Ron Marken (1987)

markenAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Saskatchewan, English.

Citation: Before retiring from the University of Saskatchewan’s English Department, Ron established, throughout the academic community and the province, a reputation for teaching excellence. His specialist fields of teaching and published research include Modern Irish Literature, Poetics, and Modern British Poetry and Drama. He has presented at Irish Studies conferences from Sydney to Belfast, Vancouver to West Germany, and served as President of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies and Editor of The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. A theatre and book reviewer for the CBC, he is also a published playwright and poet. His plays have been performed professionally and broadcast on radio. As well, he frequently hosted educational radio and television programs. He offered a course in creative writing at Prince Albert Penitentiary that inspired Don’t Steal This Book, the published writings of his incarcerated students. In the 1980s, before internet, he developed a live, interactive, televised, credit class in freshman English. The course reached all corners of Saskatchewan, to students unable to study on campuses, due to anxiety, isolation, illness, or poverty. His contributions to adult education include non-credit literature courses for seniors, creative writing courses for seniors, and effective writing workshops for Saskatchewan’s crown corporations.

His belief in the power of language to transform life has been witnessed by students on- and off-campus, by his students in the local penitentiary, and by colleagues around the province. As a recipient of the campus Master Teacher Award and awards for distance education, he is often a featured speaker at workshops for colleagues. Since his retirement in 2006, Ron has worked tirelessly for the 3M Fellowship programs, serving as Fellowship Coordinator for three years.

His motto, borrowed from his favourite poet, W. B. Yeats: “All the most valuable things are useless.”

3M Speaker
Topic: Business and Corporate writing

Presentation Topic/s: (In French or English)

  • I have almost 30 years experience giving one- to three-day workshops on effective business writing to public and private corporations, to schools of business, and to local and provincial governments.
  • On another hand, I would love to speak about twentieth-century Irish literature, especially poetry or history. I have evolved a couple of effective strategies for teaching poetry and poetics.