A.F. Moritz headshot

A.F. Moritz / Image via VIU

Acclaimed poet A.F. Moritz is the 2021–2022 Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet at VIU.

Moritz has written over 20 books of poetry, most recently As Far As You Know (2020). He has won many awards including the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Guggenheim Fellowship, and was nominated three times for the Governor General’s Award. He is currently serving as the Poet Laureate for the City of Toronto (2019–2023).

His Gustafson Lecture, “Poetry: Future Present of the Past,” will examine what writers choose to let live on the page.

Moritz writes, “For all my love of writing, reading, books, printed pages, I insist that poetry is in its sound … Then what is the role of the preserved poem, the written poem, the poem perhaps written while it is being sung, bit by bit?”

The Lecture will take place on Thursday, March 3, at 7 pm at the Ralph Gustafson Lecture Theatre in the Arts and Sciences Building (building 355, room 203) on the Nanaimo campus.

There will also be a Reading and Q&A on Wednesday, March 2, at 4 pm at the Innovation Room in the Windsor Plywood Trades Discovery Centre (building 108, room 105).

Masks and proof of vaccination are required. There is a capacity limit of 30 for the Reading and 50 for the Lecture. The events are open to the public and will also be live streamed.

To register for the livestream, visit the Gustafson Trust homepage. To put your name down as an attendee for one or both events, email Sonnet.lAbbe@viu.ca.

The Ralph and Betty Gustafson Trust was established in 1998 from the estate of late Canadian poet Ralph Gustafson (1909–1995). It funds events at Vancouver Island University, including the Gustafson Lecture, which support and advance Canadian poetry.


Sophia Wasylinko is a third-year Creative Writing and Journalism student. She was the Entertainment Reporter for CHLY 101.7FM in winter 2020. Her favorite things in life are cats, the color purple, coffee, and books (mysteries or books about ghosts, murder, and crime in general). Sophia is excited to be back in Nanaimo and hopes to explore more of Vancouver Island this year.

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