Thank you to the authors who accepted our invitation to the October 2-4 2015 Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival. See their photos and bios below.
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” ~ Virginia Woolf
Terry Ann Carter is a leading voice in contemporary haiku education and the author of five collections of longer poetry and four chapbooks of haiku. As a poet she is a masterful and respected artist; as an educator she has inspired thousands of young people to find their own voices. She is the president of Haiku Canada and presently teaches Japanese literary forms at Royal Roads University, Victoria. As a “poet-in-the-schools” funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, she has given hundreds of writing workshops to adolescents and adults. Terry Ann will be leading a poetry workshop for students at North Saanich Middle School as part of the Literary Festival.
Janie Chang is a Canadian novelist who draws upon family history for her writing. She grew up listening to stories about ancestors who encountered dragons, ghosts, and immortals, and about life in a small Chinese town in the years before the Second World War. She is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. Born in Taiwan, Janie has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and New Zealand. She now lives in Vancouver with her husband.
Three Souls is her first novel. It was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and is one of nine Canadian books long-listed for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Janie’s second novel (working title Dragon Springs Road) will be published by HarperCollins Canada and William Morrow (USA).
Photo by Ayelet Tsabari.
Lorna Crozier was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. As a child growing up in a prairie community where the local heroes were hockey players and curlers, she “never once thought of being a writer.” After university, Lorna went on to teach high school English and work as a guidance counsellor. During these years, Lorna published her first poem in Grain magazine, a publication that turned her life toward writing. Her first collection Inside in the Sky was published in 1976. Since then, she has authored 16 books of poetry, including The Garden Going on Without Us, Angels of Flesh, Angels of Silence, Inventing the Hawk (winner of the 1992 Governor General’s Award), Everything Arrives at the Light, Apocrypha of Light, What the Living Won’t Let Go, Whetstone, The Blue Hour of the Day: Selected Poems, Small Mechanics, The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things and The Wrong Cat. She has also published a memoir, Small Beneath the Sky, and a children’s book, Lots of Kisses. In 2015, she collaborated with world-renowned photographer Ian McAllister on The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea. Whether Lorna is writing about angels, aging, or Louis Armstrong’s trout sandwich, she continues to engage readers and writers across Canada and the world with her grace, wisdom and wit.
Photo: Chris Hancock-Donaldson
William Deverell was a journalist for seven years while working his way through two degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, and graduated in law in 1963. He was a member of the bars of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon, his criminal practice involved work for both prosecution and defence, and he worked in civil rights, labour, and environmental law. His first novel, Needles, won the $50,000 Seal Prize in l979 and the Book of the Year Award in l98l. His subsequent novels include High Crimes, Mecca, The Dance of Shiva, Platinum Blues, Mindfield, Kill All the Lawyers, Street Legal, Trial of Passion, Slander, The Laughing Falcon, Mind Games, April Fool, Kill All the Judges, and Snow Job. He is author of the true crime book A Life on Trial – the Case of Robert Frisbee, based on a celebrated murder trial which he defended. As well, he is creator of the CBC’s long running TV series Street Legal. His most recent novel, Sing a Worried Song, is the sixth in the Arthur Beauchamp series.
Steven Galloway is the author of Finnie Walsh, Ascension, The Cellist of Sarajevo and The Confabulist. He has won the Borders Original Voice Award, the OLA Evergreen Award, and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, and been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Richard & Judy Book of the Year Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Canadian Booksellers Association Fiction Award, and the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award. His work has been published in over thirty countries and optioned for film. His most recent novel, The Confabulist, revolves around Harry Houdini and is about fame and ambition, reality and illusion, and the ways that love, grief and imagination can alter what we perceive and believe. Steven teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia, and lives with his wife and two young daughters in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Photo: Frances Raud
Zsuzsi Gartner is the author of the acclaimed story collection All the Anxious Girls on Earth and editor of the award-winning Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow, and was creative director for five years of Vancouver Review’s “Blueprint BC Fiction Series.” Her most recent collection, Better Living through Plastic Explosives, was a finalist for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Zsuzsi has won numerous awards for magazine journalism and a National Magazine Award for fiction. Her stories have been widely anthologized, including in The Penguin Book of Canadian Humour, The Penguin Book of Contemporary Women’s Short Stories, as well as featured in Noah Richler’s This Is My Country . . . . Her fiction was selected for Best Canadian Stories 2010 and 2011, recently published in The Walrus, The Letters Page (U.K.) and TREK, and has been broadcast on CBC in Canada and NPR in the U.S.
Photo: Kamil Bialous
Charlotte Gill is the author of Eating Dirt, a tree-planting memoir nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize, the Charles Taylor Prize, and two B.C. Book Prizes. It was the 2012 winner of the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. She says, “In seventeen seasons I planted more than a million trees. I don’t do it for a living any more, but for some strange reason it took me a whole book to explain, I miss it every day.”
Her previous book, Ladykiller, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and winner of the B.C. Book Prize for fiction. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Stories, The Journey Prize Stories, and many magazines. She teaches creative writing in the graduate program at the University of British Columbia and is currently faculty in Literary Arts at the Banff Centre. She lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
Des Kennedy is an accomplished novelist and satirist as well as a celebrated gardening writer and speaker. The author of nine books, both fiction and non-fiction, he has been nominated three times for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. Over the years Des has contributed countless articles on environmental issues, gardening and rural living to a wide variety of publications in Canada and the United States, including seven years as gardening columnist for The Globe and Mail. He has hosted tours of the gardens of Ireland, New Zealand, China and England. As well, he’s been active for many years in environmental and social justice issues, including co-organizing the civil disobedience campaign in Strathcona Provincial Park in 1988 and getting arrested at Clayoquot Sound in 1993. He worked for several years in the 70s and early 80s as a land claim consultant for two First Nations bands in north-central B.C. and was a founding director of a community land trust on Denman Island. His latest book is Heart & Soil: The Revolutionary Good of Gardens, and he is currently at work on a new novel. He lives with his partner Sandy in their hand-built house surrounded by gardens and woodlands.
Jeremy Loveday is Victoria’s 2010 Individual Slam Champion and a three-time member of the Victoria Poetry Slam team. His performances are playful, fierce and fully present and his poetry weaves universal themes into insightful story lines. Having performed at festivals and shows across Canada and beyond, Jeremy has built his reputation on his raw, rhythmic performances. At the inaugural Vancouver International Poetry Festival, Jeremy’s poem Come Home Canada was chosen as one of two festival highlights. Jeremy currently serves as the Director of Youth Outreach for Tongues of Fire, Victoria’s spoken word poetry collective. In this role, he organizes and facilitates high school poetry workshops, bringing local performance poets together to introduce the art of spoken word to high school students. He is also the Director of Victorious Voices, Victoria’s Secondary School Slam Championships. He will be giving a presentation to Parkland Secondary School students as part of the Literary Festival.
Arleen Paré is a Victoria poet and novelist, a graduate of The Writers Studio program at Simon Fraser University and an MFA graduate from the University of Victoria. Her first book, Paper Trail, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award for Poetry and won the Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2008. Her second novel, Leaving Now, was released in 2012 by Caitlin Press. Her latest, a themed collection of poetry entitled, Lake of Two Mountains (Brick Books), won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, 2014. The recent He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car (Caitlan Press) is elegiac, lyrical, ironic; a series of reflections, recollections; a collection about relationships—to family, clocks, water, trees, ungulates, endings—recognizing that not all relationships are straightforward. This is poetry that covers a broad range, wide and changing, the strangeness of everyday life buoyed by the solace of language, the pleasure of song. Each word in its right place, each poem reflecting beyond surface meaning. In October 2015 This Inflammable Mercy, another collection of poetry, will be released by Caitlin Press.
Tara Saracuse’s first experience with literature came in Grade One, when her teacher read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis aloud to the class. In that moment, Tara decided, “When I grow up, I’m going to make pictures using words.” Throughout her growing up years she continued to read and write. In 2010, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria. Tara’s first book, Island Kids, is a reflection of her main passions in life: stories and the beautiful island she lives on. Today, Tara lives on a small hobby farm in North Saanich with her husband, their three cats and their rambunctious German Shepherd. Tara continues to write, between her many hobbies which include working on her vegetable garden, playing with her dog, quilting, sewing, and knitting, and continuously exploring the islands with her friends and family. As part of the Literary Festival, Tara will be giving a writing workshop to students at North Saanich Middle School.
Anny Scoones spent many years on her historic farm in North Saanich raising heritage livestock and growing heirloom produce. She was a three-term municipal councillor, and wrote three memoirs of rural essays (Home, Tales of a Heritage Farm, Home and Away, and True Home) describing the ups and downs, humour, sadness, and wonder of living in the countryside. Anny now lives in Victoria and teaches English. Her last book was Hometown, Out and About in Victoria’s Neighbourhoods (Touchwood Editions). In fall 2015 her new book, Last Dance in Shediac (Touchwood Editions) recalls her life growing up in Fredericton during the Cold War with her well known war-artist parents Bruno and Molly Lamb Bobak; the book is a reflection on family, Canada, arts and culture, and ultimately, our journey toward the end of life.
Anny enjoys walking the city beaches with her dog Archie (and picking up beach trash), doing yoga to relieve the past physical pains of farm life, and riding her horse Valnah, whom she still rides at the Saanich Fair every September.
Kay Stewart is a past president of Crime Writers of Canada and co-chaired Bloody Words 2011 in Victoria. A native of Texas, she taught for many years at the University of Alberta before moving to Vancouver Island. She has two adult children and lives in Victoria with husband and sometimes co-author Chris Bullock. After having taught literature and writing courses in various colleges and universities, she took early retirement from the University of Alberta to devote her time to writing. She is the author of the Danutia Dranchuk mystery series (A Deadly Little List, Sitting Lady Sutra, Unholy Rites), two co-written with husband Chris Bullock. She has also co-authored two writing textbooks and published short stories and personal essays.
Chris Bullock, co-author of A Deadly Little List and Unholy Rites, draws on his knowledge of England and the English in his creation of ex-pat drama critic Arthur Fairweather. Chris was born in Cheshire and educated at the University of Leeds before coming to Canada to teach at the University of Alberta. After a career that included publishing poetry, scholarly articles, and textbooks, he turned to writing fiction and creative nonfiction. In addition to his work on the Danutia Dranchuk mysteries, he is writing a series of essays on his discoveries as a grandparent. His other interests range from hiking to doing yoga, dancing the 5 Rhythms, and playing guitar. He is also active in several environmental groups.
Fred Stenson is the author of eighteen books and 150 films and videos. His book titles include the historical novels The Great Karoo, Lightning and The Trade. In 2014, Doubleday Canada published his sixth novel and ninth book of fiction, Who By Fire, the story of a farm family with a dangerous gas plant on its doorstep.
Fred has won several awards for his fiction: the WGA George Bugnet Novel Award, The City of Edmonton Book Prize, and the Grant MacEwan Writer’s Prize (twice). The Trade was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2000. The Great Karoo was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 2008. Fred directs the Wired Writing Studio at The Banff Centre and is a regular columnist for Alberta Views magazine. He lives in Cochrane, Alberta with his wife Pamela Banting.
Photo: Greg Gerrard
Born in England, award-winning author Nikki Tate travelled the world before settling down on a tiny farm on Vancouver Island. Horses, goats, ducks, cats, dogs, and koi keep her busy when she isn’t dreaming up ideas for new books or working out in her garden. She is the author of the Tarragon Island novels (about a young writer living on a fictitious Gulf Island), the StableMates series of horse novels, and Cave of Departure, the first book in the Estorian Chronicles, a fantasy series about a tribe of nomadic storytellers. The author of more than twenty books, Nikki also works as a freelance broadcaster with CBC radio and is a professional storyteller, retelling the stories of King Arthur’s court. Her writing workshops are popular with aspiring writers of all ages. Nikki will be leading a writing workshop for children at the Festival. Nikki is the past Chair of the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable, the Vancouver Island Council of the International Reading Association, and the Greater Victoria Arts Commission.
Patrick Taylor, M.D. was born and raised in Bangor County Down in Northern Ireland and now lives on Salt Spring Island. Dr. Taylor is a distinguished medical researcher, offshore sailor, model-boat builder, and father of two grown children. He has published more than a dozen works of creative writing, all set in Northern Ireland. He wrote a short story collection entitled Only Wounded: Ulster Stories, the novel Pray for Us Sinners and its sequel Now and in the Hour of Our Death, and The Apprenticeship of Doctor Laverty (short listed for the BC Book awards fiction prize 2005). He is best known as the author of the Irish Country books, which include An Irish Country Doctor, An Irish Country Village, An Irish Country Christmas, An Irish Country Girl, and An Irish Country Courtship.
Richard Wagamese, one of Canada’s foremost Native authors and journalists, has published 13 titles with major Canadian publishers. He has been writing for over thirty years as a broadcaster, newspaper columnist, and commentator. Richard received the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for his 2011 memoir One Story, One Song, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction for his third novel Dream Wheels in 2007 and the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award for his debut novel, Keeper’n Me, in 1994. His most recent novels are The Next Sure Thing (2011), Indian Horse (2012), winner of the 2013 Canada Reads People’s Choice Award, and Medicine Walk (2014). Richard was awarded the 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Media & Communications and in 2013 he was the recipient of the Canada Council on the Arts Molson Prize in the Arts and the inaugural Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Metis Literature. In a recent interview Richard said, “Medicine Walk is the best work I have ever done. It’s about displaced fathers and displaced sons, territory I know well because I have been both. It’s about the absence of a personal history and how that affects you and how reclaiming that history changes the way you live.”
Naomi Beth Wakan is an essayist and poet. She is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Nanaimo and has just become the inaugural honorary ambassador for the BC Federation of Writers, an award given to people who have gone above and beyond promoting literature and supporting writers and poets in their communities. Naomi has published over fifty books including the prize winning titles, Haiku-one breath poetry, and her book on aging, A Roller-coaster Ride: thoughts on aging. She has been giving memoir-writing workshops for some years, and recently her own book of memoirs, Some Sort of Life was published, along with memoirs of her writing years, Poetry That Heals. She is a member of Haiku Canada, Tanka Canada, and The League of Canadian Poets. Naomi will be leading a workshop on memoir-writing at the Festival.