2021 Wild Writers
Lamees Al Ethari holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching creative and academic writing since 2015. She has published a collection of poems titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris (2018) and, more recently, a memoir titled Waiting for the Rain (2019). Her poems have appeared in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, and the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. She is a nonfiction editor with The New Quarterly and a co-coordinator for The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop for Immigrant Women.
Kamal Al-Solaylee is the author of the nationally bestselling memoir Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, which won the 2013 Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads, as well as the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone), was hailed as “brilliant” by the Walrus magazine and “essential reading” by the Globe and Mail. A finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction as well as the Trillium Book Award, Brown won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. A two-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, Al-Solaylee won a gold medal for his column in Sharp in 2019. He holds a Ph.D. in English and is Director of the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media at the University of British Columbia.
Madhur Anand is the author of the book of poems, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes, and the experimental memoir, This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart, both considered trailblazing in their synthesis of art and science. A New Index was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. This Red Line won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. Her second collection of poems is entitled Parasitic Oscillations. She is a professor of ecology and sustainability at the University of Guelph, and was appointed the inaugural director of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research.
Shashi Bhat is the author of The Most Precious Substance on Earth (McClelland & Stewart, Canada, Fall 2021; Grand Central Publishing, US, Spring 2022) and a short story collection also forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart. Her debut novel, The Family Took Shape (Cormorant, 2013), was a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Shashi’s fiction has appeared in publications including The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Best Canadian Stories 2018 & 2019, Journey Prize Stories 24 & 30, and others. She was the winner of the 2018 Journey Prize and was a 2018 National Magazine Award finalist for fiction. Shashi is editor of EVENT and teaches creative writing at Douglas College.
Selina Boan is a white settler-nehiyaw writer living on the traditional, unceded territories of thexʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. Her debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours, was released this Spring with Nightwood Editions. Her work has been published widely, including The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 and 2020. She has received several honours, including the 2017 National Magazine Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2020 CBC poetry award. She is currently a poetry editor for Rahila’s Ghost Press and is a member of The Growing Room Collective.
Erin Bow is an award-winning poet and novelist, whose honours include the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the CBC Literary Award for poetry, and a Governor General’s Award. She was trained as a physicist, and does science writing about things like black holes and quantum gravity. Her novels are written in her garden shed, in the rotating company of her novelist-husband, two joyfully creative tween-aged kids, and an unnerving number of shed spiders.
Kate Cayley has published two short story collections and two collections of poetry. She has won the Trillium Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, the Mitchell Prize for Poetry, and a Chalmers Fellowship, and been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the ReLit Award and the K. M. Hunter Award. She has also written a number of plays, which have been performed in Canada, the US and the UK. She lives in Toronto with her wife and their three children.
Paul Coccia is the author of the award-winning Cub, The Player, and the upcoming I Got You Babe, as well as coauthor with Eric Walters of the soon to be released On The Line. He has a specialist in English Literature from UofT and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. He’s often found baking in his Toronto kitchen with his nephew, three dogs and parrot who loves French fries and pasta.
Ivan Coyote is a writer and storyteller. Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, they are the author of thirteen books, the creator of four films, six stage shows, and three albums that combine storytelling with music. Coyote’s books have won the ReLit Award, been named a Stonewall Honour Book, been longlisted for Canada Reads, shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Prize for non-fiction, and awarded BC and Yukon Book Prize’s inaugural Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes. In 2017 Ivan was given an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University for their writing and activism.
Guyanese-Canadian author Natasha Deen has published over twenty-four works for kids and teens. Her works have been chosen as CCBC Best Picks for Kids and Teens, as well as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections. Natasha’s YA novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, was both a Red Maple Honour Book and the winner of the 2020 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. When she’s not writing, she spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house.
Tamas Dobozy is the author of three previous collections of short fiction and novellas: When X Equals Marylou (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2003), Last Notes and Other Stories (HarperCollins Canada / Arcade (US), 2005), and the Governor General’s Award finalist and Writers’ Trust Award winner, Siege 13 (Thomas Allen / Milkweed (US), 2012). 5 Mishaps, a limited edition collection of five new stories, was published in early 2021 by School Gallery, London, UK. Tamas Dobozy lives in Waterloo.
Krista Foss’ short fiction has appeared in Granta and has twice been a finalist for the Journey Prize. Her essay writing won the PRISM International creative non-fiction contest in 2016, has been featured in Best Canadian Essays. Her first novel, Smoke River, published by McClelland & Stewart (2014), won the Hamilton Literary Award. Half Life is her second novel.
Brian Francis is the author of three novels: Fruit, a 2009 Canada Reads finalist; Natural Order, which was selected by the Toronto Star, Kobo, and Georgia Straight as a Best Book of 2011; and the YA novel Break in Case of Emergency, a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His latest book is Missed Connections: A Memoir in Letters Never Sent, which was inspired by his play, Box 4901. He lives in Toronto.
Helen Humphreys is the author of 19 works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, including Rabbit Foot Bill and The Frozen Thames. She has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, a Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, and the Toronto Book Award, and has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, and CBC’s Canada Reads. She is the recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence. Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Chioke I’Anson is one of the voices of NPR’s sponsorship messages. Since 2016, he has tracked and delivered underwriting copy for newscasts and digital downloads. He is also a professor of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and is the Director of Community Media at VPM + ICA Community Media Center, which provides free workshops and training to anyone who wants to get into podcasts. I’Anson was the producer of an audiobook, I’m From Nowhere by Lindsay Lerman, which features the voice of NPR’s Cara Stevens. He is also occasionally a guest scorekeeper filling in for Bill Kurtis on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! I’Anson received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from FAMU and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of South Florida.
Jackie Kaiser is President of Westwood Creative Artists, a Toronto based full-service literary agency that represents a diverse range of writers in the book publishing marketplace, working with co-agents to sell rights in more than 50 countries around the world, well as in the film, television, stage and podcast spaces. Prior to joining WCA, Jackie was Executive Editor at Penguin Books Canada.
Doretta Lau is the author of the short story collection How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? (Nightwood Editions, 2014). The book was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award, longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and was named by The Atlantic as one of the best books of 2014.
Evelyn Lau has authored thirteen books. Her memoir Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid (HarperCollins, 1989), published when she was eighteen, was made into a CBC movie starring Sandra Oh. Evelyn’s prose books have been translated into a dozen languages; her poetry has received numerous awards. She has been writer-in-residence at UBC, Kwantlen and VCC, as well as Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Calgary. Evelyn was Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver (2011-2014).
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.
Ágnes Vashegyi MacDonald is a Hungarian-Canadian sociologist. Born in Budapest and moved to Vancouver, Canada in the early 1990s, Ágnes has been enjoying the experience of living a hyphenated identity. This two-ness of being Hungarian and Canadian has given her a particular emigrant/immigrant view which she has been tapping into through her studies and scholastic work. Ágnes completed her MA in Sociology and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia. Since her graduation in 2010, she has been teaching Sociology at various institutions in Vancouver. In 2007, Ágnes reviewed Tamas Dobozy’s book, Siege 13 in the Journal of the AmericanHungarian Educators Association, and interviewed Tamas for The New Hungarian Voice which was republished in La Présence Hongroise Au Canada in 2007.
Kirsteen MacLeod is the author of two books, In Praise of Retreat (nonfiction/memoir) and The Animal Game (short stories). A native Glaswegian, she has also lived in Toronto and Brazil. Her prose and poetry have appeared in many literary journals, magazines and anthologies, and her work has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Award (creative nonfiction) and Arc Poetry’s 2020 Poem of the Year. Kirsteen divides her time between her home in Kingston, Ontario, and a riverside cabin in the north woods.
Sara Martin is a high school librarian in Kitchener, where she has been connecting books and readers for nearly 20 years. When she’s not sharing her love of reading, Sara can often be found “Zoom baking” with her family or singing with the award-winning DaCapo Chamber Choir.
Jean McNeil is the author of 14 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and travel. She has twice been the winner of the PRISM International competition, and her work has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Journey Prize, the National Magazine awards, and the Pushcart Prize. In 2016 her memoir and travelogue based on her year as writer-in-residence with the British Antarctic Survey, Ice Diaries, won the Adventure Travel and Grand Prizes at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and was named one of the best nature writing books by The Guardian newspaper in 2018. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Originally from Nova Scotia, she lives in London, UK.
Pamela Mulloy is the Editor of The New Quarterly and the Creative Director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in 2018, and her second novel As Little As Nothing will be published by ECW Press in the fall of 2022. She has lived in Poland, England and the United States and now lives in Kitchener, Ontario.
Nam Nguyen is a Toronto-based playwright and lyricist of Vietnamese descent. His publisher forced him to write this bio less than a month after he graduated from the University of Toronto, at a time when his only work of note was this one. Nam was named one of NOW Magazine’s Breakthrough Stage Artists of 2019 following the premiere presentation of A Perfect Bowl of Pho by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company. His plays have been performed in theatres all across the TTC streetcar network.
Born in Poland, Margaret Nowaczyk is a pediatric clinical geneticist and a professor at McMaster University and DeGroote School of Medicine. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Canadian, Polish and American literary magazines and anthologies. She lives in Hamilton, ON, with her husband and two sons.
Susan Olding is the author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays, and Big Reader (Freehand Books, 2021). Her poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and magazines, including Arc, Prairie Fire, Maisonneuve, the Malahat Review, and the Utne Review. Her most recent contribution to TNQ is “Pacific Spirit,” the magazine’s first photo essay. She currently lives in Victoria, BC, but Zooms back to Kingston to meet with the Villanelles.
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to sci-fi fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games and other geeky things, all of which have largely inspired her writing. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her a doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all. As an academic, Sarah has taught undergraduate courses and acted as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research concerns representations of race and gender in popular media culture, youth culture, and postcolonialism. She has written and edited articles in political, cultural, and academic publications. She continues to use her voice for good. You can find her online at SarahRaughley.com.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from the journalism program at the university formerly known as Ryerson in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.
Susan Scott has an ear for the sublime, the personal, and edgy. Transgressive storytelling that inspires change informs her life-writing webinars and collaborations with fellow artists, activists, and scholars. As TNQ’s lead nonfiction editor (2012-9), she
championed neglected voices and attracted National Magazine Award-winning work that went on to Best Canadian- and Best American Essays. As a contributing editor, she directs the Wild Writers Mentorship Program. Learn more from her website. Or check out her latest book, Body & Soul, and see why Sarah Selecky calls this unorthodox collection “a revelation.
Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland, and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Her novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, won the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award and the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award, and was shortlisted for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. Her middle-grade novel, Ebb & Flow, was short-listed for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was the winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Heather has also written three picture books for young readers. Her Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing.
Carrie Snyder is the author of three books of fiction, including Girl Runner, which was translated into a dozen languages and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Prize, and The Juliet Stories, a finalist for the Governor General’s award. Her new novel, Francie’s Got A Gun, is forthcoming in 2022 from Knopf Canada. Her creative non-fiction has been published in a number of anthologies. Carrie is also the co-founder and project coordinator of The X Page Storytelling workshop, a multicultural performance project that she runs in collaboration with other artists in Waterloo, Ontario, which is where she lives with her family. You can find Carrie on Instagram; or at carriesnyder.com, where she still insists on publishing a literary blog (her children have firmly requested she not look into TikTok).
Claire Tacon is the author of In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo (Wolsak & Wynn), which was the 2019 Hamilton Reads selection. Her first novel In the Field (Biblioasis), was the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award and her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Bronwen Wallace Award, the CBC Literary Prize and has appeared in various journals and anthologies. She has an MFA from the University of British Columbia and has been a lecturer at St. Jerome’s University since 2011.
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of the poetry books Status Update (2013), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award and the Gerald Lampert award winning Sweet Devilry (2011). Her new book, Grappling Hook, is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press. She has been widely anthologized in such collections as Best Canadian Poetry 2013, Poet-to-Poet (2013), and the Newborn Anthology (2014). She is the editor of the poetry collection, Desperately Seeking Susans (2013) and the Poetry Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. Sarah currently works as the Creative Director for Poetry In Voice and teaches in UBC’s optional residency MFA.
Paul Vermeersch is the author of seven books of poetry, a professor of publishing at Sheridan College, and the senior editor of Wolsak and Wynn Publishers. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. His most recent book is Shared Universe: New and Selected Poems 1995-2020. When he’s not making art out of words, he likes to make art out of paint and sometimes even out of sounds. He lives in Toronto.
Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook, On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press 2019), and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions, 2021). Among other recognitions, she was most recently shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year award and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies. She is an editor at Room magazine. Her current projects include a second poetry manuscript, Choreography of Forgetting, and her poetic, sociological memoir, Memory Home Lane.
Jack Wang is the author of We Two Alone (House of Anansi, HarperVia), winner of the 2020 Danuta Gleed Literary Award from the Writers’ Union of Canada for best debut collection in English. His fiction has been longlisted for the Journey Prize and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He is the recipient of a 2021 Research and Creation Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2014-15, he held the David T. K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He teaches writing at Ithaca College.
Andrew Westoll is an award-winning author and professor whose writing explores our fraught, ever-evolving relationship with the natural world. His books include The Riverbones (2008), the Charles Taylor Prize-winning The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (2011), and The Jungle South of the Mountain (2016). His next book, The Zoo and You, explores the many enigmas of the modern zoo, and is forthcoming from Doubleday Canada. Andrew is Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, of Creative Writing and English at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), where in 2019 he won the annual UTSC Teaching Award, which recognizes sustained teaching excellence. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, is a Gold National Magazine Award winner, and his books have been published in the USA, UK, Australia and Poland.
Kathleen Winter’s novel Annabel was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Orange Prize, and numerous other awards. It was also a Globe and Mail “Best Book,” a New York Times “Notable” book, a Quill & Quire & “Book of the Year” and #1 bestseller in Canada. It has been published and translated worldwide. Her Arctic memoir Boundless (2014) was shortlisted for Canada’s Weston and Taylor non-fiction prizes, and her last novel Lost in September (2017) was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Born in the UK, Kathleen now lives in Montreal after many years in Newfoundland.
Equipoise, Katie Zdybel‘s debut collection of short fiction, was shortlisted for the 2018 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction and received a 2019 Canada Council for the Arts Award. Stories within the collection were awarded the 2018 Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award, the 2019 Exile’s Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Award for Emerging Writers (a second story by Katie was also shortlisted for the prize), and were publisher-nominated for a 2019 Writers’ Trust Journey Prize and a 2021 National Magazine Award. Stories from the collection have appeared in The New Quarterly, Exile Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. Katie is represented by the CookeMcDermid agency; she’s a recent graduate of the UBC MFA in Creative Writing program and is currently at work on her first novel with generous support from a second Canada Council for the Arts Award.