Page 27

dee hobsbawn-smith is a student in the MFA in Writing program in the College of Arts & Science. Her creative thesis, a novel excerpted here, is titled The Dryland Diaries. HobsbawnSmith was the first student in creative writing to be awarded a Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity scholarship. The $10,000 award will support her research for the novel, which explores a Hutterite family in the dryland farms of central Saskatchewan. The Dryland Diaries examines familial love and obligation, loss and belonging, and the long-term effects of a tragedy stemming from the Hutterite practice of pacifism during WWI. The novel follows several generations of prairie women over a timespan that includes the Great War, the Dirty Thirties, World War II and the Great Flood of 2011. The Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship program, launched by the Provincial Government in 2011, awards scholarships to postsecondary students based upon innovation and excellence. Hobsbawn-Smith will be researching water and drought conditions on the prairies during the period in which her novel is set. Getting this scholarship—one mainly awarded to scientific research—was “longer than long shot,” said Hobsbawn-Smith. “I applied for the scholarship, really, as a voice for fiction writers— and the MFA’s writers in particular—who rely on research to give their fiction bones and breadth… Research matters to fiction writers just as surely as it does to scientists.” Hobsbawn-Smith’s award-winning journalism, poetry, essays and fiction have been published across Canada and the United States and have aired on the CBC. After attending culinary school, she earned her Red Seal designation as a chef in 1986. She was chef and co-owner of one of Calgary’s first restaurants to utilize locally-sourced ingredients and translated her food knowledge into a writing career that included eight years as the Calgary Herald’s food columnist, The Curious Cook. She has written three best-selling cookbooks. Her recent book, Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet (TouchWood Editions, 2012) won the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards “Best Food Literature” Award (Canada, English-language) and the High Plains Book Award for Best Culinary Book. Dave Stobbe

fall 2013


Profile for Arts & Science UofS

Arts&Science Fall 2013  

Arts&Science Fall 2013