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Betsy Warland

Betsy Warland is the author of a dozen books of poetry, creative nonfiction, and lyric prose. She is most widely known for her best-selling collection of essays, Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing. Her most recent book, Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas, was one of two books chosen to launch the Caitlin Press imprint Dagger Editions, dedicated to books about and by queer women. Reviews in the U.S., Germany, Iceland, and Canada called it “an achievement,” “a roman à clef,” “truly luminous,” and a “tour de force.”

Born in Iowa, Warland immigrated to Canada in 1972 and became an important figure in the feminist writing scene in Toronto, Saskatoon, and Vancouver, founding writers’ collectives and organizing numerous conferences and events.

In her more than 30 years as a creative writing teacher, editor, and manuscript consultant, Warland has been dedicated to emerging and marginalized writers. She designed the Writer’s Studio program at Simon Fraser University in 2001 and served as its director until 2012. During that time, she initiated the annual Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree at the Carnegie Centre, which spawned the ongoing and highly successful Thursdays Writing Collective.

Between 2012 and 2017 Warland curated a new online publishing template called Oscar’s Salon, which featured excerpts from Oscar of Between combined with the work of guest writers, artists, and composers, as well as readers’ comments.

Warland is the director of the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive program, which she founded in 2007, and has led workshops in the UK at the Poetry School (London), the Poetry Library (London), and the Arvon Foundation (Devon) and in Canada at Sage Hill, Booming Ground (UBC), the Metchosin International School of the Arts, and Simon Fraser University, among others. Her focus on and support of writers of different cultures, races, countries of origin, educations, genders, and sexual identities has opened doors for numerous award-winning authors.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas. Caitlin Press, 2016
Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing. Cormorant Books, 2010
Only This Blue: A Long Poem with an Essay. Mercury Press, 2005
Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss. Second Story Press, 2000
What Holds Us Here. Buschek Books, 1998
Two Women in a Birth (with Daphne Marlatt). Guernica Editions, 1994
The Bat Had Blue Eyes. Women’s Press, 1993
InVersions: Writing by Dykes, Queers and Lesbians (editor). Press Gang, 1991
Telling It: Women and Language across Cultures (co-editor). Press Gang, 1990
Proper Deafinitions: Collected Theorograms. Press Gang, 1990
serpent (w)rite: (a reader’s gloss). Coach House, 1987
Double Negative (with Daphne Marlatt). gynergy books/Ragweed Press, 1986
open is broken. Longspoon Press, 1984
A Gathering Instinct. Williams-Wallace, 1981


The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts, 2016
The Pandora’s Literary Festival BC Writer Mentor Award, 2011
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Northern OAC WITS:
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