Feb. 18, 2021
For Immediate Release
Brantford – Acclaimed author Lawrence Hill, LLD, will share his experiences working with people who are incarcerated during a talk titled Reading and Writing to Free the Mind. Hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University, this virtual event takes place on Friday, Feb. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to the public.
Hill, a novelist, essayist, screenwriter, University of Guelph professor and past visiting writer at Laurier has encouraged incarcerated teenaged boys to read and write as a volunteer with the federal “Book Clubs for Inmates” program. He has also been involved in the Walls to Bridges initiative, teaching a memoir writing class in the Grand Valley Institution for Women. During his lecture, he will meditate on the healing properties of reading and writing creatively, and on how both slave narratives and prison narratives are foundational to the African-American and African-Canadian literary canons.
“We are excited for Laurier and members of the broader community to have the chance to hear from Lawrence Hill again,” said Shoshana Pollack, event co-organizer and professor in the Faculty of Social Work and director of the Walls to Bridges program. “We look forward to hearing about his experiences teaching at Grand Valley Institution for Women through the Walls to Bridges Program, developed and housed in the Laurier Faculty of Social Work. We are thrilled that the Laurier community has this opportunity to engage once again with one of Canada’s most distinguished writers, public intellectuals, film producers and contributors to Black history and culture.”
Coordinated by Pollack and Marcia Oliver, an associate professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, Hill’s lecture is made possible through sponsorship from the Senior Executive Officer, Brantford Campus, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, and Law and Society program.
Hill is the author of 10 books, including The Book of Negroes, The Illegal, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. His 2013 Massey Lectures were based on his book of essays Blood: The Stuff of Life. His books have won many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and are read around the world. He co-wrote the television miniseries based on his novel The Book of Negroes, which attracted millions of viewers in the United States and Canada and won the NAACP award (for outstanding writing) and eleven Canadian Screen Awards.
Those who wish to take part in this virtual event can pre-register online.
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