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Kate Sterns, MFA, MA

Associate Professor, English

Co-ordinator, Creative Writing Program

Kate Sterns, MFA, MA
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2362
Website(s): View my Bookshelf page


MFA, Creative writing, Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas, Austin (1998).
MA, Writing Seminars, The Johns Hopkins University (1996).                                            
(Honours), English Literature, Queen’s University (1983).
Certificate in Stage Management London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)  London, U.K (1985).

Grants / Research projects

SSHRC. Research-Creation Grant. Spring 2005. A three year award with funding of  $10,490 (2005-2006), $10,488 (2006-2007) and $6,226.00 (2007-2008). Total Amount: $27, 204. Project: Catalogue of the Eden Musée.

FQRSC (formerly FCAR)Programme Établissement de Nouveaux Chercheurs-Créateurs. Spring 2005. A three year award with funding of $4,853 (2005-2006), $5,589 (2006-2007) and $5,589 (2007-2008). Total amount: $16,301. Project:  Catalogue of the Eden Musée.

Research and teaching interests

19th century drama and literature
Anatomical waxworks
Botanical gardens
Medical history
the phonograph

I began my career in theatre, including a brief stint working with a young Robert Lepage in Toronto. While living in England and working on my first novel, Thinking About Magritte, I wrote a radio play for BBC Radio 4, The Bagel Philosopher, which was eventually followed by another, Once in a Blue Moon. At the same time, I worked in the script department at the National Theatre, as well as for the BBC, Channel 4 and Paul Jackson productions (producer of Blackadder, among other shows).


Recently, I have gone back to the form I love best: radio drama, with one play (A Happy State) recently completed and a series of others in the works. My next project will be a radio play centred on the relationship between the 19 th century poet, Arthur Clough and his employer, Florence Nightingale.

Research related web links

Other activities

I have acted as a juror for both the Alberta and Quebec Writers Federation.

Down There By The Train (book cover)
Photo credit: Shaye Areheart Books, Harmony/Random House
Thinking About Magritte (book cover)
Photo credit: HarperCollins, 1992



Down There By The Train, Shaye Areheart Books, Harmony/Random House, United States (December 2003). Bloomsbury (United Kingdom) (March 2001) and Knopf Publishers (Canada) (June 2001).

Thinking About Magritte, Harvill Press (United Kingdom), Pantheon (United States), HarperCollins (Canada), (March 1992).

Article (solicited)

“Come Into the Garden, Maud”, Queen’s Quarterly , Fall 2002 , pp. 411- 430.  This essay examines the way in which religion and science intersected in the creation of the physic (botanical) garden.

Review essays

“Africa and Her Prodigies”, Review of Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (Random House, 2001) and The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (Knopf, 2001)), Queen’s Quarterly,  Spring 2002, pp. 86-93.

“ How Goodness Is”, Review of Unless by Carol Shields (Random House, 2002) , Queen’s Quarterly, Summer 2002, pp. 282-289 --This review essay was selected to appear in Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 193 (CLC-193). Published by the Gale Group, 2004.2) Anthologies

Participation activities

Radio plays

Once in a Blue Moon, BBC Radio 4, England (June 1993)
The Bagel Philosopher, BBC Radio 4 (March 1992)Excerpted on Pick of the Week. Re-broadcast on BBC World Service (June 1993).

Conference papers / readings / talks

The Garden of (The) Eden Musee": Nature Matters Conference, York University, Toronto, Fall, 2007

Panel: “Contemporary British Culture.”  Presented at the Que reste-t-il de Cool Britannia conference, co-sponsored by Cérium (Université de Montréal) and McGill University, Montreal, May 2005. I spoke with British writer Elizabeth Garner and Claire Squires (Oxford Brookes University) on the effect of Tony Blair’s policies on British culture. Ours was the sole panel devoted to the arts in what was a political science conference.


I have given readings of my novels at the Southbank Centre (London, U.K) and, twice, at the Harbourfront Festival in Toronto.

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