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Date: October 06, 2008

UVic's Writer-In-Residence Inspires Conservation

Award-winning poet and author Seán Virgo is the University of Victoria’s Haig-Brown Centenary Writer-in-Residence. The position has been created to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Roderick Haig-Brown—noted author, conservationist, magistrate, and former UVic chancellor.

In this position, as well as concentrating on his own work, Virgo will be devoting time to mentoring young or beginning writers—both on and off campus—whose interests are both literary and ecological, and will also be participating in a number of public events. To arrange an appointment with Virgo please email svirgo@uvic.ca.

Virgo has worked with the Scottish Nature Conservancy in the Inner Hebrides, and as well as teaching and editing, has been a sheep farmer, a logger and a well witcher. He was the writer and host of the TV series, Middle of Somewhere and edited the anthology, The Eye in the Thicket, essays at a natural history. His first publications were poetry but he is better known for his short stories (White Lies & Other Fictions; Through The Eyes of a Cat; Wormwood; Waking in Eden; Begging Questions, and A Traveller Came By) and a novel set in Melanesia, Selakhi.

As its contribution to this position, The Land Conservancy has provided a residence near Sooke for Virgo. His position will end on December 15, 2008.

On Oct. 23 Virgo will present free a public lecture entitled “Where Walls Dissolve: Words for the Dispossessed.” In this talk he will be discussing and illustrating the challenges and occasional conundrums of being a writer who, quite literally, loves the natural world and whose work often deals with the closest possible interactions of people with nature. Is it possible, he wonders, to speak for nature rather than about it; and can an awareness of human history make natural history more eloquent? The talk will take place at 7pm, in the Fine Arts Building, room 103.

For more information about Virgo, visit http://finearts.uvic.ca/writing/faculty/virgo.html or contact him directly at svirgo@uvic.ca.
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Media contacts:
Seán Virgo (Writing) at 250-642-0012 or svirgo@uvic.ca
Joan MacLeod (Writing) at 250-472-4494 or macleodj@finearts.uvic.ca,
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca

Photos page:
UVic's Writer-In-Residence Inspires Conservation Images

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(image: fern)