Christian Bök named Athabasca University’s 2023-24 Writer in Residence
Acclaimed Canadian poet to work with students and aspiring writers
Experimental poet, artist, and editor Christian Bök, author of five collections of poetry, has been named Athabasca University’s (AU) 2023-24 Writer in Residence.
The role of the Writer in Residence includes advising AU students and aspiring authors on the writing process, from manuscript to publication.
“I have benefited from the mentorship of many peers throughout my career, and I owe them a debt of gratitude,” said Bök, who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. “I look forward to extending this same generosity to other writers in need of encouragement, offering my time openly to foster their talent.”
Acclaimed poetry collections
Bök’s collections include The Kazimir Effect (2021) and Eunoia (2011), the latter of which won the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. Eunoia took seven years to finish and consists of univocalic writing, in which the author uses only consonants and a single vowel. Bök’s most recent project of visual poetry, The Kazimir Effect, was inspired by an abstract painting by Kazimir Malevich.
Bök, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, has earned accolades for his virtuoso recitals of “sound poems”— a series of sounds used to create musical tone and rhythm. He is currently working on The Xenotext, or “living poetry,” where a poem is encoded into a bacterium as a way of storing the work indefinitely.
Bök has exhibited his artworks at dozens of galleries around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Power Plant in Toronto, and the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.
Watch Bök explain how he uses bacteria to create poetry
14 years of talented Writers in Residence
Since its inception 14 years ago, AU’s Writer in Residence program has introduced students and faculty to exceptionally talented authors.
2022-23: Myrna Kostash
2021-22: Michael Winter
2020-2021: Joshua Whitehead
2019-2020: Steven Heighton
2018-2019: Katherena Vermette
2017-2018: Richard Van Camp
2016-2017: John Vaillant
2015-2016: Esi Edugyan
2014-2015: Anita Rau Badami
2013-2014: Tim Bowling
2012-2013: Hiromi Goto
2010-2011: Tololwa M. Mollel
2009-2010: Joseph Boyden
Connecting to AU’s writing community
Watch for more announcements about the 2023-24 Writer in Residence, including featured talks, question-and-answer opportunities, and more!