Kootenay writer Leesa Dean has joined the creative writing faculty of Selkirk College.

Kootenay writer takes Selkirk post

Leesa Dean thrilled to join faculty of creative writing department.

Cranbrook-raised writer Leesa Dean is interested in creating supportive literary communities, and as the newest addition to Selkirk College’s creative writing faculty she hopes to do exactly that.

“I’ve been following the Nelson writing scene for a while now, watching it grow with the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, and there are so many established and working writers in that area,” said Dean, whose award-winning work will be published in the collection Waiting for the Cyclone by Brindle & Glass in 2016.

“There are so many exciting literary things happening right now, which is why it’s great I get to come in at this juncture. What I’m concerned about is creating a community with these students. I want them to be hanging outside class, supporting each other, realizing they’re writers and treating each other that way.”

Dean’s appointment comes on the heels of news that the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) will be offering university level creative writing courses in Nelson.

Dean will teach first and second-year creative writing transfer courses starting in the fall semester.

Dean said her work is often geography-based, and is informed by her local upbringing.

“Something that’s been integrated into my writing is non-conformism. I grew up around people who were not like regular people living regular lives. They had chutzpah, they made decisions that weren’t conventional. And that’s the way I live.”

And though she’s lived in Montreal and Toronto for many years, it’s the Kootenays she keeps coming back to her in her fiction.

For instance, her story “Centre of the Universe” follows two young Cranbrook youths trying to escape their surroundings.

“They want to change their town and they don’t know how. They start this radical group, protesting against Walmart, and it follows them through to their twenties when they lose track of each other.”

Dean’s writing has been compared to that of Elisabeth Di Mariaffi, author of How To Get Along With Women. She is currently at work on a novel set in Dawson City and Tianducheng, a Chinese ghost city modelled after Paris.

In a press release, Selkirk’s Almeda Glenn Miller praised Dean.

“We believe that Leesa’s community-building spirit and enthusiasm will continue to build on what Selkirk College offers in the Nelson area,” she said.

“I worked with Leesa at the Sage Hill Writing Experience at the Saskatchewan Writers Guild several years ago and have never forgotten her prose and her poise.”

Selkirk College’s creative writing courses are transferable to a number of B.C. institutions, including UBCO, Thompson Rivers, the University of Victoria and UBC.

“With Dean’s arrival, Selkirk College is able to further build foundations in the first- and second-year Creative Writing classes that will enable students to carry on their educational pathways into third-year programs across the country,” reads the press release.


Just Posted

Nelson CARES to buy Hall-Front development for affordable housing

A $4.5-million investment from the provincial government has been committed to the deal

Aimee Watson elected RDCK chair

The representative for North Kootenay Lake took over this week

Glacier Gymnastics to add multi-purpose room

The expanded space will help accommodate the popular after-school programming

Woman searching for father last seen in Nelson in 1999

Frank Johnson’s daughter, Chandra Machin, is searching for her father

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read