Claire Tacon Produces New Parallel Careers Podcast
Few writers make their living from publication alone. Many fill the gaps with teaching in both academic and community settings. Claire Tacon is one such writer leading a parallel career.
On January 25th, Tacon joined Canadian literary journal, The New Quarterly (TNQ), with the launch of a new monthly podcast about the dual lives of writers who teach. The Parallel Careers podcast features writers with diverse practices and points of view sharing their ideas and practical tips they take into their classrooms. Tacon, who has been lecturing at St. Jerome’s University since 2011, and is author of “In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo” (Wolsak & Wynn), is the podcast’s producer.
“The project was conceived a few years ago when I was able to get a grant to attend the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs conference in Toronto,” noted Tacon. “As contract faculty, these opportunities are rare.” While at the conference Tacon sat in on sessions by poets and writers, among them Ian Williams, Leanne Toshiko Simpson, Sheryda Warrener, and Nancy Lee. “It was exactly the kind of exchange of ideas I’d been hungry for,” she added.
“Afterwards, I kept wondering how to expand this learning to be ongoing and accessible and I landed on the idea of a podcast. TNQ’s Editor, Pamela Mulloy and Managing Editor, Emily Bednarz enthusiastically agreed to take on the project with me, expanding the concept.”
Each month a new episode will be released, featuring one writer discussing their artistic and teaching practices and how they inform each other. University of Waterloo faculty member Lamees Al Ethari's talked about the development of her memoir and poetry collection, writing about the trauma of war, and helping writers find their voice in a second language in the first episode, which aired on January 25th. Upcoming episodes will feature Canadian Poet/Creative Writing Professor, Paul Vermeersch (February 22nd); Writer/Educator, Dorothy Palmer (March 29th); and Novelist/Social Worker, Farzana Doctor (April 26th).
“The intended audience is writers, teachers and writers who teach,” said Tacon. “We are hoping that listeners will be able to apply the tools that our guests share to their own classrooms and writing practices.”
St. Jerome’s University congratulates Claire Tacon on the launch of the podcast and looks forward to continuing to support its success. Thanks to grants and in-kind support from The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, the Government of Canada, and St. Jerome’s University, Tacon is able to provide each guest with an honorarium for their participation.
Parallel Careers is available on iTunes and Spotify, with additional resources available on the TNQ podcast website.
Claire Tacon’s first novel “In the Field” (Biblioasis), was the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Bronwen Wallace Award, the CBC Literary Prize, and has appeared in various journals and anthologies. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.
Parallel Careers is supported by original music provided by Guelph musician Amadia Venture; Technical Producer and Story Editor, multimedia artist Erin MacIndoe Sproule; and Advisory Panel Lamees Al Ethari, Emily Urquhart, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, and Ayelet Tsabari.