Celebrated Poet and Scotiabank Giller Prize Winning Author

Ian Williams profile picture

The City of Brampton has named Canadian poet and author Ian Williams as the 2021 inductee into the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame. The induction ceremony and celebration of Williams’ work took place on October 5, 2021 in a live virtual broadcast event from The Rose, in collaboration with the Festival of Literary Diversity (The FOLD).

Williams is the author of six books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. His debut novel Reproduction won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2019. Part of the novel takes place in Brampton, where Williams grew up and attended Sir John A. MacDonald Senior Public School and Mayfield Secondary School.

The author was inducted in an intimate ceremony hosted by Jael Richardson, Artistic Director of The Festival of Literary Diversity. Ian spoke of his literary journey, shared knowledge and advice for aspiring writers and revelled in the nostalgia of his Brampton youth and beginnings.

“I felt like I’ve belonged to Brampton for a long time. But the sense of being integrated into the fabric of a place; like I am me because of this place, and this place is also Brampton because of me too. We’ve found a kind of symbiosis. The symbol of being part of the streets of Brampton is special.”

Williams treated audiences to a live reading of his newest book Disorientation. They were also touched to hear the kind words from his mentors and friends including middle school teacher, Peter Lucic, his editor, Anne Collins, and Canadian literary powerhouse, and William’s childhood inspiration, Margaret Atwood.

- The Caribbean Camera, October 7, 2021

The celebration also featured remarks from Todd Kyle, CEO of the Brampton Library, Rashmi Swarup, Director of Education, Peel District School Board, and the induction award presentation by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.​​

Full Length Recording of Virtual Broadcast

Ian Williams is the author of six books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. His latest book, Disorientation, considers the impact of racial encounters on ordinary people.

His novel, Reproduction, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was published in Canada, the US, the UK, and Italy. His poetry collection, Word Problems, converts the ethical and political issues of our time into math and grammar problems. It won the Raymond Souster Award. His previous collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. He is a trustee for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Williams completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. After several years teaching poetry in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, Williams returned to the University of Toronto as a tenured professor of English. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program. In 2022, he will be the Visiting Fellow at the American Library in Paris.