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Armand Garnet Ruffo


“My research and writing intersect creatively with my Ojibwe culture. I recently completed co-editing a new edition of The Oxford Anthology of Indigenous Literature, and a few years ago co-edited An Anthology of Indigenous Literary Criticism in Canada. I also published a wide-ranging book of poetry called Treaty #. Because I work in both scholarly and creative fields I strive to bring both of these elements into the classroom, particularly as it relates to teaching creative writing. I believe that students who combine critical thinking with creative writing are much more likely to write meaningfully. The emphasis on research is therefore central to my work as both a writer and teacher. For example, I wrote a libretto for a musical called Sounding Thunder: the Song of Francis Pegahmagabow, which is based on the real life experiences of an acclaimed Ojibwe WW I sniper. Previously, I published Grey Owl: the Mystery of Archie Belaney and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (shortlisted for a GG), both creative, non-fiction biographies. Distinct genres are being challenged these days, and this allows for exploration, experimentation and even an element of play. Whatever the genre, it seems to me that the one criterion that still holds true is to tell your story well, whatever that may entail, and to this end writers have to be fully committed to their work. This is the kind of inquiry that I enjoy bringing into the classroom.”

Research Interests

Indigenous cultures and literatures, Indigenous literary nationalism, transnationalism, and carceral writing, representation, genre studies, creative writing

Selected Publications


Wolsak & Wynn

Treaty # was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry. Winner of the 2020 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize.

  • Coalesce. Co-author with visual artist Barry Ace. Wilfred Laurier Press (2021).
  • An Anthology of Indigenous Literature in Canada, Co-editor, OUP (2020).
  • “Kebsquasheshing,” “Environment” in Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to Climate Change. Coach House Books (2020).
  • “Pink Mints” in Best Canadian Poetry, Tightrope Books, 2020.
  • Making an Indigenous Movie: How to Carry An Elephant Up A Mountain.” Performing Turtle Island: Indigenous Theatre On The World Stage. University of Regina Press (2019).
  • On The Day the World Begins Again, short film (2019).
  • Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow, libretto (2018).
  • “Wallace Steven’s Memory,” Granta: Canada Issue (2017).
  • “The Tap Is Dripping Memory” in The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English, 10th Anniversary Issue (2017).
  • “The Awakening” in Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection Volume 2, AHC (2017).
Awards and Recognition
Latner Writers’ Trust of Canada Poetry Prize, Writers’ Trust of Canada (2020).
Queen’s Teaching Award, Queen’s University (2020).
The Pavlick Prize for Poetry, runner-up, The League of Canadian Poets (2020).
Raymond Souster Poetry Award, nominated for Treaty #, The League of Canadian Poets (2020).
The Governor General’s Literary Awards, finalist for Treaty #, poetry (2019).
Insight Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2018)
Creator Award, Inaugural Mayor's Arts Awards, City of Kingston (2017)
REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, The Hnatyshyn Foundation, (2017)
Honourary Life Member Award, The National Council of the League of Canadian Poets (2016).
The Governor General’s Literary Awards, finalist for Norval Morrisseau Man Changing Into Thunderbird (2015)
Best Film Award, The American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, USA (2010)
Best Feature Film, The Dreamspeaker’s International Film Festival, Edmonton (2010).
Creative writing description
  • Indigenous cultures and literatures,
  • Indigenous literary nationalism,
  • transnationalism
  • carceral writing,
  • representation,
  • genre studies,
  • creative writing

Teaching in 2021-22:


Department of English, Queen's University

Watson Hall
49 Bader Lane
Kingston ON K7L 3N6

Telephone (613) 533-2153



Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.