Alix Ohlin named new chair of creative writing program

Alix Ohlin was named the new chair of UBC's creative writing program after Galloway's firing in June 2016. She took over from interim co-chair Linda Svendsen, who declined to be considered for the position, officially on January 1, 2018.

Alix Ohlin, Canadian author and professor, has been named incoming chair of UBC’s creative writing program. On January 1, 2018, she will take over from interim co-chair and creative writing professor Linda Svendsen, who declined to be considered for the position.

This new appointment concludes a formal interview process that took place in March of this year, and that permanently fills the spot left vacant since Steven Galloway’s firing in June of 2016.

Born in Montreal, Ohlin holds an English and American literature and language degree from Harvard and a master’s degree from the Michener Center for Writers at University of Texas.

Ohlin is currently an English professor at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, a position that she has held since 2004. She has also taught creative writing with other schools and programs throughout her career, and has written several novels and collections of short stories. Her most recent book, titled Inside and published in 2012, was named best book of the year by Amazon and was nominated for both the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

According to a press release from UBC, Ohlin will also join UBC’s faculty as an associate professor in creative writing.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to join a program with such talented faculty and students. I look forward to working with the entire literary community there and building on the program’s rich history,” said Ohlin, as quoted in the press release.

Galloway is currently undergoing an arbitration process to appeal his termination from UBC with the Faculty Association. Both UBC and the Faculty Association have declined to comment on this matter.