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Ivan E Coyote wrangles memoir-writing workshop

Some space still open for senior women

Canadian writer Ivan E. Coyote has made a lasting impression on the storytelling scene. She has been called a natural-born performer and loves reading to her fans.

After more than a year of fundraising and persuading, she is finally coming to Carleton this fall to be the writer in residence.

She’ll be teaching a memoir-writing class to retired and semi-retired people as part of her agenda, which also includes visits to first-year seminars.

Jodie Medd has worked hard on this project, and feels that she’ll be a perfect addition to Carleton’s academic community.

“This residency will support Ivan’s artistic work,” says Medd, who has been teaching at Carleton since 2000. “Her books really affect people.”

Coyote’s writing includes several books of short stories and a novel, Bow Grip.

“It’s very satisfying because, as someone who promotes literature in everyday life, we are providing the conditions of success for a writer,” says Medd.

Support for the residency was drummed up by the Lambda Foundation, as well as the Centre For Initiatives And Education (CIE) at Carleton, as part of its new sexuality studies program; the money for it comes from the Canada Council for the Arts. Support also came from Carleton’s dean of arts and social sciences, the English Department, Lesbian Information Exchange (LIX), and donations from supporters.

Beth Hughes is head of the CIE and is passionate about the university being part of the community, not a detached institution. Hughes believes in the power of words, and knows that there is a strong history of storytelling in Canada.

“We need to recognize and celebrate our diversity,” says Hughes. “People need to see the university as open and as an institution of research, which is why CIE is so important.”

Six spaces for the memoir-writing course are still available.