2016 Litfest Authors
George Bowering, Canada’s first Poet Laureate, was born in the Okanagan Valley. A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian, and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books, including works of poetry, 20fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction. His writing has also been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and Romanian. Bowering has twice won the Governor General’s Award, Canada’s top literary prize.
David R. Boyd is one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers, an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, and an adviser on environmental policy to governments in Canada and Sweden. He is also an international expert on human rights and the environment, assisting countries from Iceland to Tunisia in securing constitutional protection for the right to a healthy enviro
Michael Christie is the author of If I Fall, If I Die, which was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, won of the Northern Lit Award, and was selected as a New York Times Editors Choice. His collection of short stories, The Beggar’s Garden, was also long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction, and won the Vancouver Book Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Globe & Mail.
Michael Crummey’s writing has appeared in a broad range of literary magazines and anthologies. In 1994 he won the inaugural Bronwen Wallace Award for Poetry. Crummey’s debut novel, River Thieves (2001) became a Canadian bestseller, and won the Thomas Head Raddall Award, the Winterset Award for Excellence in Newfoundland Writing, and the Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Choice Award. It was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was long-listed for the IMPAC Award. His second novel, The Wreckage (2005), was longlisted for the 2007 IMPAC Award. His third novel Galore (2009) shortlisted for the 2011 IMPAC Award. His fourth and latest novel, Sweetland was a finalist for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Awards.
Charles Demers is an author, stand-up comedian, and faculty in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. His collection of essays, Vancouver Special (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009), was shortlisted for the Hubert Evans BC Book Prize for Non-Fiction. He is also the author of a novel, The Prescription Errors (Insomniac Press, 2009). He is one of the most frequently returning stars of CBC Radio’s smash-hit comedy The Debaters, with a weekly listening audience of 750,000. Demers lives in Vancouver, BC.
William Deverell is a novelist, activist, and criminal lawyer. His first book, Needles, which drew on his experiences as a criminal lawyer, won the McClelland & Stewart $50,000 Seal Award. Deverell has achieved recognition for suffusing his novels with satire. Both Kill All the Judges and Snow Job were shortlisted for Canada’s Stephen Leacock Award. Snow Job, a political satire, was named in The Globe and Mail as one of the top crime books worldwide in 2009. He has twice been invited as guest of honour at Canada’s main crime writer’s venue, Bloody Words, and received the Best Canadian Crime Writer award at the Scene of the Crime Festival in Ontario.
Maggie de Vries is the author of eleven books including the Governor General Literary Award nominated Missing Sarah: A Memoir of Loss and teen novel, Rabbit Ears, 2015 winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. She is also the writer of A Voice for Change with Rinelle and Julie Harper, coming this year from HarperCollins. She has a picture book coming out with Orca in 2017 called Swimming with Seals. In November 2014, Maggie gave a TEDxSFU talk entitled The Red Umbrella: Sex Work, Stigma and the Law. In March 2016, she will be part of a collaborative production called The Hooker Monologues at the Firehall Arts Centre. Maggie lives in Vancouver and teaches writing for children and young adults in UBC’s Creative Writing Program. For more information see http://www.maggiedevries.com
Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of four national bestsellers, all published by McClelland & Stewart. His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.“ Terry’s fifth novel, Poles Apart, was released in October 2015.
Pam Galloway came to BC from northern England in 1980. She lives in Vancouver with her delightful companion, Leeloo the cat. Pam has been writing and publishing poems for about 25 years and before that read them and before that listened to her mother recite them to her. Her poems have been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies. Her first book of poetry Parallel Lines (Ekstasis Editions, Victoria) was published in 2006. Her most recent book of poetry is a poetic memoir, Passing Stranger, published fall 2014 (Inanna Publications, Toronto).
Margaret Horsfield is the author of six non-fiction books, three about the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Her most recent book, Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History (Harbour Publishing, 2014), resulted from many years of researching and writing about West Coast history. Recently nominated for the 2015 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Book Prize, the book covers the overall history of this internationally famed area, ranging from pre-European contact until today.
Aislinn Hunter is the author of six books: two books of poetry, three books of fiction and a book of lyric essays. She has a BFA in The History of Art and in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria, an MFA from The University of British Columbia, an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics from The University of Edinburgh where she has just completed a PhD in English Literature. She lives in Vancouver with her husband Glenn and two Border collies.
Ian Kennedy is the author of several books about BC history including Sunny Sandy Savary (Kennell Publishing, 1992). He is also co-author of Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: A History (Harbour Publishing, 2014), a collaboration with Margaret Horsfield. For many years, he has also served as one of Canada’s few rugby journalists and has written for numerous magazines around the world. He currently lives in Comox, BC.
Theresa Kishkan has three full-length collections of poetry – Arranging the Gallery (Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1976), Ikons of the Hunt (Sono Nis, 1978) and Black Cup (Beach Holme, 1992) – as well as several chapbooks, including Morning Glory (Reference West, 1992) which won the bpNichol Chapbook Prize for the year it was published. Kishkan’s novella, Patrin, will be published by Mother Tongue in September, 2015, and another novella, Winter Wren, will be the first title in a new imprint, FishGottaSwim Editions, created by Kishkan and Anik See, to showcase the novella form.
Irina Kovalyova has a master’s degree in chemistry from Brown University, a doctoral degree in microbiology from Queen’s University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She is a senior lecturer in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. Specimen is her first collection of stories.
Sonja Larsen’s writing has been published in magazines, newspapers and literary journals, including Room, Descant, Scissors and Spackle, THIS Magazine and the Globe & Mail, and in the anthology Flash 101: Surviving the Fiction Apocalypse. She is the author of the memoir Red Star Tattoo (Random House Canada, 2016).
Paul LeBlond is a Canadian ocean scientist, born in Quebec City in 1938 and is now residing on Galiano Island, British Columbia. A graduate of McGill University and the University of British Columbia, LeBlond taught physics and oceanography at the University of British Columbia where he is now an emeritus professor. His work on ocean waves and currents has taken him to research institutes in Germany, France and Russia and was applied to practical problems through his industrial consulting activities and membership in fisheries conservation councils. LeBlond is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society as well as a foreign member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of the Russian Federation.
Billie Livingston is a fiction writer, poet, and sometime essayist. She has been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award, the Journey Prize for fiction and the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry. Her 2012 novel, One Good Hustle, was nominated for the Giller Prize and became a year’s best book selection for several publications including The Globe and Mail, Now Magazine and January Magazine.
Christine Lowther is a poet and non-fiction writer living in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island. Her latest book is Born Out of This, a memoir. Born Out of This made the BC Book Prizes Shortlist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. This book is a mixture of autobiography, nature writing, humour, activism and punk.
Stacey Matson always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t get around to actually attempting it until a few years ago. The result is her first children’s novel, A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius.
Now that Stacey has mastered her own craft, readers can look forward to two more novels in this planned trilogy.
Susan McCaslin, author of thirteen volumes of poetry, editor of two poetry anthologies, essayist, and workshop facilitator, has published a spiritual memoir combining biography, memoir, spiritual reflection, and poetry: Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna Publications, 2014).Her most recent volumes of poetry are The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014) and Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011), the latter of which was short-listed for the BC Book Prize and the first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award in 2012. Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she and her husband organized the Han Shan Poetry Initiative to help save a local rainforest.
Linda M. Morra teaches Canadian literature, Canadian and cultural studies, Indigenous literatures, women’s writing, feminist theory, theories of globalization, and American literature at Bishop’s University. Dr. Morra has won several research awards (her books have been finalists for the Gabrielle Roy Prize and the LAMBDA Prize) and teaching awards, including the Departmental teaching Award (2008-2009) and Best Professor of the Humanities (2007-2008 and 2009-2010); she has been nominated for several other teaching prizes, including the William and Nancy Turner Teaching Award (2010-2011).
John Pass’s poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. He is the author of nineteen books and chapbooks. His most recent books are: Forecast (Selected Early Poems 1970 -1990) (Harbour Publishing 2015) and crawlspace (Harbour Publishing 2011), which received the Dorthy Livesay Prize. Stumbling in the Bloom (Oolichan Books, 2005) won the 2006 Governor General’s Award. He lives with his wife, writer Theresa Kishkan, near Sakinaw Lake on BC’s Sunshine Coast.
Bill Richardson has hosted many shows on CBC Radio, including Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and In Concert. Most recently, he collaborated with Veda Hille in creating Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata, which was staged at the Arts Club in Vancouver. His books include Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast and After Hamelin, a novel for children. His new book is The First Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps: Poems of the Late Middle Ages.
Born in San Francisco, poet George Stanley has been living in BC since the early 1970s, first in Vancouver, then in Terrace and back in Vancouver. A former instructor in the English department at Capilano College, he has published six books, including Gentle Northern Summer, Opening Day, The Stick, and You. He is the recipient of the 2006 Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry.
Audrey Thomas has published 17 previous novels and short story collections. Her novels Intertidal Life and Coming Down from Wa were nominated for Governor General’s Literary Awards and won B.C.’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. In 2003 she won the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Audrey lives right here on Galiano Island!
Charles Tidler is a poet, novelist, librettist, spoken jazz artist and, playwright who has written scripts for stage, radio, TV and film. Recent stage plays include Tortoise Boy (Belfry Festival 2014) and Rappaccini’s Daughter (U of Victoria, 2003). Honors include National Radio Awards, a Chalmers Outstanding Play Award, Canada Council and B.C. Arts Council awards, and a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Charles has worked for 20 years as a dramaturge and teacher of creative writing at North Island College, The University of Victoria, Camosun College, Canadian College of Film & Acting, The Banff School of Fine Arts, The Kootenay College of Arts, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Intrepid Theatre, Theatre BC, and The Belfry Theatre. He has lived on the west coast of Canada since 1969 and is the father of two sons. He makes his home in Victoria, BC.
Kim Trainor began writing poetry in the spring of 2009. Over the years she has worked at a campus radio station, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a biomedical library, and is currently a sessional lecturer at UBC. Her poetry has won the Gustafson Prize and the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and has appeared in the 2013 Global Poetry Anthology and The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014. She lives in Vancouver.
Robert J. Wiersema is a writer of fiction and non-fiction and a reviewer who contributes regularly to several national newspapers. He is the bestselling author of two novels and a non-fiction book about Bruce Springsteen. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.