Nasser Hussain has been chosen as Laurier’s winter 2024 Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence  

Books on a bookshelf
Books on a bookshelf
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The Writer-in-Residence program and the Creative Non-Fiction Award are funded through a bequest the late author Edna Staebler left to the university.  

Hussain is a poet, educator and spoken word performer, who has published four award winning books of poetry. His residency will begin in January of the new year. 

“It’s a huge honor. I love the idea of acting as a mentor or teacher without having to be official,” said Hussain about the residency. “There’s a book of sonnets which is developing, and I haven’t told anyone this, but I’m also going to try and work on a novel.” 

Hussain, who currently lives in the United Kingdom, detailed his feelings regarding coming back to Canada.  

“[Coming back] for an extended period of time is a huge bonus for me. It brings me closer to my publisher in Toronto. There’s a number of personal and professional benefits for me – not to mention the extreme honour of being chosen by Laurier for a very prestigious Writer-in-Residence program.” 

Nasser Hussain

The Writer-in-Residence program was first established in 2012 and invites a writer to spend ten weeks at Laurier to work with the students and greater community.  

“There are eight of us on the committee, including a representative from the Faculty of Arts office. We are made up of professors in the arts, a library representative and a representative from a board of people that manage Edna Stabler’s legacy,” said Tanis MacDonald, Associate Professor in the faculty of English and Film studies and chair of the search committee for the Edna Stadler Writer-in-Residence.  

“We open applications usually in early spring and then we receive them until the beginning of July. Then the committee goes to work reading before we get together for a surprisingly short meeting in which everyone comes with a short list of three people,” said MacDonald. “[Hussain] is a really interesting conceptual artist, sound poetry performer and conventional writer. He can do it all.” 

MacDonald advises anyone who’s interested to attend Hussain’s talk in the Hawk Nest on January 25, and to visit his office hours for personal feedback on their work.  

“Please, students at Laurier, come see me. Don’t be afraid – I’m really nice,” said Hussain. “I really want to fill my time with amazing conversation that comes with talking about people’s art and their writing –  and the things that matter the most to them,” said Hussain.  

“That’s a huge privilege, and it brings me so much happiness,” he said. 

For more information on the Writer-in-Residence program and Hussain’s upcoming residency, visit the university’s website. 

“I want to give as much as I can, it helps me as a writer. The more conversation I have, the better I become,” said Hussain. 

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