Patricia Keeney

Member Profile

Short Description of Yourself

Literary and theatre critic
Creative writing professor

Writing Focus or Interests

Novels & Poetry & Journalism


Published Works and Recognitions



Who’s Who in Canada (University of Toronto Press (first appearance 1996)

North American Free Trade Agreement Artists Residency Program. A program jointly funded by the Canada Council and the Canadian Department of External Affairs in association with the government of Mexico. Artistic residency in Mexico (1995).

A Conversation with Patricia Keeney. The Arts. National University of Singapore. 2001.

Prix Jean Paris. Best new book of poetry in translation. Societe des Amis de la Poesie, Bergerac, France.

Featured reader and participant at Les Mots Qui Brulent, the 24th International Biennial of Poetry held in Liege Belgium. Poetry published in the biennial edition of le journal des poetes. December, 2005.

Visiting artist and scholar for ABECAN, the Brazilian Association of Canadian Studies. November, 2005 in Salvador and the Amazon region. Keynote speaker at the Congress in Gramado.

Patricia Keeney par Michel Duclos. Major critical article published in Poesie/Premiere. 38 Femmes en Poesie. 2007

Notes on new books by Patricia Keeney. Michel Duclos. Journal des Poetes 2. Paris. 2013
2011, 2013: Critic’s Desk Award for best feature article. Arc Poetry Magazine.

Nathan Cohen Award for Excellence in Theatre Criticism, 2012.

Visiting scholar and artist at Ain Shams University, Cairo. 2013.

Visiting scholar and artist at Charles University, Prague. 2013.

Resident Writer. Ryga Festival. Summerland. B.C. September, 2017.
International Theatre Critics Association
Canadian Theatre Critics Association
CUPE (York University)
YUFA (York University)
Writers’ Union of Canada
League of Canadian Poets
Periodical Writers Association of Canada
Toronto Drama Bench
Writer’s Development Trust


Patricia Keeney is an award-winning poet, novelist, theatre and literary critic. The author of ten books of poetry and two novels and a longtime arts writer and interviewer for many years for Canadian Forum, Scene Changes, Canadian Theatre Review and Canadian Literature, Keeney continues her critical work both nationally and internationally in journals such as Arc and online: Critical Stages and Critically Speaking. Keeney’s poetry has been translated and published in French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Chinese and Hindi while her Selected Poems (Oberon) carries an introduction by the distinguished Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.
She describes her latest poetry volume, Orpheus in Our World (NeoPoiesis) as an exercise in poetic archeology connecting the earliest and rarely translated Greek hymns with a post-modern theatrical dialogue. Her first novel, The Incredible Shrinking Wife (Black Moss), a post-feminist satire of emotional depth and lyric intensity received much attention. Translated into French and Chinese, Wife is also due for re-issue in English in 2020. Keeney’s next novel brings her longstanding theatre knowledge into play. Based on the life of a Ugandan actor with Africa’s most experimental theatre company, Abafumi, One Man Dancing (Inanna) is a story of Africa, and art set on the world stage. Following the high-octane adventures of its hero who becomes a political refugee in Canada after almost being assassinated by Idi Amin, One Man Dancing explores the role of human endurance and artistic risk in making political change. Her novel-in-progress is a feminist satire, a Biblical mystery and a spiritual search involving a modern female academic, a nineteenth century nun and Mary the mother of Jesus who all meet in a time-travelling tale of mystery, adventure and quest.
For many years, Keeney has taught Literature and Creative Writing at Toronto’s York University. An inveterate traveller, she has taught and lectured extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia.

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