Erina Harris, PhD, MFA, BA
Assistant Lecturer, Creative Writing, Literature, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept
- Office Hours by appointment; please contact via email.
SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Poetics and Pedagogy), University of Alberta (2017 - 2019)
Ph.D. English and Creative Writing, University of Calgary and multiple Doctoral Fellowships (2017)
M.F.A. Creative Writing, Poetry, Iowa Writers' Workshop and Workshop Teaching Fellowship (2007 - 2010)
Honours B.A. English, University of Waterloo
My ongoing, committed pedagogical practice is informed by study and mentorship from teachers, artists, and Knowledge Keepers, with an emphasis on anti-racist, feminist, queer, and de-colonial pedagogies. To borrow the insights of bell hooks, I sincerely believe that "the classroom" can be a site of "radical possibility" as well as compassion, discovery and creativity. To my mind, teaching and writing are vital, life-long practices hence, I am always, and forever, a student too.
In all courses, we begin with a facilitation or the development of our "Class Manifesto" as part of creating the parameters (discourse, respect, dreaming) for each classroom community.
All course Syllabi include works by creators from different backgrounds, identity positions, abilities, and ontologies, including works in translation and across genres and aesthetics. Students will be assigned readings across literary/historical periods (time travel!), and as representative of divergent worldviews. All Syllabi will meaningfully engage creations by BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ2S+ and settler writers/artists.
All courses include anonymous student mid-way evaluations and I invite student input towards finalizing course reading lists.
In all courses, both creative and scholarly, I work with students to nurture your own skill-building and conceptual goals, and self-empowerment.
In the instruction of Creative Writing, coursework involves technical skill-building, committed and embodied close reading/listening; the risk of "experimentation" or the "poetics of uncertainty" will become a regular part of our creative practice. (For Creative Writing courses, "experiments" are graded solely based on completion, as part of fostering writing Towards the Unknown). Both creative and scholarly courses engage multi-media texts and artworks, and extra-canonical inventions (for example: chapbooks, social/performative poetics, "lyric" and "experimental" poetries). Syllabi include writings (artistic, theoretical, hybrid) by established and minoritized voices. Literary forms/aesthetics will be carefully and critically considered in the context of intersectionality and dominant ideologies. Creative Writing students will spend a significant amount of time writing/creating, as well as developing the practice of the rigorous and respectful critique, as part of skill-building and community-building.
I teach within the framework/curation of inclusive discussion-based, student-centred classrooms.
I work to be aware and pro-active regarding power inequities in the classroom and beyond.
I adore my work in this field: what a captivating way to engage the brief honour of human consciousness, with and towards one another.
PUBLICATIONS and AWARDS:
My creative writing (hybrid projects: poetics, adaptation, creative non-fiction) has been published and reviewed in North America and in Europe (also in translation).
My published work has been awarded numerous prizes, grants, short-listings and nominations including SSHRC Doctoral/CGS and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Awards.
I serve as Editor to writers at all stages of their craft (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction), and have been awarded multiple international writers' residencies (Slovenia, Austria, Canada, and one under construction).
I have been awarded numerous distinctions for "ethical" and "innovative" teaching (University of Iowa/Iowa Writers' Workshop, University of Calgary, CCWWP, etc.)
For a complete list of awards, prizes, nominations, publications, please visit: www.erinaharris.com
The Stag Head Spoke, Buckrider Books, 2014 (Poetry. *Short-listed for the Canadian Authors' Association Poetry Award)
Trading Beauty Secrets with the Dead, Buckrider Books, 2024 (Hybrid poetics, lyric essays)
Persephone's Abecedarium: An Alphabet Play - an unorthodox adaptation of the Homeric "Hymn to Demeter" (accepted for publication, birthday TBA)
Be welcome to contact me with inquiries. It will be grand to have you in our class.
I am grateful that my research, research-creation and teaching practices are interpenetrative. My published work engages the following concerns:
ethics (including questions about the creation of increasingly compassionate human communities, and communities with our ecological "others"/ecological ethics); feminism, social justice and de-centering whiteness; subjectivity/inter-subjectivity and relationality (not so much the rationalist questioning of "what is a self?" but rather, "which models of selfhood or subjectivity, aside from Western Cartesian subjectivity, are more generous, accurate, sustainable?"); theories of performance and play, gender (the construction of hegemonic femininity and masculinity, orientations and expressions of queerness and fluidities); women's writing/feminist poetics; experimentalism/avant-gardism, nonsense verse (nonsense as "a critique of sense"), rhyme (as a metaphysics of, paradoxically/at once: resemblance and otherness), trauma narratives (the relationship between language/storytelling and identity-building, mourning), Indigeneity and Indigenous-settler relations (histories and possibilities), populist forms such as fairy tales and nursery rhymes. And monsters.
My work and teaching engage an array of critical theories (or, in the words of writer-scholar Larissa Lai: "Who is this resistance speaking to? A new, desired relation").
Prerequisites: *6 of junior English or *3 of junior English plus WRS 101; and *12 of senior-level English, *6 of which must be at the 300 level. Note: variable content course which may be repeated.
Lectures and workshops in which the student will practice the art of poetry.
To increase the student's ability to write clear nonfiction prose. Models of prose style are central, combined with frequent practice in writing on the basis of such models. Prerequisite: *3 of junior English (or equivalent). Not to be taken by students with credit in WRITE 298.
Lectures and workshops focusing on selected poetic technique and form. Prerequisite: WRITE 294 unless waived by Instructor; a minimum grade of B+ in the prerequisite course is strongly recommended.
Prerequisite: WRITE 392 or WRITE 394 unless waived by Instructor; a minimum grade of B+ in the prerequisite course is strongly recommended.