Authors / speakers who are part of the Wild Writers Literary Festival.
MADHUR ANAND’s debut book of prose This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart (2020) won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. Her debut collection of poems A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (2015) was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, named one of 10 all-time “trailblazing” poetry collections by the CBC and received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Her second collection of poems Parasitic Oscillations (2022) was published to international acclaim and named the “top pick” for Spring poetry by the CBC. She is a professor of ecology and sustainability at the University of Guelph, where she was appointed the inaugural Director of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research.
RAE ARMANTROUT’s recent book Finalists (Wesleyan 2022) “emanates the radiant astonishment of living thought,” writes David Woo for the Poetry Foundation. Her 2018 book, Wobble, was a finalist for the National Book Award that year. Her other books with Wesleyan include Partly: New and Selected Poems, Just Saying, Money Shot and Versed. In 2010 Versed won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and The National Book Critics Circle Award. Retired from UC San Diego where she was professor of poetry and poetics. She is the current judge of the Yale Younger Poets Prize.
Photo credit: Andrea Auge
MARTHA BÁTIZ is an award-winning writer, translator, and professor of Spanish language in literature. She is the author of four books, including the story collection Plaza Requiem, winner of an International Latino Book Award, and the novella The Wolf’s Mouth, winner of the Casa de Teatro Prize. Born and raised in Mexico City, she lives in Toronto.
CLARENCE CACHAGEE is an Indigenous Community Educator, helper, visionary, and author known for investing his whole self into his community. Originally from Chapleau Cree First Nation, and now calling Cambridge home, he is the visionary behind Crow Shield Lodge—a place for reconciliation, land-based teaching, and healing. North Wind Man is his memoir.
SUE DANIC has a Master of Arts with a focus on early Canadian fiction. Retired after a thirty-year career teaching English and working as a librarian, she decided to read more romance: post-apocalyptic, historical, contemporary, erotic. You name it, she’s likely read it. Sue also spends her time proofreading for The New Quarterly, kayaking and learning all the skills needed for the zombie apocalypse: soap making, fabric dying, gardening, and flower arranging because “survival is insufficient.”
FARZANA DOCTOR is a Toronto-based author, activist and a Registered Social Worker Psychotherapist. She has published four critically acclaimed novels, including Seven, which Ms. Magazine described as “fully feminist and ambitiously bold”, and was shortlisted for the Trillium and Evergreen Awards. Her new poetry collection, You Still Look The Same, which Quill & Quire has called “a powerful and necessary collection that breaks silences” was just released in May 2022.
LARA EL MEKKAWI is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Waterloo. She is the recipient of the Lea Vogel-Nimmo English Graduate Professionalization Award (2022); the Provost Doctoral Entrance Award for Women (2019-20); and the Jinan Majzoub Excellence Award in English Literature (2017). Lara’s main areas of interest include cosmopolitanism, trauma studies, postcolonialism, critical race theory, and world literature. Lara studies the complicated connotations behind being a part of the world: her dissertation explores the traumas of forced migration and issues of belonging in Black and Palestinian Diaspora Contemporary Transnational Fiction respectively.
Lara completed a BA (English) at Notre Dame University- Louaize, and an MA (English Literature) at the American University of Beirut. She participated in The Institute for World Literature (IWL) 2021 session. She is also currently pursuing the Fundamentals of University Teaching program. Lara also freelances as a book editor. She has edited Nour Abou Fayad’s debut novel The Complete Opposite of Everything (2019), Nadia Tabbara’s debut book Harness Your Creativity (2018) and co-edited a poetry collection titled And We Chose Everything (2018).
CYNTHIA FLOOD’s stories have won numerous awards, including The Journey Prize and a National Magazine Award, and have been widely anthologized. Her novel Making A Stone Of The Heart was nominated for the City of Vancouver Book Prize in 2002. She is the author of the acclaimed short story collections The Animals in Their Elements (1987), My Father Took A Cake To France (1992), and Red Girl Rat Boy (2013) which was shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes’ fiction award and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor award. She lives in Vancouver’s West End.
Photo credit: Dean Sinnett
KATHY FRIEDMAN is the author of the short-story collection All the Shining People (Anansi, 2022). She studied creative writing at UBC and the University of Guelph, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Her writing has appeared in Grain, Geist, PRISM international, Canadian Notes & Queries, and the New Quarterly, as well as other publications. She teaches in Humber College’s Bachelor of Creative and Professional Writing program and is also the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops. Kathy is currently working on a collection of essays about travel, music, and mental health. She lives in Toronto.
FORREST GANDER, a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and lives in northern California. His books, often concerned with ecology, include Twice Alive, Be With, winner of Pulitzer Prize, and the novel The Trace. Gander’s translations include It Must Be a Misunderstanding by Coral Bracho, Spectacle & Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura (Best Translated Book Award), and Then Come Back: the Lost Neruda Poems. He has received grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting and United States Artists Foundations.
Photo credit: Ashwini Bhat
HOLLAY GHADERY is a multi-genre writer living in rural Ontario on Anishinaabe land. She has her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and her work has been published in various literary journals and magazines. Fuse, her memoir of mixed-race identity and mental health, was released by Guernica Editions’ MiroLand imprint in Spring 2021. Her debut collection of poetry, Rebellion Box, is due out with Radiant Press in spring 2023 and in 2024, her collection of short fiction, Widow Fantasies, is set to be published by Gordon Hill. You can find her on Instagram @hollayghadery and Twitter @Hollay2.
LUKE HATHAWAY is a trans poet, librettist, and theatre maker. His mythopoeic word-worlds have given rise to new choral works by Colin Labadie, James Rolfe, and Zachary Wadsworth, and to the folk opera The Sign of Jonas, a collaboration with Benton Roark. He is the author of four books of poems, one of which (Years, Months, and Days, 2018) was named a Best Book of the Year in the New York Times. His latest book, The Affirmations, is published in print and as an audiobook by Biblioasis. Hathaway makes music with Daniel Cabena as part of the metamorphosing ensemble ANIMA, and has mentored new librettists as a faculty member for Amadeus Choir’s Choral Composition Lab. He teaches English and Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s University in Kjipuktuk/Halifax.
HELEN HUMPHREYS is an acclaimed and award-winning author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. She has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, a Lambda Literary Award for Fiction and the Toronto Book Award. She has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Trillium Book Prize and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. Her most recent novel is Rabbit Foot Bill. The recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence, Helen Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Photo credit: Ayelet Tsabari
TASNEEM JAMAL was born in Mbarara, Uganda, and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1975. The author of the novel Where the Air Is Sweet (HarperCollins 2014), she serves as a nonfiction editor atThe New Quarterly and is at work on her second novel. When not writing, Tasneem serves as Communications Officer at Project Ploughshares, a Waterloo-based peace research institute. She lives in Kitchener.
JACKIE LAU decided she wanted to be a writer when she was in grade two, sometime between penning “The Heart That Got Lost” and “The Land of Shapes.” She later studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before turning to writing romance novels. She is now the author of over twenty books.
Jackie lives in Toronto with her husband, and despite living in Canada her whole life, she hates winter. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gelato, gourmet donuts, cooking, hiking, and reading on the balcony when it’s raining.
TANIS MACDONALD is the author of Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female (2022), Mobile: poems(2019), and five other books. She is the co-editor of the multi-genre anthology GUSH: Menstrual manifestos for our times (2018) and the Editor of the Laurier Poetry Series. Winner of the Open Seasons Awards for Nonfiction and the Bliss Carman Prize for Poetry, she lives in Waterloo on traditional Haudenosaunee territory, and is originally from Treaty One territory on the prairies. Tanis is Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and hosts the podcast Watershed Writers.
ALEXANDER MACLEOD’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O Henry Prize Stories. His first collection, Light Lifting (Biblioasis), was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. In 2021, he and his friend, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, were awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for their collaboration, Lagomorph. Alexander lives in Dartmouth and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
Alexander MacLeod’s Animal Person, a magnificent collection about the needs, temptations, and tensions that exist just beneath the surface of our lives.
Photo credit: Heather A. Crosby Gionet
FAISAL MOOLA, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph. He works closely with a number of First Nations in defence of their lands including the Dunne-za First Nations in British Columbia and Grassy Narrows First Nation in Ontario.
Faisal has published widely in scientific journals on topics of ecology and environmental policy. He has contributed to a number of significant conservation and sustainability policy outcomes, including the protection of over 2 million hectares of temperate rainforest in British Columbia, the expansion of the internationally renowned Greenbelt in Ontario and the creation of Canada’s first Urban National Park.
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 (2018). Her novel As Little As Nothing is published by ECW Press (October, 2022). She has lived in Poland, England, and the United States and now lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband and daughter.
EMMY NORDSTROM HIGDON (they/them) holds a PhD in justice-oriented social work, they are a member of the planning team for the Festival of Literary Diversity, a faculty member at the Manuscript Academy, and a literary agent at Westwood Creative Artists. They are a queer, trans, and non-binary colonizer now based in Tkaronto (Toronto, Ontario). Emmy lives with their partner, a Deaf Dalmatian named Pavot, two formerly feral Maine coon cats, Whisper and Willow, and their collection of plants, informally named The Leafy Bois.
MOLLY O’KEEFE is the author of over 50 contemporary romance novels. Her books have been on numerous “best of” lists including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and NPR. Her book Between The Sheets was featured in the movie Suicide Squad. As Molly Fader she is the USA Today Bestselling author of Women’s Fiction – her next release THE SUNSHINE GIRLS is out in December.
HEATHER O’NEILL is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Her bestselling novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and CBC’s Canada Reads. Her previous work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Daydreams of Angels, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize two years in a row. She has won CBC’s Canada Reads and the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there with her daughter.
Photo credit: Julie Artacho
LAURA ROCK GAUGHAN is executive director of the Literary Press Group, a nonprofit association representing over sixty independent Canadian literary publishers. Her fiction, essays, and author interviews have appeared in Canadian, Irish, and US journals, including The New Quarterly, Southword, and CRAFT, and her first book, a short story collection entitled Motherish, was published in 2018. One of her flash fiction stories, selected as runner up in CutBank’s Big Sky, Small Prose contest, is forthcoming in CutBank 97.
Photo Credit: Rebekah Littlejohn
HARLEY RUSTAD is the author of Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Outside, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, and Geographical. He is a features editor and writer at The Walrus, a faculty editor at the Banff Centre’s Mountain and Wilderness Writing residency, and the founder of the Port Renfrew Writers’ Retreat. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Rustad is originally from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
SUSAN SCOTT is a writer and TNQ contributing editor working at the creative intersection of story, spirit, self, and culture. Her latest book, Body & Soul, celebrates unorthodox approaches to the sacred.
SONYA SINGH is a former entertainment reporter turned communications professional who has followed her dream of telling stories in front of the camera and now behind the scenes. Her debut novel, Sari, Not Sari, was an instant Canadian bestseller, and is an ode to her own personal dating experiences, during which she honed the art of writing the perfect break-up email/text. Sonya lives in Toronto, Canada. You can follow her at SonyaSinghBooks.com and on Instagram @SonyaSinghWrites.
CARRIE SNYDER is the author of four 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 published by Knopf Canada (summer, 2022). She is a consulting editor for The New Quarterly magazine, and teaches creative writing at the University of Waterloo.
Photo credit: Hilary Gauld
SANDHYA THAKRAR holds a PhD in philosophy from Yale University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on romantic love. Her literary writing has recently appeared in Brick and Southern Humanities Review. She was born and raised in the Prairies, and she now lives in Toronto with her husband and their six-year-old.
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 work has been longlisted (2018) and shortlisted (2019) for the CBC Poetry Prize, as well as the UK’s Forward Award (2020), and has appeared in anthologies such as Best of the Best Canadian Poetry. She currently works as the Poetry Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine and the Creative Director for Poetry In Voice.
EMILY URQUHART is a journalist with a doctorate in folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her award-winning longform nonfiction has appeared in Guernica, Longreads and The Walrus among other publications. She is the author of Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of our Hidden Genes, a Kobo First Book Prize nominee, as well as the memoir The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, My Father and Me, which was listed as a top book of 2020 by CBC, NOW Magazine and Quill & Quire. She is a nonfiction editor for The New Quarterly and lives in Kitchener, Ontario. Her essay collection, Ordinary Wonder Tales, will be published in fall 2022.
AIMEE WALL is a writer and translator. Her essays, short fiction, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Maisonneuve, Matrix Magazine, the Montreal Review of Books, and Lemon Hound. Wall’s translations include Vickie Gendreau’s novels Testament (2016), and Drama Queens (2019), and Sports and Pastimes by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard (2017). She lives in Montreal. Her acclaimed debut novel, We, Jane, has been nominated for nine literary prizes including the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the BMO Winterset Award, the ReLit Award for Fiction, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.
Photo Credit: Richmond Lam
NATALIE WIGG-STEVENSON is a scholar and creative nonfiction writer. The author of Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance Art lives with her family in Toronto (treaty 13 lands), where she teaches Contextual Education and Theology at Emmanuel College (Victoria University). Her memoir-in-progress explores Camino pilgrimage, fertility, and childbirth.
Photo credit: Michael Barker
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.