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Teaching

Rhea Tregebov began her position as Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at UBC in January 2005. She taught graduate and undergraduate workshops in poetry, a graduate workshop in children’s literature, a mixed grad/undergrad workshop in literary translation, and a large enrolment introduction to creative writing lecture course. In July 2012 she was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. On June 30, 2017, she retired from the Program. She is currently an Associate Professor Emerita.

For many years she taught creative writing workshops for the Continuing Studies program at Ryerson University in Toronto, where she specialized in poetry, children’s literature, and autobiographical and biographical creative non-fiction. She also worked with elementary and high school students across Canada for the Writers in Electronic Residency program. She was faculty at the Writers Studio and the Writing with Style programs at the Banff Centre for the Arts on a number of occasions.

Visit Educational Insights for a 7 minute video on teaching philosophy.

At UBC, Tregebov was the thesis advisor or on the thesis committee of the following students:

Meaghan Rondeau, 2018: Meaghan Rondeau studied classics and philosophy in Calgary and Seattle. She has had her poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, and translations of Greek and Latin poems published in such journals as Minola Review, Room, SAD Mag, Moose, Pussy, and Plenitude.  Her first short play, “Cassandra in the House,” whose premise was that the Greek princess is taking part in open mic comedy night in Hades, was produced at the Brave New Play Rites Festival in March 2016. In 2013 Rondeau was shortlisted for Room’s poetry contest.

Leena Niemela, 2017: Leena Niemela is a Finnish-Canadian writer who lives in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island whose poetry has appeared in The Maynard. Before starting her MFA at UBC, she completed her Master of Arts (English) from University of Victoria. Her writing explores her Finnish heritage, the coincidence of found poetry, the mysterious workings of language and the writing life. She is a former English instructor and post-secondary administrator. She is a member of the Editor’s Association of Canada.

Karla Comanda, 2017: Karla Comanda’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Grain, SAD Mag, Cha, Glass Buffalo, and Room. She is fiction editor for Ricepaper Magazine. Her play, “Medium,” was staged at the 2017 Brave New Play Rites Festival. Her thesis manuscript is the winner of the 2017 Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award for poetry which is awarded annually by the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop. The manuscript unpacks the complex layers of Filipino Canadian immigrant experiences and confronts the abusive legacy of the American and Japanese occupation, including the issue of Filipina “comfort women.”

Lesley Finn (fiction), 2017: Lesley Finn is a writer who lives in coastal Connecticut. She works in various genres, with recent projects exploring a combination of historical and speculative fiction. Currently she is writing a novel about eighteenth-century synesthesia, seafaring, and printing. Her work has appeared in Litro, She Said Notes, Hallowzeen, PRISM International, and The Penn Review. Before her MFA at UBC, she earned degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge, and Columbia University, where she studied medieval and early modern literature. She is a writing tutor at Yale University, and coaches figure skating there as well.

Mallory Tater, 2016: Mallory Tater’s debut book of poetry This Will Be Good was released in Spring 2018. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Room, CV2, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, The New Quarterly, Qwerty, Carousel, Canthius, Cede Poetry, Poetry is Dead, PRISM international and Arc. She was shortlisted for Arc’s 2015 Poem of The Year Contest, The Malahat Review’s 2016 Far Horizons Contest and Room’s 2016 Fiction and Poetry Prizes. She was the recipient of CV2’s 2016 Young Buck Poetry Prize. She is the publisher of Rahila’s Ghost Press, a Vancouver-based poetry chapbook press.

Rachel Balko (MACL), 2015. Rachel Balko is a writer and librarian. She is co-author of The Canada IFLA Adventure: 85 Years of Canadian Participation in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 1927 to 2012 (2013). She completed the second Masters of Arts in Children’s Literature “hybrid” thesis, which combines a creative writing component and an academic component. The thesis incorporates her YA coming of age novel “Every Saturday at Midnight” with an analysis of Judy Blume’s YA novel Forever in relation to her own novel, through the critical lens of Germaine Greer’s Female Eunuch.

Kayla Czaga, 2015: Kayla Czaga’s thesis was published as For Your Safety, Please Hold On by Nightwood Editions in 2014. The book won the 2015 Gerald Lampert Award from the League of Canadian Poets for best first book of poetry. The book was also a shortlisted nominee for the Governor General’s Award for English Language Poetry, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and the Canadian Authors Association’s Emerging Writer Award. Her second collection of poetry, Dunk Tank, is forthcoming from House of Anansi Press in Spring 2019.

James O’Hearn, 2014: James O’Hearn is a poet, writer, e-learning specialist, and father of three delightful daughters.

Beth Pond (fiction), 2014: Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for nine months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released by Astraea Press in November 2013. Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a 1st degree black belt) and serves as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.

Nikki Vogel (fiction)2014: Nikki Vogel lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Glass House Press will begin publishing her YA fantasy series in 2018. She’s had poetry published in Room Magazine, Filling Station, and The Istanbul Review. One Throne Magazine published “The Past, of Course” and nominated it for the Journey Prize. Wonderlandpress.com listed it as one of the best short stories of 2014, and it also was listed as notable in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015. She is currently represented by The Cooke Agency.

Joelle Barron, 2014: Joelle Barron is a poet and writer living on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe of Treaty 3. Their writing has been published in journals such as The Malahat Review, Arc, The Dalhousie Review, Plenitude Magazine, and The Puritan. Their poem, “A Girl Like This Might Have Loved Glenn Gould” won The Malahat Review’s Open Season Award in 2014, and their short story, “Dawson City, YT” was long listed for the CBC’s Short Story Prize in 2015. Their first collection of poetry, Ritual Lights, is forthcoming with Icehouse Press, Spring 2018.

Ruth Daniell, 2013: Ruth Daniell is an award-winning Canadian writer and the editor of Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Arc, Grain, Room, Qwerty, Canthius, The Antigonish Review, and CV2.  She was awarded first prize in the 2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest with The New Quarterly. She is a recent recipient of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and is currently working on a new collection of poems about birds.

Leah Horlick, 2013: Leah Horlick is a writer and poet who grew up as a settler on Treaty Six Cree Territory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her first collection of poetry, Riot Lung (2012), was shortlisted for a 2013 ReLit Award and a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her second collection, For Your Own Good (2015), was named a 2016 Stonewall Honour Book by the American Library Association. She is also the author of wreckoning, a chapbook produced with Alison Roth Cooley and JackPine Press. In 2016, she was awarded the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers.

Thea Wilson-Scorgie (MACL), 2013: Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Thea Wilson-Scorgie now lives in Victoria, BC, with her husband, son, and their miniature dachshund. She writes online book reviews for CM Magazine. She is a former middle school teacher and teacher-librarian at St. Michaels University School. Her love for education, books, and libraries has inspired her to obtain a second master’s degree, an MLIS, and thus she is currently a graduate student at the University of Alberta.

Natalie Morrill (fiction), 2013: Natalie Morrill’s thesis was the winner of the 2015 Harper Collins Publishers/ UBC Prize for Best New Fiction. The Ghost Keeper was released in spring, 2018. Her fiction has been recognized by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (Silver, 2013 Showcase Award for Fiction) and selected for The Journey Prize Stories anthology (2013). She was a sessional instructor in the English Department at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, and is an assistant editor for the American literary journal Dappled Things. She is represented by The Cooke Agency.

Emily Davidson2012Emily Davidson is a writer from Saint John, NB, living in Vancouver, BC. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as ArcDescantThe FiddleheadRoom, subTerrain, CV 2, and The Best Canadian Poetry, 2015. Her fiction has appeared in Grain and was short-listed for The Malahat Review’s 2013 Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction. Her nonfiction article “The Exhibitionist” appeared in Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts. She has published numerous reviews in such journals as Arc, Room, and Poetry is Dead.

Natalie Thompson2012:  Natalie Thompson’s work has been published in GrainPRISM internationalThe TyeeMaisonneuve online, and Descant magazine. Her other passion is teaching.  She taught for and coordinated the UBC Creative Writing Faculty’s program, New Shoots—a high school outreach program that works to introduce that Vancouver School Board students to the joys of writing. She has done one-on-one mentoring for the creative writing program Booming Ground and currently works at the Bolton Academy.

andrea bennett, 2012 (second reader): andrea bennett’s writing has been published by The AtlanticThe Globe and MailThe WalrusMaisonneuveHazlittViceGeist, and others. Her essay, “Water Upon the Earth,” received gold in the essays category at the 2015 National Magazine Awards; in 2013, her piece “Unmasked: Searching for lessons in Toronto’s 2010 G20 debacle” received an NMA honourable mention. Her debut collection of poetry, Canoodlers, came out with Nightwood Editions in 2014. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Maisonneuve, a Reader’s Digest contributor and the designer for PRISM international. She is represented by Stephanie Sinclair at Transatlantic.

Karen Shklanka, 2012: Karen Shklanka is a Vancouver physician who works as an Addiction Medicine consultant. Previously, she was a family physician in Salt Spring Island, BC, and Moose Factory, Ontario. Her first book, Sumac’s Red Arms (Coteau, 2009), was a finalist for the Foreward Review Book of the Year prize. Two long poems from her second book, Ceremony for Touching (Coteau, 2016) were long-listed for the 2012 CBC Poetry Prize. She was four times a finalist in Arc’s international poem contest, and has been published in numerous other literary journals, including CV2 and Room.

Kevin Spenst, 2011: Kevin Spenst, a Pushcart Poetry nominee, is the author of the poetry collections IgniteJabbering with Bing Bong, (both with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks. He won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry, was nominated for both the Alfred G. Bailey Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and has appeared in Prairie Fire, CV2, The Rusty Toque, Lemon Hound, Poetry is Dead, and Best Canadian Poetry, 2014. He is a cohost at Wax Poetic on Vancouver Co-op Radio and is part of the organizing team at the Dead Poets Reading Series.

Melissa Sawatsky, 2011: Melissa Sawatsky is a writer, editor, and library assistant currently living in Smithers, BC. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction has appeared in such journals as The Maynard, Northword, Branch Magazine, OCW Magazine, The Found Poetry Review, Quills, and Rhubarb. Her poetry also appeared in The Enpipe Line, an anthology of poetry written in resistance to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal. She is an Editor at Evolved Publishing and facilitates a creative writing program for teen girls called “Hot Ink.”

Elizabeth Ross (second reader), 2010: is the author of Kingdom (Palimpsest 2015). Her work has been published in a number of literary magazines including Lemon Hound, Arc, Fiddlehead, and Prairie Fire. Her work was selected for inclusion in Best Canadian Poetry, 2013 and longlisted for the CBC poetry prize. She grew up in Victoria and, prior to UBC, studied at University of Victoria. While at UBC she was poetry editor of PRISM international. She now lives in Toronto, where she’s at work on a series of personal essays and a book of poetry.

Sandra Pettman, 2009: Sandra Pettman’s poetry has been published in The Malahat Review, Vancouver Review, Room, CV 2Prairie Fire and Event. She has attended writing workshops and residencies across Canada (Piper’s Frith, 2009, Sage Hill, 2005, St. Peter’s Abbey, 2005) and in Spain (Fundación Valparaíso, 2009). She lives in Vancouver and works as a freelance writer and social worker. 

Shannon Woron, 2009: Shannon Woron has had poetry published in Prairie Fire, Room, and WordWorks for winning third place in the 2009 Federation of BC Writers’ Poetry Contest. Her instructing experience ranges from teaching adults nonfiction at a community centre to leading literary science writing workshops for children at the UBC Michael Smith Labs to teaching fitness and swimming. She also studied in the education program at UBC training to teach elementary school.

Elena Johnson, 2009: Elena Johnson has worked intermittently as a park naturalist, field ecology researcher, editor and translator. Her first book of poetry, Field Notes for the Alpine Tundrawas published by Gaspereau Press in Spring 2015. Her poems have appeared in four anthologies and in many periodicals and online reviews, including ArcCV2The FiddleheadLemon Hound and PRISM international. She has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards (2010) and twice shortlisted for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize. Born in New Brunswick, she currently lives in Vancouver.

Crystal Sikma, 2009: Crystal Sikma has worked as an editorial fellow at The Walrus magazine in Toronto, bookseller and host of the Robson Reading Series in Vancouver, and poetry editor for PRISM international. Sikma’s poem “Bell” won second place in the 2011 Room poetry competition. Her poetry is represented in the anthology Fast Forward: New Saskatchewan Poets. She has reviewed for Poetry is Dead. Before landing as Managing Editor for Coach House Books, Sikma worked at a small press and a big literary agency in New York.

Sheryda Warrener, 2008: Sheryda Warrener is the author of two poetry collections, most recently Floating is Everything (Nightwood, 2015). Her work has been featured in a Believer art issue, and shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the Arc Magazine Poem of the Year, The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and selected as runner-up for Lemon Hound’s inaugural poetry contest. She won the 2017 Thomas Morton Memorial Prize awarded by The Puritan Magazine. She is the director of the Artspeak Studio for Emerging Writers, where she mentors students who use language primarily as a material in visual art.

Jamella Hagen, 2008: Jamella Hagen grew up in Hazelton, BC and has lived in Vancouver, Brazil and South Korea. Her poems have appeared in Arc, Event and The Malahat Review as well as in a number of anthologies including The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010. Her work has won the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, placed third in This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt and been shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award. She is a former executive editor of PRISM international and has coordinated the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, where she has worked as an instructor at Yukon College.

Brianna Brash-Nyberg, 2008: Brianna Brash-Nyberg’s poetry has been featured in The Malahat Review, Boulevard, Room, The Antigonish Review and Canadian Literature, and she has published creative non-fiction in the Georgia Straight. She worked as the director of Booming Ground, UBC Creative Writing’s non-credit online writing studio, and taught writing to high school students and single mothers. She also worked for many years as a website designer. She currently and writes in Vancouver, where she works for an adoption agency.

Bren Simmers, 2007: Bren Simmers is the author of two books of poetry, Night Gears (2010) and Hastings-Sunrise (2015), which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, and the Squamish Arts Council. She won the Arc Poem of the Year Award and has been a finalist for The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award. In 2016-2017, she was the Writer in Residence at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs.

Linda Besner, 2007: Linda Besner’s first book of poetry, The Id Kid, was published in 2011 by Véhicule Press and named as one of the National Post’s Best Poetry Books of the Year. Her poetry and journalism have appeared in magazines across Canada, including The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and Hazlitt, and been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry, 2012. In 2015 she was selected as one of the Writers’ Trust’s 5×5 Emerging Artists, and she is on the editorial board of Icehouse Press. Her second collection, Feel Happier in Nine Seconds, was published in 2017 by Coach House Books. She lives in Montreal.

Regan Taylor, 2007: Regan Taylor did her undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal studying with Stephanie Bolster. She has reviewed poetry for online magazine, The Dominion. Her poems have been published in The Malahat Review, PRISM international, New Quarterly, and The Fiddlehead.

Ben Hart, 2007: Ben Hart’s writing has appeared in Grain, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, CV2, PRISM internationalEvent, Existere and Vallum. He nabbed third place in the 2008 Byron’s Quill Award for Poetry and was an Editor’s Choice in the 2008 Arc Poem of the Year contest. His chapbook, Dough Rolled Perfect, was published by Frog Hollow Press in 2009.  He won second prize for fiction in The Antigonish Review’s 6th Sheldon Currie Fiction Contest. He has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies and lives in Vancouver, BC.

Amber Dawn (fiction), 2007: Amber Dawn’s debut novel Sub Rosa (2010) won the Lambda Literary Award and the Dayne Ogilvie Prize. Her memoir How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir (2013) won the Vancouver Book Award. Where the words end and my body begins (2015) was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She is the editor of Fist of the Spider Women: Fear and Queer Desire (2009) and With A Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn (2005). Her sophomore novel, Sodom Road Exit is forthcoming Spring 2018. She teaches creative writing at UBC and at several community-driven spaces in the Downtown Eastside.

Amy Dennis, 2006: In addition to publications in England and France, Amy Dennis’ poetry has appeared in more than a dozen Canadian literary publications, such as CV2EventQueen’s Quarterly, and Prairie FireHer poetry has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards and a Random House Creative Writing Award. She placed second in the UK’s National Bedford Open Poetry Competition. Her chapbook, The Complement and Antagonist of Black (Or, the Definition of All Visible Wavelengths), was published in 2013.

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