Rishma Dunlop was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada in 2012. Election to the Society, established in 1882, is the highest honour available to scholars in the arts, humanities and sciences in Canada.
For Dunlop, it was just the latest feather in the cap of a poet, playwright, essayist, fiction writer and interdisciplinary scholar whose research in literary studies is recognized internationally.
Her honours include the Emily Dickinson Prize for Poetry and the Canada-Fullbright Chair in Creative Writing.
She is also the founding editor of the international poetry journal, Studio.
Her own narrative in Canada began in 1958 when her father was invited to work in the National Research Council in Ottawa. Dunlop, then barely two, absorbed the international flavours in the community of scientists and engineers. She recalls a cartoon in a local newspaper showing a bearded man on a ski hill, the accompanying article describing new Canadians – describing her family.
She tells newcomers to maintain their roots, but seek the larger community.
“Mix with the vast diaspora. Jump into the national identity.”