2019 Wild Writers
LAMEES AL ETHARI immigrated to Canada with her husband and two boys in 2008. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching academic and creative writing since 2015.
Her poetry has been published in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, and printed as broadsides. Her collection of poems titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris was published in 2018 and her memoir on the American invasion of Iraq, Waiting for the Rain, was published in 2019.
NOELLE ALLEN is the publisher of Wolsak and Wynn literary press based in Hamilton, Ontario. She has been the chair of gritLIT: Hamilton’s Readers and Writers Festival and of the Literary Press Group, a national publishing organization. She also volunteers with the Hamilton Arts Council’s Literary Awards and the Hamilton Review of Books.
Photo Credit: Jeff Tessier
MAYA AMEYAW was born and raised in Toronto by a family of poets and visual artists. Her poetry has previously been published in the independent journals Wake (2014) and From The Root (2016). Her poetry and short stories have also appeared in two community arts anthologies, A Place For Us (2016) and The Double World (2017), which she helped to compile and curate with grants the Toronto Arts Council. She is currently working on her first novel.
Maya is the peer support worker for InkWell Workshops.
DAVID BEZMOZGIS is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He is the author of Natasha and Other Stories, The Free World, and The Betrayers. He has been twice nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award, and his debut story collection, Natasha and Other Stories, won the Toronto Book Award and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for First Book, and Immigrant City: Stories was nominated for the Toronto Book Award. He is the Director of the Humber School for Writers. Born in Riga, Latvia, David lives in Toronto.
Photo Credit: David Franco
MARILYN BIDERMAN entered the Transatlantic Agency after working at her own literary agency and consultancy practice, where she helped launch the careers of début and prize-winning authors. She has worked at McClelland & Stewart as VP, Director, Rights and Contracts, and handled the international rights for authors including Leonard Cohen, Alistair MacLeod, and Madeleine Thien. Marilyn is a member of the Law Society of Ontario and holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She is especially proud of her work with the St. John Ambulance Dog Therapy program.
MICHAEL CRUMMEY’S first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the 2001 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and his second novel, The Wreckage, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His third novel, Galore, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean) and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His last novel, Sweetland, was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Photo Credit: Mo Pho
FRANCINE CUNNINGHAM is an award-winning Indigenous writer, artist and educator originally from Calgary, AB but who currently resides in Vancouver, BC. She is a graduate of the UBC Creative Writing MFA program, and a recent winner of The Indigenous Voices Award in the 2019 Unpublished Prose Category and of The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award. Her fiction has appeared in Grain Magazine as the 2018 Short Prose Award winner, on The Malahat Review’s Far Horizon’s Prose shortlist, Joyland Magazine, The Puritan Magazine and more. Her debut book of poetry is titled ON/Me (Caitlin Press).
GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE is an internationally-renowned poet and scholar whose books—including his highly-esteemed poetry collections Execution Poems and Whylah Falls—have won him many honours, including the Portia White Prize (1998), the Governor General’s Literary Award (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005). Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Clarke presently resides in Toronto where he is E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. George served as Canada’s seventh Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016–17).
CAROLINA ECHEVERRIA is a visual artist, a CBC commentator, the founder and artistic director of Native-Immigrant arts collective, and the Artistic Director of Métèque gallery and art hub in Montreal.
An excerpt from her memoir appears in Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press 2019), and her artwork adorns the cover. The title of her unsettling memoir-in-progress is Native Immigrant: A Personal Journey into Our Home and Native Land.
Originally from Treaty 1 territory (Landmark, MB), SARAH ENS is currently a writer and editor based in Treaty 6 territory (Saskatoon, SK). Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Prairie Fire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Poetry Is Dead. This year’s winner of The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest, she also placed 2nd in Contemporary Verse 2’s 2019 2-Day Poem Contest. In 2018, she won 1st place in Room Magazine’s Short Forms Contest. Sarah is a current MFA in Writing candidate at the University of Saskatchewan. Her debut poetry collection, The World Is Mostly Sky, is forthcoming with Turnstone Press in Spring 2020.
EUFEMIA FANTETTI’S debut, A Recipe for Disaster & Other Unlikely Tales of Love, was runner-up for the 2013 Danuta Gleed Literary Award and winner of the 2014 Bressani Literary Prize. A graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA in Creative Writing, she is a three-time winner of Accenti Magazine’s annual competition.
Her work appears in Event, The New Quarterly, the Globe and Mail and the recently released anthology Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press 2019). She teaches writing at Humber College and edits for the Humber Literary Review. My Father, Fortune-tellers and Me: A Memoir is her latest book, from Mother Tongue Publishing.
PAOLA FERRANTE’S debut poetry collection, What to Wear When Surviving A Lion Attack, was published Spring 2019 by Mansfield Press. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Puritan, The New Quarterly, Grain, The Fiddlehead, CV2, Room, Joyland and elsewhere. She won Room‘s 2018 prize for Fiction, The New Quarterly’s 2019 Peter Hinchcliffe Award and her poetry has been nominated for The Best of the Net. She is currently working on a collection of short fiction and is the Poetry Editor at Minola Review. She resides in Toronto, Canada.
KATHY FRIEDMAN has appeared in Grain, Geist, Room, Poetry Is Dead, The New Quarterly, PRISM international, This Magazine, Humber Literary Review, and Canadian Notes & Queries. A finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, she has also been runner-up for the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award and PRISM international’s short fiction contest. Kathy has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. She teaches creative writing in the University of Guelph’s Open Education program and is the artistic director of InkWell Workshops, which runs free creative writing workshops for adults with mental health and addictions issues.
ELIZABETH HAY is the author of the #1 nationally bestselling novel Alone in the Classroom, the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel Late Nights On Air, as well as four other highly acclaimed works of fiction, His Whole Life, A Student of Weather, Garbo Laughs, and Small Change. All Things Consoled, her first book of non-fiction, is shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize and the winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Formerly a radio broadcaster, she spent a number of years in Mexico and New York City before returning to Canada. She lives in Ottawa.
Photo Credit: Mark Fried
PHILIP HUYNH was born in Vancouver to parents who had fled Vietnam during the civil war. His stories have been published in the Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, Event, and the Journey Prize Anthology and cited in The Best American Stories. He is the winner of the Open Season Award from the Malahat Review, a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop Emerging Writers Award. His first story collection, The Forbidden Purple City, was published this year with Goose Lane Editions. A practicing lawyer, Philip lives in Richmond, BC.
SHENIZ JANMOHAMED (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi and the Aga Khan Museum.
Sheniz is also the author of two poetry collections: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010) and Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014) and is currently working on her third collection of ghazals.
HELEN KNOTT is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016 Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women’s Initiative for being committed to end gender-based violence. Helen was selected as a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author. The memoir, In My Own Moccasins (University of Regina Press 2019), is her first book.
AMANDA LEDUC is a disabled author with cerebral palsy whose work has been shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize, the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize, the Malahat Review’s Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize, and the Thomas Morton Fiction Prize. Her first novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Her new novel, The Centaur’s Wife, is forthcoming from Random House Canada.
Amanda lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator for The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories. Her first full-length work of nonfiction, Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space, is forthcoming with Coach House Books in February 2020.
NADJA LUBIW-HAZARD is a writer and a veterinarian. Her short fiction has been published in Room, Understorey, The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly and more; her first novel, The Nap-Away Motel, was published by Palimpsest Press in May 2019. She is currently working on several picture books about animals, and a second novel, Her Name Was Friday. A life-long animal-lover and long-time vegan, her writing often explores themes related to the natural world. Nadja works at the Toronto Humane Society and lives with her wife, their two daughters, a black pug, and an old orange tabby cat.
HAZEL MILLAR is the Co-publisher at Book*hug, an award-winning independent literary press based in Toronto. An avid reader, Hazel is rarely without a book. She is the current Chair of the Board of the Literary Press Group of Canada, and she also sits on several other publishing advisory boards and committees.
She lives in Toronto with her husband, Jay Millar (a.k.a. the other half of Book*hug Press), their two sons, and a very cool calico cat named Tess.
K.D. MILLER’S stories and essays have appeared in Canadian literary magazines, have been collected in Oberon’s Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Anthology, and have been broadcast by the CBC. She has published four collections of stories: A Litany in Time of Plague, Give Me Your Answer, The Other Voice and All Saints; an essay collection, Holy Writ; and a novel, Brown Dwarf.
In 2014, All Saints was short-listed for the 2014 Rogers Writers Trust Award and named as one of the year’s best by the Globe and Mail. Her latest story collection, Late Breaking, was inspired by the paintings of Alex Colville and published by Biblioasis in 2018. It was named one of the best of 2018 by the Globe and Mail, short-listed for the Trillium award, long-listed for the Toronto book award and long-listed for the Giller prize.
Jamaican-Canadian author PAMELA MORDECAI writes stories and poems for adults and children. A former language arts teacher with a PhD in English, she has authored/co-authored numerous textbooks and edited/co-edited groundbreaking anthologies of Caribbean writing, especially the writing of women. Her poetry for children is widely anthologized and used in textbooks and online curricula in the US, UK, Europe, West Africa, the Caribbean and the Far East.
She has published six books of poetry, most recently Subversive Sonnets (TSAR, 2012) and de book of Mary: A Performance Poem (Mawenzi House, 2015). Her debut novel, Red Jacket was shortlisted for the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. de Man: A Performance Poem, a verse play in Jamaican Creole about the crucifixion of Jesus, has been performed across Canada and in the Caribbean. She and her husband, Martin, have recently relocated to Toronto.
Photo Credit: David Mordecai
PAMELA MULLOY is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She is also a writer with short fiction published in the UK and Canada. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in 2018.
Photo by Ayelet Tsabari.
VINH NGUYEN specializes in refugee, immigrant, and diasporic literature and culture. He held a SSHRC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction, and a Harry Lyman Hooker Fellowship, among other honors. He is the 2017 recipient of the John C. Polanyi Prize in Literature. His writing can be found or are forthcoming in Social Text, MELUS, ARIEL, Canadian Literature, Life Writing, and Canadian Review of American Studies.
KATHY PAGE is the author of ten previous books, most recently Dear Evelyn (2018), which won the Rogers Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Fiction Prize. Other works include Paradise & Elsewhere (2014) and The Two of Us (2016), both nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Born in the UK, she moved to Salt Spring Island with her family in 2001, and now divides her time between writing and teaching at Vancouver Island University.
Photo Credit: Billie Woods
MICHELLE PARISE is an award-winning journalist, writer and performer. She’s worked for the CBC for twenty-three years, in everything from children’s television, national radio news, music programming and documentary making. In 2017, she adapted her unpublished memoir, Alone: A Love Story, into an international hit podcast for CBC. In May 2020, the book that became a podcast will be a book again, published by Dundurn Press.
Photo Credit: Justin Morris
CASEY PLETT is the author of the novel Little Fish (Arsenal Pulp Press) and the short story collection A Safe Girl to Love (Topside Press), and co-editor of the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers (Topside Press). She wrote a column on transitioning for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Maclean’s, The Walrus, Plenitude, the Winnipeg Free Press, and other publications. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Best Transgender Fiction and received an Honour of Distinction from The Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario.
Photo Credit: Sybil Lamb
STUART ROSS is a writer, editor, writing teacher, and publisher living in Cobourg, Ontario. He sold his chapbooks on the streets of Toronto in the 1980s, and is now the prize-winning author of twenty books of poetry, fiction, and essays, including Motel of the Opposable Thumbs (Anvil Press, 2019), A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (winner of the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry; Wolsak and Wynn, 2016) and Pockets (ECW Press, 2017). His novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew won the Mona Elaine Adilman Prize for Jewish Fiction, and his story collection Buying Cigarettes for the Dog won the ReLit Prize for Short Fiction. Stuart has led workshops across the country and has taught at Inkwell for two years.
HEIDI REIMER’S short stories and essays have appeared in Chatelaine, The New Quarterly, Little Fiction, Literary Mama, Stealing Time, and Hip Mama, and in the anthologies Outcrops: Northeastern Ontario Short Stories, The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers.
Heidi lives and works in Toronto. She is currently at work on a novel.
SUSAN SCOTT is the editor of Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press 2019) and the author of Temple in a Teapot. A deep interest in the interplay of the edgy, the iffy, and the sublime, and in championing neglected voices, informs her editorial instincts.
She serves as The New Quarterly’s lead nonfiction editor, retreat director, associate director of the Wild Writers Festival, and on the board of the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Her next book, Sainted Dirt, is a reckoning with land, language, family, and imperfect teaware.
LEANNE TOSHIKO SIMPSON is a Japanese-Canadian writer from Scarborough. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 17, she writes about navigating the mental health system, and was featured as an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk. You can find her work in Contemporary Verse 2, Room magazine and Unpublished City II. In 2016, she was named Scarborough’s Emerging Writer, and this year, she was longlisted for the Journey Prize. Leanne recently completed her MFA at the University of Guelph and teaches creative writing at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and InkWell Workshops.
SARAH TOLMIE is a medievalist trained at the University of Toronto and Cambridge and is associate professor of English at the University of Waterloo. Her poetry collection, The Art of Dying (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize and her 120-sonnet sequence Trio (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2016 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She has also published a chapbook, Sonnet in a Blue Dress and Other Poems (Baseline Press, 2014), two novels with Aqueduct Press, The Little Animals (2019) and The Stone Boatmen (2014), as well as two short fiction collections, Two Travelers (2016) and NoFood (2014).
AYELET TSABARI was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. She is the author of the memoir in essays The Art of Leaving, finalist for the Writer’s Trust Hilary Weston Prize and winner of the Jewish Literary Award for memoir. Her first book, The Best Place on Earth, won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was long listed to the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Kirkus Review Best Book of 2016, and has been published internationally. Recently, Ayelet’s work appeared in Body and Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers, edited by Susan Scott.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Bloom
JESSICA WESTHEAD’s fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, selected for the Journey Prize anthology, and nominated for a National Magazine Award. Her short stories have appeared in major literary journals in Canada, the US and the UK, including Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, Indiana Review and Hamish Hamilton’s Five Dials. She is the author of the novel Pulpy and Midge and the critically acclaimed short story collections Things Not to Do and And Also Sharks, which was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, a Kobo’s Best eBook of the Year and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Westhead is a creative writing instructor at the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University.
Photo Credit: Derek Wuenschirs
TERENCE YOUNG lives in Victoria, BC, where he has recently retired from teaching English and creative writing at St. Michaels University School. His poems and stories have appeared in literary periodicals across Canada. Most recently, the poem “Tender Is The Night” was the winner of the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest, sponsored by The New Quarterly. It is from a forthcoming collection called Smithereens (Harbour, 2021).