Acclaimed Canadian author Alix Ohlin has been appointed the next chair of UBC’s creative writing program, effective January 1, 2018.
Born and raised in Montreal, Ohlin is an internationally renowned writer whose 2012 novel, Inside, was named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon.ca, and iTunes Canada, and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller and Rogers Writers’ Trust prizes. Ohlin has also published two collections of short stories and her first novel, The Missing Person, was published in 2005.
An English professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania since 2004, Ohlin is also a faculty member in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers in North Carolina and has taught writing at the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Most recently, Ohlin taught at McGill University as the Mordecai Richler Writer-in-Residence for 2016-17.
“I am thrilled to welcome Alix to UBC as the next chair of the creative writing program and am confident the program will thrive under her leadership. Ohlin’s international reputation as a novelist and short story writer and her passion for mentoring other writers make her an asset to the program and writing community,“ said Kathryn Harrison, acting dean, faculty of arts at UBC.
In addition to her appointment as chair, Ohlin will also join the program as an associate professor. Ohlin specializes in teaching fiction, screenwriting and environmental writing and has also distinguished herself as a mentor to younger writers.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to join a program with such talented faculty and students. I look forward to working with the entire literary community there and building on the program’s rich history,” said Ohlin.
Ohlin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an English and American Literature and Language degree in 1992 and earned a master’s in fine arts degree in writing from the Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas at Austin in 2001.
Launched in 1965, UBC’s creative writing program is the largest and oldest in Canada with 35 faculty, including part-time instructors, and 5,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses. Over the past half-century, the innovative program has produced a number of award-winning screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, poets and non-fiction writers.
UBC creative writing professor Linda Svendsen will continue as acting chair of the program until Dec. 31, 2017.