2023 Writers-in-Residence:

Matthew Hollett (April 16 to May 26, 2023)

Matthew Hollett is a writer and photographer in St. John’s, Newfoundland (Ktaqmkuk). His work explores landscape and memory through photography, writing and walking. Album Rock (Boulder Books, 2018), his first book, is a work of creative nonfiction and poetry investigating a curious photograph taken in Newfoundland in the 1850s. He won the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize for “Tickling the Scar,” a poem about walking the Lachine Canal during the early days of the pandemic. His poetry collection Optic Nerve is forthcoming from Brick Books in 2023.


Paul Elter (May 28 to June 23, 2023)

Paul Elter and his partner lived in remote cabins in the Yukon and raised three children with few modern conveniences. His work focuses on belonging and place, personal storytelling, travel, struggle and displacement, the outsider and what living in the space between historical past and contemporary present can mean. Elter currently lives in Chelsea, Quebec, and is a photographer at the National Gallery of Canada.  He was the winner of Yukon’s Advanced Artist Award in 2000. Most recent writings include Royal Photographic Society’s “Travel & the Mobile Darkroom, Silver, Salt & the Arctic Ocean” (2020) and “One and Many: Wet-Collodion and Woodburytype” (2021); and a recent lecture for the Colour Fever Symposium at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England, “Maxwell’s Disapointment- Sutton’s Accident” (2021).


Elena Johnson (June 25 to July 21, 2023)

Elena Johnson is the author of Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra (Gaspereau, 2015), a collection of poems written at a remote ecology research station in the Yukon. She is one of the editors of Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House, 2021), and has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards and the Alfred G. Bailey Prize. Her poetry has also been set to music and performed by choirs in Vancouver and Brooklyn. Originally from New Brunswick, she currently lives on unceded Coast Salish territory in Vancouver, where she works as an editor and writing mentor. The French translation of her book, Notes de terrain pour la toundra alpine (tr. Luba Markovskaia), was published in 2021 and won the John Glassco Prize.

Elena Johnson Bicycle Photo

Elyse Friedman (July 30 to August 11, 2023)

Elyse Friedman is the author of four novels, a book of short stories, and a book of poems. Her work has been shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award, the Toronto Book Award, the ReLit Award, and the Tom Hendry Award. Her short story The Soother won the gold National Magazine Award for fiction, and she has twice won the TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award. Her most recent book is The Opportunist.



Armand Ruffo (August 13 to September 2, 2023)

Armand Garnet Ruffo is a major contributor to contemporary Indigenous literature and scholarship in Canada. As a poet and writer, he has published extensively, garnering multiple awards, including the 2020 Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize, the 2010 Best Picture Award at the American Indian Film Festival for the feature film A Windigo Tale, and was finalist for Governor General’s Literary Prizes in 2015 and 2019. His latest project is Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow, a musical drama based on the life of the renowned WWI sniper. He is currently National Scholar in Indigenous Literature at Queen’s University in Kingston. Armand was born and raised in the remote town of Chapleau in northern Ontario, and is a band member of the Chapleau Fox Lake Cree First Nation with familial and historical roots to the Sagamok Ojibwe First Nation.


Liam Burke and Manahil Bandukwala (September 3 to September 21, 2023)

Liam Burke and Manahil Bandukwala are the authors of the chapbook Orbital Cultivation (Collusion Books, 2021), which also appeared as a video game of the same name. Their poem “Can we locate souls in space? The pairing problem, solved” was shortlisted for The Puritan’s 2022 Austin Clarke Poetry Prize. Burke is also the co-author of the chapbook machine dreams (Collusion Books, 2021, co-authored with natalie hanna), which was shortlisted for the 2022 bpNichol Chapbook Award. Bandukwala is the author of MONUMENT (Brick Books, 2022), and is co-lead of Reth aur Reghistan, a multidisciplinary project exploring folklore from Pakistan.

Burke & Band

Kirsteen MacLeod (September 24 to October 21, 2023)

Kirsteen MacLeod writes and teaches yoga in Ka’tarohkwi-Kingston, Ontario. She is working on her first poetry collection, was a finalist for the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize and Arc Poetry's 2020 Poem of the Year, and is the author of two books, including the award-winning In Praise of Retreat (ECW Press, 2021). Kirsteen divides her time between her lakeside city, and a riverside cabin in the north woods.


Headshot K MacLeod

2023 Open House to be held in September. Dates to be announced.

2022 Writers-in-Residence:

[In light of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by federal and provincial governments, and to eliminate risk for writers-in-residence, the attending volunteers and the local community, the Al Purdy A-frame residency program was suspended in spring 2020. Limited residencies resumed in August 2020. All 2020 writers had residencies rescheduled in 2021 and 2022. In order to accommodate this rescheduling, no Call for Applications was conducted in 2020. A Call went out in April 2021 for July 2022 to June 2023. As of early 2022, a full season of residencies is planned. 

Daniel Lockhart (April 23 to May 20, 2022)

D.A. Lockhart is the author Devil in the Woods (Brick Books, 2019) and Breaking Right (Porcupine's Quill, 2020). His work has appeared widely throughout Turtle Island, including Best Canadian Poetry 2019, the Malahat Review, Grain, CV2, TriQuarterly, The Fiddlehead, and Belt. He is pùkuwànkoamimëns of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation. Lockhart currently resides at Waawiiyaatanong, where he is the publisher at Urban Farmhouse Press.


Hannah Rahimi (May 22 to June 10, 2022)

Hannah Rahimi lives in Montreal. Her short fiction has been published in Cosmonaut's Avenue, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, New England Review and Carve. She has been a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the New England Review Award for Emerging Writers.


Hannah Rahimi, 2020 Al Purdy A-frame Writer-in-Residence

Charmaine Cadeau (June12 to July 1, 2022)

Charmaine Cadeau has published two collections of poetry, What You Used To Wear and Placeholder. Her second collection won the Brockman-Campbell Award and the Re-Lit Award. Her artist's book, Skytale, is available through JackPine Press. She lives and teaches in North Carolina, where she codirects the Community Writing Center and edits Apogee Magazine.
Al Purdy Writer-in-Residence Charmaine Cadeau

John Barton (July 3 to August 5, 2022)

John Barton’s twenty-six books, chapbooks, and anthologies include The Malahat at Fifty: Canada's Iconic Literary Journal (2017), Polari (2014), For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems (2012), and Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets (2007).  Since 1980, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies on four continents have published his poems, essays, and reviews. A three-time recipient of the Archibald Lampman Award, he’s also won an Ottawa Book Award, a CBC Literary Award, and a National Magazine Award. Between 1989 and 2018, John edited Arc Poetry MagazineVernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada, and The Malahat Review. We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos, his first book of prose with Palimpsest Press, and The Essential Douglas LePan, with Porcupine's Quill, were published in the spring of 2019. Signal Editions will publish his twelfth collection of poems, Lost Family, a book of sonnets, in 2020.

(Photo credit: John Preston)

John Barton, 2020 Al Purdy Writer-in-Residence

Ariel Gordon (August 14 to 26, 2022)

Ariel Gordon (she/her) is a Winnipeg/Treaty 1 territory-based writer, editor, and enthusiast. She is the author of two collections of urban-nature poetry, both of which won the Lansdowne Prize for Poetry – Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019), and TreeTalk (At Bay Press, 2020), a public poetry project where Ariel hangs poems in trees and asks passersby to add their thoughts, ideas, and secrets.

Ariel Gordon photo credit Mike Deal

Tanis MacDonald (August 14 to 26, 2022)

Tanis MacDonald is the author of seven books, the latest being Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female (Wolsak and Wynn, 2022).  Her last book of poetry, Mobile (Book*hug Press, 2019) was longlisted for the Toronto Book Award in 2020. Originally from the prairies, she has made her home in southwestern Ontario for the past 15 years, on traditional territories of the Anishnaabe and Haudenosauneee peoples. She hosts the podcast Watershed Writers and is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.


Ronna Bloom (August 28 to September 23, 2022)

Ronna Bloom is the author of six poetry collections. Her most recent book, The More (Pedlar Press, 2017), was longlisted for the City of Toronto Book Award. She has collaborated with filmmakers, architects, choreographers, and conservationists, and has had work exhibited in Canada, the UK, and Italy. Ronna is currently Poet in Community to the University of Toronto and developed the Poet in Residence program at Sinai Health. Her chapbook, Who is your mercy contact? will be published by Espresso-chapbooks in Spring 2022.

Ronna Bloom 2020

H.E. Casson (October 9 to October 23, 2022)

H.E. Casson (they/them) is a Toronto area poet, short fiction writer, and voice actor. Their works are often speculative, and themes include gender, sexuality, homelessness, disability, family, and the structures and playfulness of language. Casson is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee and their performance in Moonbase Theta, Out as Moddy Sarah was an Audio Verse Award finalist. They can be found at hecasson.com and as @hecasson on Twitter.




(Photo by Riley Jay)

Helen Guri