The job provides a office and a flat right on the University campus, on the edge of Winnipeg. The required duties were light—about 6 hours of teaching a week. I ran a weekly storytelling workshop, delivered about half a dozen lectures over the term, and was available for tutorials to offer tips on creative writing for local writers and creative writing students, or on storytelling of local tellers. The rest of the time I was free to write and research whatever I wished. It was one of the most exciting and productive periods of my professional life.
One very enjoyable aspect of the residency was meeting local tellers and finding out how storytelling in Canada has developed. While there things kept coming up I wanted to share with storytelling friends in Ireland, and so I’ve written an article that I hope SoI members will enjoy and find useful. There’s a strong connection between CCWOC and Ireland: Poetry Ireland has worked with them a lot and promoted the residency to PI members and members of SoI and the Writers-in-Schools programme, a previous CCWOC writer-in-residence was Rody Gorman (a Dublin native now living on the Isle of Skye who’s a much respected Irish/Gaelic poet), Liz Weir and Dovie Thomason have performed at the Winnipeg Storytelling Festival (which has connections to CCWOC), and it’s very likely another Irish teller or writer will be resident there in the future.