Joan MacLeod



Areas of Research & Creative Activity

Stage drama, poetry.


Joan MacLeod (BA, 1978) has nine acclaimed plays behind her, as well as a rich history of mentoring dramatists, poets and every sort of storyteller. As well as having been awarded Canada’s Governor General’s Award in Drama for Amigo’s Blue Guitar (1990), she has received both the Jesse Richardson and Betty Mitchell Awards for The Shape Of A Girl (2001). Little Sister (1994) received the Chalmers’ Canadian Play Award, and was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Her most recent play, The Valley, opened in Toronto in 2013 and her achievements have further been recognized by several grants from the Canada Council and BC Arts Council.
She is the recipient of the $100,000 Siminovitch Prize, the Governor General’s Award, and two Chalmers Canadian Play Awards. All of her plays have been produced extensively. The Shape of a Girl has been touring since its premiere in 2001, first in English and now in French and has been translated into six languages. In 2005 it toured the U.S.A. for six months including a two week run in New York City. Joan also writes poetry, prose and for television.
Joan’s style has been praised for clarity, humor, emotional honesty and a steadfast moral dedication to the empathies that transform us. Her dramas are profoundly rooted in real-life challenges to the human spirit, but always avoid sermons and transcend political viewpoints. She uses current events as a staircase to create universal narratives that search out and celebrate our strangenesses, excesses and redemptions.
She is now back at UVic, where she has been a professor in the Writing department since 2004.

Selected Publications

The Shape of a Girl/Jewel, Published by Talonbooks


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