“We are absolutely delighted that Nino has come to Western to become the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity,” says Michael Milde, Dean of Western’s Faculty of Arts & Humanities. “The creation of this Chair was made possible through the generous support of many Western alumni and friends, who wished to recognize and honour the creative accomplishments and achievements of Western alumna and former writer-in-residence Alice Munro. With that living legend and legacy in mind, we were looking for a major artist to fill this chair, and Nino is definitely an outstanding literary talent.”
As the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity, Ricci will deliver a talk as part of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH) Speakers’ Series on Tuesday, October 2 at 4:30 p.m. in Western’s Conron Hall. Ricci will also present the Inaugural Alice Munro Lecture in Creativity, which is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at the Wolf Performance Hall, in conjunction with the London Public Library.
Some of his other duties include teaching a course for Western’s Department of English and Writing Studies called “The Creative Moment,” which is open to all Western students and explores some of the factors that promote creativity, and an upper-year course called “Advanced Fiction Workshop,” which is directed at students interested in writing a novel or a collection of linked short stories, with a focus on the crucial early stages of the writing process.
“I’m thrilled to be part of Western, which I have always thought of as the Athens of southwestern Ontario, and particularly thrilled to be holding a chair named for Alice Munro, who has been both a great inspiration and a great influence,” says Ricci. “For me what the Chair in Creativity signals is Western’s recognition of the crucial role the creative arts can play in helping foster creative thinking across the entire range of university disciplines.”
Ricci’s first novel was the internationally acclaimed Lives of the Saints. It spent 75 weeks on the Globe and Mail‘s bestseller list and was the winner of the F.G. Bressani Prize, Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Published in 17 countries, Lives of the Saints was the first volume of a trilogy that was later adapted for television as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren and Kris Kristofferson.
His other books include Testament, The Origin of Species, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his most recent novel, Sleep, which was published in 2015. Ricci has served as writer-in-residence for the Toronto and Kitchener public library systems and for the University of Windsor and the University of Toronto Scarborough. He has held the Mariano Elia Chair at York University, the Chair in Religion and the Arts at Assumption University, the G. M. Hopkins Chair in Literary Studies at John Carroll University, the Killam Visiting Professorship in Canadian Studies at Bridgewater University and the Pathy Visiting Professorship in Canadian Studies at Princeton.
A recipient of the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement, Ricci is also a recipient of York University’s Pinnacle Achievement Award, the Engel/Findley Award for a Writer in Mid-Career, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. Ricci is also past president of PEN Canada.
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