University of Rochester

Neilly Series Features Johanna Skibsrud On Writing & Inspiration

October 24, 2013

TIME, DATE, PLACE: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, Rush Rhees Library, Hawkins-Carlson Room, University of Rochester River Campus

WHAT: Johanna Skibsrud, a novelist, poet, and writer of short stories, is the upcoming speaker for this season's Neilly Lecture Series. Her debut novel, The Sentimentalists won Canada's most prestigious literary award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2010. Her novel has since been translated into five languages.

In her lecture, "Illuminating the Shadows: The Space Between Fact and Fiction," Skibsrud will discuss the craft of writing through her own experience completing The Sentimentalists. She will delve into issues that writers may face in terms of inspiration and exploration as they walk the hazy line between fact and fiction.

Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Skibsrud received a master's in English and creative writing from Concordia University in Montreal, and a doctorate in English literature from Université de Montréal. In addition to The Sentimentalists, Skibsrud is author of two collections of poetry: Late Nights with Wild Cowboys (2008) and I Do Not Think I Could Love a Human Being (2010). Her most recent work, This Will Be Difficult to Explain (2011), a collection of short stories, was short-listed for the 2011 Atlantic Poetry Prize.

Skibsrud is currently pursuing postdoctoral research on contemporary American poetry at the University of Arizona. She will join the faculty there as an assistant professor in 2014. In the meantime, Skibsrud is working on her second novel and a collection of critical essays.

ADMISSION: The talk is free and open to the public.

SPONSOR: River Campus Libraries with support from the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Endowed Fund.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 585.275.4461 or visit