Biography: Doyali Islam
Doyali Islam’s second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019), which the poet considers to be a “ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk.” Doyali has been interviewed by Shelagh Rogers for CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter ; by Anne Michaels for CV2; and by Michael Enright for CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition. The poetry editor for Arc and the winner of PoetryNOW’s 11th Battle of the Bards, she lives in Toronto. www.doyali-islam.com
Biography: Joshua Whitehead
Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-nehiyâw, Two-Spirit member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). Currently, he is an ABD doctoral student at the University of Calgary (Treaty 7) where he focuses on gender, sexuality, and orality in Indigenous Literatures. He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephen G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp 2018) which was long listed for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the winner of a Lambda Award for Gay Fiction.
Biography: Monique Gray Smith
Monique Gray Smith is a brilliant author whose works, written for children and young adults, explore the experiences of indigenous people in Canada. These explorations include a collection of stories from survivors of residential schools and a novel about a young woman coming face-to-face with her indigenous ancestry and learning about her heritage and culture.
Biography: Bernadette Wagner
Bernadette Wagner is an award-winning multi-genre author and community-builder who has edited more than 25 chapbooks, twobooks, two magazines, some newsletters and websites. She loves to sing and garden, cook and preserve, teach and learn, as well as play with words and language. With almost 30 years’ experience writing, she is the author of nine poetry chapbooks, four broadsheets, several essays, and two poetry collections: This hot place (Thistledown, 2010), shortlisted for the Saskatchewan FirstBook Award, and The Dry Valley (Radiant, 2019), her second collection. She has served on dozens of community-based boards of directors, most recently three years as Literary Co-ordinator followed by two years as Chair of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival. A lifelong volunteer, Bernadette received the 2018 Hyland Volunteer Award for outstanding leadership in the Saskatchewan writing community. She lives and writes in Regina.
Biography: Kyo Maclear
KYO MACLEAR is a novelist, essayist and children’s author. She was born in London, England, and moved to Toronto at the age of four. Kyo holds an Honors B.A. in Fine Art and Art History and an M.A. in Cultural Studies from the University of Toronto, and is currently a doctoral student at York University, where she holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. She is the author of two acclaimed novels for adults, The Letter Opener and Stray Love, and numerous beloved books for children, including Julia, Childand The Good Little Book. Her essays and art criticism have been widely published and anthologized in North America, Europe and Asia/Australia. Kyo lives in Toronto, where she shares a home with two sons, two cats, a musician and a truckload of books.
Biography: Katherine Koller
Katherine Koller writes for stage, screen, radio and page. Her first plays, for CBC radio, are
Cowboy Boots and a Corsage and Magpie. Her trilogy of Alberta Landworks plays includes Last
Chance Leduc, The Seed Savers and Coal Valley and her collection of plays is Voices of the
Land: The Seed Savers and Other Plays (AU Press). Her six-part web documentary, Sustainable
Me, features Edmonton youth changing their world (sustainablemeyeg.ca). Art Lessons (Enfield
& Wizenty), her debut novel, was a finalist for both the Edmonton Book Prize and the Alberta
Readers’ Choice Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Grain, Epiphany, Alberta Views,
Prairie Journal and Room, and her collection of short stories about second chances is Winning
Chance (Enfield & Wizenty). She has written dance and ballet story libretti, including Murder at
the Strand, Damsels of the Night, Ariadne’s Gate, Heart of Darkness and Cave Beat, and
excerpts from her opera, The Handless Maiden, played the Vancouver Opera Spring Festival and
#IndieOperaWeek in Vancouver. Her new radio play, Hope Soup, part of the 2019 Edmonton
Fringe Festival, will be podcasted at Edmonton Script Salon. Katherine recently served as
Writer-in-Residence for Canadian Authors Association-Alberta and Spotlight Author for
Edmonton Public Library. She teaches at the University of Alberta, where her favorite subject is
Aboriginal Literature, and enjoys giving workshops and talks for writers and attending book
clubs as a visiting author. She co-produces Script Salon, a monthly new play reading series now
in its sixth year. www.katherinekoller.ca Katherine has also produced a documentary webseries, Sustainable Me, and teaches at the University of Alberta.
Biography: Lauren Carter
Lauren Carter is the author of four books: the novel This Has Nothing To Do With You, her debut novel, Swarm, long-listed for CBC Canada Reads, and the poetry collections Lichen Bright and Following Sea, which is about Manitoulin Island ancestry and infertility. Her writing has been nominated for the Giller Prize, the Journey Prize, and published in Best Canadian Stories and several other publications. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and has taught creative writing across North America and online to students around the world. She grew up in Blind River, Ontario, and lived in Orillia before moving to Northern Manitoba. She currently lives in St. Andrews, Manitoba, a rural area near Winnipeg.
Biography: Louise Ells
Louise Ells earned her PhD in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, and was a Hawthorden Fellow in 2017. Her fiction is informed by her diverse life experiences; she has worked as a chef, caregiver, and co-pilot on a submarine, and survived a category five hurricane. An English and Creative Writing instructor, Louise currently teaches for Cambridge Programmes, at Churchill College, Cambridge, and at Nipissing University, North Bay. She and her husband live on the shore of Lake Nipissing with their beloved cat.
Biography: Tanya Neumeyer
Tanya is a Toronto-based poet who facilitates spoken word workshops for youth and adults.
Motivated by community building, reflection and dialogue for positive social change, Tanya celebrates 10 years in poetry this year.
Tanya is a member of the 2012 Toronto Poetry Slam team that represented Toronto at the US National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, NC and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon, bringing home the bronze.
From poetry slams to festivals to schools and conferences in Vancouver, Victoria, Regina, Ottawa, Kingston, Montreal, Detrioit, Madison, Columbus, & Boston, Tanya is keen to bring poetry to a venue near you.
Tanya’s first book, Piecing It Togther, was published in 2009 by Thee Hellbox Press, a printing press making innovative, hand-made books. The chapbook version of this work sold-out. Thee Hellbox and Tanya created a second chapbook titled, what breaks me open, in 2015.
Tanya is a Toronto Poetry Project collective member, a member of the League of Canadian Poets, poets.ca and has worked with TDSB Creates and the Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education programs.
Biography: Rosanna Battigelli
Rosanna Battigelli, a former award-winning teacher, lives in Sudbury and is a member and past president of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild. She is a professional member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Association of Italian-Canadian Writers. An alumna of the Humber School for Writers, she has been published in sixteen anthologies.
Rosanna’s children’s book—Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round—was released by Pajama Press in September 2019. It is written in bouncy rhyme, describing an autumn trip to the pumpkin patch with a cast of cat characters ready to celebrate Halloween. The charming illustrations are by award-winning Tara Anderson.
Rosanna has two books published with Harlequin UK and a third is forthcoming. Her novel La Brigantessa (Inanna Publications, 2018) was awarded Gold for Historical Fiction in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Awards). It was shortlisted for the 2019 Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award and a finalist for The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Awards. La Brigantessa won a 2019 International Book Award for Best Cover Design and it is shortlisted for the Northern Lit Awards.
Biography: Christopher Dewdney
Christopher Dewdney is the award-winning, bestselling author of four books of nonfiction and eleven books of poetry. A four-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award, he won the CBC Literary Competition for poetry and has been awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize. His most recent book is 18 Miles: The Epic Drama of Our Atmosphere and Its Weather. Christopher lives in Toronto, where he teaches writing at York University.