resource of contemporary thinking by writers.”

As judge of this year’s Okanagan Short Story Contest Lent will also announce the final winners. The four winning authors will host readings of their submissions on Thursday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at the Okanagan Regional Library, 1380 Ellis St., Kelowna.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

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