“Without language, we are lost creatures in a meaningless existence—which is why we tell stories.” – Thomson Highway

Lyric Scholarship:

‘Lyric scholarship’ has emerged in academic work as an alternate mode of research, thinking, and presentation: this creative mode may be analogical, associative, suggestive, poetic, narrative, artistic, speculative. Often it integrates disparate elements, including the personal, to investigate an idea.

Early proponents of lyric scholarship arose in diverse fields—from Paulo Freire in Education to Jan Zwicky in Philosophy to Iain McGilchrist in Psychology and Neuroscience. Today, creative modes of scholarship—including as theses and dissertations—have been used as methodology and presentation not only in philosophy and literature but also law, social science, political studies, and (even!) Canadian copyright law.

Zwicky in Lyric Philosophy (1992) defined this mode as “thinking in love with clarity” and considers style as a form of thought. Neuroscientist McGilchrist noted in The Master and His Emissary (2012) that this mode of perception can be developed and practiced. Creative Writing is one way to do that. Our page supports your creative writing courses, class assignments, workshops, translations, or private practice. Enjoy!

Community of Practice:

Creative Writing Circle meets monthly in the MacDonald Room (MSVU Library). Poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

Annual CBC Reading and Writing debates/competitions:

On Writing: Guides on the Trail

If you love “Top 10” lists:

Or Walter Benjamin’s “Top 13”:

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ― Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

On Poetry:

Practical and beautiful — its tiny chapter “The Line” is worth everything, Also covered: Reading poems aloud / The sound of poetry / Poetic devices / Formal poetry and free verse / Diction, tone, and voice / Imagery:

Submissions, Contests, Prizes:

Plus, a recent list of peer-reviewed Canadian journals accepting creative submissions (for the best of your best work):


“I’ve always conceived of language as music.” – Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway: Songs in the Key of Cree