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Distinguished Visiting Writer

Invitations for the Distinguished Visiting Writer are extended by the Steering Committee. The amount of the award varies depending upon the length of stay, which may be from a few days to several weeks. The Distinguished Visiting Writer contributes to the program in a variety of ways, including free public talks, readings, or participation in symposia or workshops.

Since its inception in 1993, the program has brought to Calgary two Nobel Laureates, Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka, and such literary luminaries as Zadie Smith, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Art Spiegelman, Oliver Sacks, Timothy Findley, Margaret MacMillan, Thomas King, Ursula K. Le Guin, Alberto Manguel, and Michael Ondaatje, among others.

The CDWP's 2016-2017 Distinguished Visiting Writer will be Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.  

The Calgary Distinguished Writers Program is delighted to present An Evening with Michael Chabon, Thursday, February 16, 2016. 

MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary - 7:30 p.m. This event is now sold out. We shall have a rush line at the event, as well as a wait list for any tickets that become available. Register here to get your name on our wait list for tickets.

Michael Chabon’s novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, is a hardboiled detective novel set in an alternate world where Israel failed to be born and millions of European Jewish refugees took shelter in Alaska, creating a miniature American Yiddishland. It became a New York Times bestseller immediately upon publication and was nominated for an Edgar Award; it also won the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2008. In November 2007, his short swashbuckling adventure novel, Gentlemen of the Road, serialized in fifteen chapters in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, was published by Del Rey. Michael Chabon’s collection of essays entitled Maps & Legends was published by McSweeney’s in March 2008. His latest collection of essays is entitled Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures & Regrets of a Husband, Father & Son (October 2009). His first children’s book, entitled The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man, illustrated by Jake Parker, was published in September 2011, followed by Telegraph Avenue (2012). In January 2015 Michael Chabon collaborated with acclaimed music producer Mark Ronson as lyricist for Ronson’s album titled Uptown Special. He is currently working with Ayelet Waldman on a book of essays about 50 years of Israeli occupation in Palestine to be released in 2017. 

His most recent novel Moonglow (HarperCollins, November 2016) is a National Book Prize finalist from the National Book Critics Circle.

 Michael Chabon has lectured widely on topics including the art and craft of writing, the tradition of Jewish fiction, and Vladimir Nabokov, to name but a very few. He has appeared before audiences all over the United States and in Russia, Finland, Lithuania, Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany and Canada. He has spoken to the creative teams at Pixar Animation Studios about fantasy and childhood, to the employees of Industrial Light and Magic about the art of storytelling, and to many different literary, Jewish, and corporate organizations about a wide variety of topics.

 He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.