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Ruth E. Walker

Photo: Stuart Blower 2012

RUTH E. WALKER, author of the novel LIVING UNDERGROUND (Seraphim Editions, 2012), is also a poet, playwright, editor, and creative writing workshop facilitator who has published in Canada, the US, and the UK. Her award-winning writing has appeared in literary publications, anthologies, and periodicals including Prairie FireGeistContemporary Verse 2River King Poetry Supplement (US), Rain Dog (UK), Chapman (Scotland), Canadian Children’s LiteratureCanadian Architecture and DesignCanadian LivingThe Toronto Sun, and New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, as well as in online publications. She twice won the Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Contest, was a semi-finalist in the Chapters/ Robertson Davies First Novel Competition, placed 3rd in the 2007 Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award competition, was longlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize, and nominated for a National Magazine Award.

Ruth is a graduate of Trent University with a certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers, and a professional writer and editor for the Ontario government. She is also: a founding editor and publisher of the literary journalLICHEN Arts & Letters Preview (1998-2007); a past president and long-time member ofThe Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR); a long-serving volunteer on various non-profit arts initiatives; and a creative writing workshop facilitator through Writescape. In 2007, Ruth was named one of four artists in residence at Durham Alternative Secondary School, through an Ontario Arts Council-funded pilot project.

A resident of Whitby, Ontario, she continues to teach and to write.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Living Underground. Seraphim Editions, 2012
Inspiration Station (co-authored with Gwynn Scheltema). Piquant Press, 2010
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

I love working with high school and intermediate students, chatting about the writing life, discussing ways of tapping into creativity and exploring forms of creative expression that involve words. The workshops, visits and readings are tailored by consulting with the teacher and designed to suit the students' needs and interests. Integrating arts into the curriculum has brought me into applied math, geography, workplace English and art classrooms.

I work at a variey of levels with the following experience:

  • artist in residence with the Durham District School Board, working primarily with at-risk students at an alternative high school (2008 to 2011)
  • facilitator for a series of creative writing workshops at the board's Integrated Arts Camp in Haliburton as part of a 10-day overnight camp (2008 to present)
  • visiting author/poet in various schools' writers' craft classes and history classes (some of my work is inspired by historical events: Canada's fur trade, WWI and WWII and the Holocaust)

I quit high school in Grade 11 and only discovered my writing voice when I was nearly 40 and working on my BA. I tell students that I do these visits because when I was their age, no writers ever came to our school to talk about the profession.

I make my living as a writer (senior writer/editor for the Ontario gov't part time, plus freelance, and I teach creative writing workshops with adults) so it is valualbe for students to see writing is not all sitting in a garret writing by candlelight.

I encourage full expression and exploration in a safe and encouraging space. 

Presentation Length:
Various; depending on classroom needs
Fiction and Poetry
7 to 12
Audience size:
Classroom or combined classrooms
Northern OAC WITS:
One session:
GST not applicable