Meet Professor Robyn Read

Photo: David West Read

Photo: David West Read

Robyn Read joined Sheridan College this past January as a Professor of Writing and Publishing. She’s returning home to Ontario after living in Alberta for almost a decade. She completed her PhD in English at the University of Calgary in 2010, where she taught courses in Creative Writing, The City in Canadian Fiction, and Canadian Dystopic Fiction. Robyn was the Acquiring Editor for Freehand Books, the Calgary literary imprint of Broadview Press, from 2009–2011, where books that she acquired and edited won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, Alberta Trade Fiction Book of the Year, McNally Robinson Book of the Year, the CBC Bookie for Best Comic or Graphic Novel, and were nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Robyn was the Managing Editor of the Banff Centre Press from 2012-2014; while living in the mountains she hiked, curled, and canoed, never learned how to ski, but encountered a grizzly bear once—once was enough. Robyn won the 2013 Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence for editing the memoir Every Wolf’s Howl by Barry Grills. She is a house editor for Page Two, a strategic publishing agency based in Vancouver. She lives in Stouffville with her husband, dog, and far too many books.

Robyn Read takes Alchemy’s Proust Questionnaire:

Most important lesson I learned in kindergarten: You will get chicken pox and miss out on things.

Most important lesson I’ve learned this year: “Effective multi-tasking” is a Millennial myth.

My favourite word: Yes.

My least favourite word: It’s an expression. “It is what it is.”

My favourite quotation, motto, or phrase: Recently—very recently, but I can’t stop thinking about it—it’s Jay-Z: “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.” I might start using it in comma lessons.

The word/phrase/expression I overuse in the classroom: Syntax. Or, more specifically, “Do you know what ‘syntax’ means?”

Talent or skill I wish I had: The ability to sing well and remember song lyrics.

Language I’d love to be able to speak: French. I keep learning it. I’ve even passed examinations on it. But I haven’t quite found a way to retain it.

On my bucket list: Finding a way to retain French, and practicing it in Paris, without too much embarrassment. If that fails, climbing Angel Falls in Venezuela, which actually seems marginally more likely to me.

My guilty TV/film/gaming pleasure: A student once put Plants vs. Zombies on my computer, and it was a problem for a long time. Sometimes I still look at gardens and start to strategize.