Priscila Uppal’s books have been short-listed for the Hillary Weston Prize and the Governor General’s Awards. They have garnered rave reviews for the internationally-acclaimed author who has been dubbed Canada’s coolest poet.
Uppal was always writing as a child and always thinking about writing, but it became more of a serious pursuit in her teens, much to the dismay of her “typical South Asian” father. She excelled in academics and he would have rather seen her become a doctor.
“Something stable!” she says with a laugh. “But when I became a tenured professor, he relaxed a little. I’ve been very lucky that I teach creative writing and my books are considered part of my research, my job.”
She tells her students to write about what matters to them the most. She also tells them to study as much as possible, to read great writers, to be inspired by great art and to look at how others have perfected their art.
“I don’t believe in writer’s block. I see it as the inability to decide what matters to you.”