Katherena Vermette

The SFU Department of English is proud to announce the appointment of Katherena Vermette as the 2021 Ellen and Warren Tallman Writer-in-Residence.


Katherena Vermette (she/her/hers) is a Red River Métis (Michif) writer from Treaty 1 territory, the heart of the Métis Nation. She has worked in poetry, novels, children’s literature, and film.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, her father’s roots run deep in St. Boniface, St. Norbert and beyond. Her mother’s side is Mennonite from the Altona and Rosenfeld area (Treaty 1).

Vermette received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses’ Company). The Break (House of Anansi) won several awards including the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and was a bestseller in Canada. Her National Film Board documentary, this river won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Short. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Road Allowance Era (HighWater Press) is the final installment of her graphic novel series A Girl Called Echo and is listed among CBC Books 21 Canadian comics to watch for in Spring 2021. The Strangers (Hamish Hamilton) is the follow up to her award winning debut novel, The Break and will include previous characters set in the same world.

Katherena lives with her family in a cranky old house within skipping distance of the temperamental Red River.

Writer-in-Residence Consultations

Katherena Vermette is available for one-on-one consultations with writers during the Fall term of 2021. Writers may submit up to 10 pages (double space, 12 point, Times New Roman font) of their work. To book an appointment with Katherena Vermette to discuss your writing, please write to englsec@sfu.ca.

With Thanks
The Ellen & Warren Tallman Writer-in-Residence Program gratefully acknowledges generous support from the Shadbolt Endowment, Canada Council for the Arts, SFU's Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, SFU's Department of English, and the Ellen & Warren Tallman Endowment.

Past Writers-in-Residence:
2004/05 Daphne Marlatt
2005/06 Larissa Lai
2006/07 Fred Wah
2007/08 Wayde Compton
2008/09 Hiromi Goto
2009/10 Michael Turner
2010      Lisa Robertson

2011/12 Co-sponsored a series of literary events in collaboration with the Audain Gallery

2012/13 Marie Clements
2013/14 Madeleine Thien
2014/15 Rawi Hage
2015/16 Jordan Scott
2016/17 Cecily Nicholson
2017/18 Anakana Schofield
2018/19 Ivan Coyote
2019 Carleigh Baker
2020 Otoniya Juliane Okot Bitek

Writer-in-Residence Committee:
The Writer-in-Residence Committee has been established by the Department of English to work in consultation with the resident writer to design and coordinate their schedule of duties and activities. Committee members include Carolyn Lesjak (Department Chair), Clint Burnham, David Chariandy, Stephen Collis, Jeff Derksen, Sophie McCall, and a graduate student representative.

Video Gallery

1. An Interview with Wayde Compton, Writer-in-Residence 2007-2008

Professor Clint Burnham interviews Wayde Compton about his experience as writer-in-residence, his graphic novel, The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration, his upcoming projects, and much more.

2. A Video Montage of the Ellen & Warren Tallman Writers-in-Residence at SFU: 2004-2019