CARLEIGH BAKER is a nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân / Icelandic writer who lives as a guest on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwu7mesh, and səl̓ilwəta peoples. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Essays, The Short Story Advent Calendar, and The Journey Prize Stories. She also writes reviews for The Globe and Mail and the Literary Review of Canada. Her debut story collection, Bad Endings (Anvil, 2017), won the City of Vancouver Book Award, and was also a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction, and the BC Book Prize Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. Her novel-in-progress, The Matriarchs, is about endangered rivers and problematic mothers. Set in the Peel River Watershed, the traditional territory of the Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Vuntut Gwitchin, and Tetlit Gwich’in peoples, the story revolves around a group of conservationists and filmmakers who set out to "save the Peel", but end up needing to save themselves.

A graduate of UBC's creative writing master's program, Baker has focused her research on issues of Indigenous representation in the arts, and ways in which Indigenous voices and bodies are displaced by well-intentioned, non-Indigenous activists. She received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship for her work. Baker is the 2019 / 2020 Ellen and Warren Tallman writer-in-residence in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University, and a 2020 Shadbolt Fellow in the humanities at SFU.

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Check out an excerpt from Carleigh's upcoming novel, The Matriarchs.

Read Carleigh's feature story in SFU News.

Watch Carleigh do a live reading—see the video that follows.

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
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
2019/20 Carleigh Baker

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 (Undergraduate and Associate Chair), Stephen Collis, Jeff Derksen, Christine Kim, Sophie McCall, and Kevin Spenst (graduate student representative).