Rafi Aaron – Author

In October 2004 Rafi Aaron delivered the Alexander Mackenzie Memorial Lecture at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia, where he read his poems on Osip Mandelstam. A documentary on Rafi entitled The Sound Traveller, produced by Endless Films, is currently airing on Bravo TV and Book Television. For the work in Surviving the Censor – The Unspoken Words of Osip Mandelstam he has received a Canada Council grant, A Works In Progress Grant from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), two Writers Reserve Grants from the OAC, a scholarship to the Banff Centre for the Arts, and was a visiting writer at the Artist House in Herzilya, Israel.

Four of the poems in Surviving the Censor were short listed for the 2002 National Magazine Awards. Aaron’s prose poem ‘Voronezh’ was chosen by Tim Lilburn as a wining entry in Grain’s annual writing competition. Selections from this book were finalists for the CBC Literary Awards in 2002 and 2005.

Rafi Aaron is the curator and poet for the travelling exhibit A Seed in the Pocket of Their Blood. The exhibit, which combines poetry and photography into one artistic unit, has been viewed by over one million people in Canada, the United States and Israel. Aaron’s book of poetry, also entitled A Seed In The Pocket Of Their Blood was acquired by Syracuse University Press in October, 2000 and launched in the United States with a reading at the Canadian Consulate in New York, with additional readings in Los Angles, and Washington D.C.

Jean Rae Baxter – Author

After a career in education, Jean Rae Baxter started writing seriously in the year 2000. Since that time her short stories have appeared in Canadian and American anthologies, literary journals and magazines. Her debut collection of short stories, A Twist of Malice, was published by Seraphim Editions in 2005, winning considerable critical acclaim. In her stories, the conflicts, obsessions and concerns of ordinary—and sometimes not-so-ordinary—people are limned with irony and penetrating insight.

She is also the author of three novels. The first was a young adult historical novel, The Way Lies North (Ronsdale Press, 2007). It was followed by Looking for Cardenio (Seraphim Editions, 2008), which investigates what may have happened to Shakespeare’s lost play. Her third, Broken Trail, a sequel to The Way Lies North, was published by Ronsdale Press in 2011.

Nik Beat – Author

1956-2014

Nik Beat (née Michael Barry) toiled in the rock and roll field for a number of years until he quit and took the moniker Nik Beat. Nik, a native Torontonian, was a writer/poet published in numerous anthologies. He hosted the HOWL spoken word radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM.

https://nowtoronto.com/news/in-memoriam/nik-beat-rip/

David Bellusci – Author

David Bellusci was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He holds a B.A. in English Literature (University of Toronto), M.A. in Linguistics (University of Calgary), M.F.A. in Creative Writing (University of Nebraska), and Ph.D. in Philosophy (Dominican University College), Ottawa. His poetry has been read in Canada, USA and Italy, and his writing has been published in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Nina Berkhout – Author

Nina Berkhout is originally from Calgary. She is the author of four previous poetry collections, most recently Arrivals and Departures (Buschek Books, 2010), a finalist for the 2011 Archibald Lampman Award for the year’s best poetry by a writer living in the National Capital Region.

Her work has also been shortlisted for THIS Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt and the John Hirsch Award for most promising Manitoba writer. Berkhout holds a degree in Classical Studies from the University of Calgary and a Master’s in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. She currently lives in Ottawa.

Allan Briesmaster – Author

Allan Briesmaster is a freelance editor, publisher, literary consultant, and the nationally known author of ten previous books of poetry, including Interstellar (Quattro Books, 2007). He was centrally involved in organizing the popular weekly Art Bar Poetry Reading Series from its beginnings in 1991 until 2002, and has been a host and organizer of many other literary events in the Toronto area since then.

As an editor working with several literary presses, Allan has been instrumental in the production of more than 60 books of poetry and non-fiction since 1998. In 2008 he co-edited the ground-breaking anthology Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era for Seraphim Editions. Widely published in journals and anthologies, Allan has read his poetry in venues from Victoria to St. John’s. He lives in Thornhill, ON with his wife Holly, a visual artist with whom he has collaborated several times.


Allan Brown – Author

Allan Brown was born in Victoria and presently lives in Powell River, BC. His poems have been published in various Canadian journals since 1962, and partly collected in 16 books and chapbooks, and in several anthologies. He was writer-in-residence at the Kapuskasing Public Library in 1987-88. His collection Imagines (Leaf Press, 2002) was co-winner of the bp Nichol Chapbook Award.

His critical writings – mostly reviews and review articles – have appeared since 1976. He was guest editor for Nebula in 1979-80, literary editor of Quarry through 1982-84 and guest editor in 1986, and a member of the editorial board of Rim in 1998-99. He has been the contributing editor for reviews to Jones Ave. since 1996, and has edited and published The Wayward Coast anthology series since 2001.

He is a member of the Canadian Poetry Association, the Federation of BC Writers, the League of Canadian Poets, and the pacifi-kana haiku group, and is artistic director of the Malaspina Writers’ Association.

M.H  Callway – Author

M.H. Callway is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in several publications, including Crimespree Magazine, Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and Mouth Full of Bullets. She is the founder of the Mesdames of Mayhem, a collective of fifteen leading Canadian women crime writers and editors. Windigo Fire is her first novel.

Chris Cameron – Author

Christopher Cameron spent a large part of his life as a professional opera singer. He worked steadily and made a good living at his craft, performing on opera and concert stages across Canada. In 1989, he left full-time singing and began a career in the world of finance and technology, from which he retired in 2013. He spent the final years of his singing career with the Canadian Opera Company Chorus, leaving in 2009, thirty-three years after he first started with the company. Several years ago he began a third career as a freelance writer and editor. Cameron is also a marathon runner, long-distance cyclist, and seven-time Ironman finisher.

Roy Carless -Artist

1920-2009

Signed as “Roi”, Roy Carless cartoons have been published in union and labour papers in both official languages, in every province and territory of Canada to the Arctic Circle, and in each of the United States and its territories from Guam to Puerto Rico. At his peak, Carless drew for upwards of 20 publications monthly, with a combined circulation exceeding three million, an achievement still unmatched by any other editorial cartoonist. All this while working full time on an industrial assembly-line in Hamilton, Ontario, and an unpaid officer of his union local representing employees in the same plant.

First published in his school newspaper at Runnymede Collegiate in Toronto, Roy began to take his gift for caricature seriously when, in his late forties, he was discovered by the late Duncan McPherson, editorial cartoonist for the Toronto Star. McPherson offered advice and encouragement, and sponsored Carless’ membership into the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists in 1971, the first labour cartoonist to be accepted by the organization.

Talent with a brush and pen, a keen eye for caricature and composition – Carless had them, but they mean little in political cartooning without a quick sense of humour and an ear for the rhythms of everyday life. Carless used his humour to shed light on dark situations, making points in ways easily understood and appreciated by lawyers and labourers alike. He is a well-versed raconteur, with stories drawn from the assembly line and the back seat of a limousine, sitting next to Lady Bird, on a tour of LBJ’s Texas ranch.

Carless’ originals are now in collections from the National Archives in Ottawa to the personal collections of numerous politicians, including several Presidential Libraries. His work has appeared in galleries in cities from Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa to Washington, Paris, and the Vatican. Though his cartoons are in a number of anthologies, this is the first collection devoted solely to this immensely talented but overlooked Canadian artist’s own work. The Carless Cartoon Collection: Not Bad for an Old Bastard is a veritable catalogue of important labour, social and political issues of the past forty years, essential to the collections of artists, historians and anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

Doug Carter – Author

From the early 1960s through 1995 Doug played the ‘Blues’ bass on the local and Ontario club scene most notably with childhood friend, Blues harmonica virtuoso Richard Newell aka King Biscuit Boy in Hamilton’s first ‘blue-eyed’ Blues band, Son Richard and the Chessmen. In the early 1970s he co-wrote several songs with Richard a number of which appeared on Newell’s 1974 Epic recording “King Biscuit Boy” and on Daffodil/Uni Record’s “Badly Bent: The Best of King Biscuit Boy” In the 1980s he played with Hamilton guitar hero, Guitar Mikey McMillan, in The Real Thing, co-writing a number of songs on McMillan’s 1990 A&M/Spy Record’s CD “Caught Between The Squeeze”.

Along the way Doug played with many Blues musicians from the Toronto and Hamilton areas including Morgan Davis, Teddy Leonard, (CBC musicologist guy), Downchild’s Donny Walsh, Jack De Keyser, Harrison Kennedy, Rita Chiaralli, Mike Oddie, and Naomi Taylor as well as rockers Tim Gibbons, Fraser Loveman, Michael O’Brien and Tom Wilson.

In 1995 a lifelong interest in the visual arts led Doug to stop playing bass and concentrate on administering the non-profit Carnegie art gallery in Dundas, a post he continued in through 2004. He last played live in 2003 with a recreation of the Chessmen at the first memorial concert in memory of the recently departed ‘Biscuit’ Richard Newell. Although no longer ‘gigging’ Doug continues to write songs with Mike McMillan as well as volunteering with a number of arts organizations. And he of course still listens to and collects the Blues.

Dan Conlin – Author

Dan Conlin is a historian and museum curator in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He received a Bachelor of Journalism degree with a concentration in History from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario in 1986. His Honours Research Paper was a history of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit. He worked as a researcher at the National Archives of Canada while at University and after graduation wrote exhibit text for the National Science and Technology Museum exhibit Beyond the Printed Word Newsreel and Broadcast Reporting in Canada. Conlin worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a morning show producer mainly in Radio with CBC Ottawa but also at CBC Television in Halifax and As It Happens in Toronto. He also did two volunteer postings overseas as a teacher in Swaziland in 1989 and an archaeological field worker in Namibia in 1993. He returned home to Nova Scotia in 1994 and earned a Master of History degree at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax in 1996.

Conlin became Curator of Marine History at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in 1997. In addition to overseeing the collection and research at the museum, he curated and wrote over a dozen exhibits at the Museum including the Museum’s permanent exhibits about Titanic and the Canadian Navy as well as temporary exhibits such as St. Louis: Ship of Fate and Hello Sailor! LGBTI Mariners in Canada. Conlin led a team in 2013 which created an electronic publishing program for Nova Scotia’s museum system and was the editor of the province’s first ebook, Baskets of Black Nova Scotians by Joleen Gordon.

In 2014 Conlin became the Curator at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 where he is in charge of temporary and travelling exhibitions. Conlin also teaches in the Atlantic Canada Studies department at Saint Mary’s University. He is an author of numerous scholarly and public history articles and contributed to the Oxford Companion to Canadian History. His first book, published in 2009 was Pirates of the Atlantic: Robbery, murder and mayhem off the Canadian East Coast.

John Delacourt – Author

John Delacourt is a Toronto writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications in Canada. He is also the author and co-creator of several plays produced in Toronto. He studied at the Humber School for Writers after graduating with an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

B. D. Ferguson – Author

Writer and educator B. D. Ferguson lives in Southern Ontario. Her work has appeared in such venues as The Peterborough Examiner, Queen’s Alumni Review and a handful of e-zines, notably Dark Recesses and The Lorelei Signal. Her latest fiction publication was in the Seraphim Editions collection, Brought to Light: More Stories of Forgotten Women.

Susan L. Helwig – Author

Susan L. Helwig grew up on a farm just outside of Neustadt, Ontario. Her work has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies, most recently The Antigonish Review and Canadian Woman Studies. Recently her work has appeared in an e-zine, the Avatar Review Issue #6.

Stephen Humphrey – Author

Stephen Humphrey is a freelance writer and poet originally from Edmonton and now living in Toronto. He co-hosted the literary radio program HOWL for four years on CIUT, the University of Toronto station, and hosted the long-running Idler Pub Reading series for its final two years.

Luciano Iacobelli  – Author

Luciano Iacobelli was born in 1956 in Toronto. While earning a degree in Education from York University, he studied English Literature and attended writing courses taught by Frank Davey and Don Coles. In 1986 his first play The Porch was staged in Toronto, followed in 1988 by a one-man show entitled Byrdbrain. Throughout the 1990’s he focused on art and painting and was involved in a number of group shows featuring Italian-Canadian artists. In 1990 he founded Lyricalmyrical Press, a grass-roots publishing company specializing in handcrafted chapbooks, and he continues to be its chief editor and designer.

Luciano is one of the organizers of the Toronto Wordstage reading series, and a partner in Quattro Books. He lives in Toronto with his son Julian, and teaches at SEED, Toronto’s oldest public alternative school. The author of six chapbooks, The Angel Notebook is his first full-length publication.

Inge Israel  – Author

Inge Israel was born in Germany, grew up in France and Ireland, lived in Belgium then Denmark for eight years before settling in Canada. The recipient of several prizes and named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she is the author of eight books of poetry, short stories and drama in French and English.

Previous books include Raking Zen Furrows (Ronsdale Press), Unmarked Doors, (Ronsdale Press), Le Tableau Rouge (Ed. du Vermillon), Rifts in the Visible/Fêlures dans le Visible (Ronsdale Press), Beckett Soundings (Ronsdale Press), Réflexions, (Ed. St. Germain-des-Prés, Paris) and Même le Soleil a des Taches (Ed. St. Germain-des-Prés, Paris).

Drama, poetry and some of her stories were broadcast on BBC, CBC and Radio Canada. Malcolm Forsyth and Violet Archer have set several of her poems to music.

Maria Jacobs – Author

Maria Jacobs was born as Marja Schröder in the Netherlands. She lived in Amersfoort, a medium-size city in the heart of the country. Her family became actively involved in the concealment and care of Jews sought by the Germans in occupied Holland.

In the mid-fifties she came to North America with her young husband Peter Moens. Since then she has lived in New York and Toronto, borne three sons and two daughters, and obtained a BA in mathematics and an MA in English.

After this, for many years, she ran The Axle-tree Coffee House in downtown Toronto, where poets and musicians met. She published a magazine, Poetry Toronto, for about a decade, wrote three books of poetry, and edited several anthologies. She was a member of the team of readers which screened the entries for the CBC Literary Competition conducted by Robert Weaver for over twenty years.

Andréa Jarmai – Author

Andréa Jarmai is a Toronto poet with poems published literary journals in Canada, the US, England, Ireland and Japan. She was the 2002 winner of the Art Bar’s Discovery Night contest, and has been invited to sit on the board of the Art Bar Poetry Series, which she regularly hosts or co-hosts.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Andréa grew up living and travelling in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean, before settling Montréal, where she studied Classics. She has worked as a falconer involved with raptor rehabilitation in Québec, and upon moving to Toronto, as a falconer and keeper at the Metro Toronto Zoo.

She has also taught English in Canada and during her travels, and recently returned from a nine-year stay in Japan. While in Japan, she composed music and lyrics for Fooliar, a band for which she is lead vocalist and second guitarist. The band released a CD, “fooliar”, in 1999, in Japan.

Andréa has read regularly at Toronto’s various poetry reading series, as well as on CIUT Radio. She read at the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Benefit Auction and Readings, hosted by the Pteros Gallery, in Toronto.

In addition to translating the poetry of the Hungarian-Canadian poet George Faludy into English as an ongoing project, Andréa has translated into Hungarian and read onto CDs the work of poet Penn Kemp, in whose Peace Poem reading/performance events she regularly participates.

She has published three chapbooks: The Ahab Poems, in January of 2003, One Bee, in October 2003, and Woman in Armour, April 2004, all by Fooliar Press. Her first book-length collection of poems, under the editorship of Allan Briesmaster, was published by Seraphim Editions, in April of 2004.

David Kilgour – Author

David Kilgour graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.A. in Economics, and received his L.L.B from the University of Toronto in 1966. He was admitted to the bars of Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. After graduating from law school, he articled with a Vancouver law firm and then worked as an assistant city prosecutor for the City of Vancouver. He then worked for the federal Department of Justice and later became Crown Attorney for the Dauphin Judicial District in Manitoba. From 1972 to 1979, he served as a senior agent of the Attorney General and a constitutional advisor to the Government of Alberta – a position he held until being elected to the House of Commons in the spring of 1979.

During his over 26 years of service in the House of Commons, David held a wide variety of portfolios, including Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader, the Minister of External Relations, the Minister of Indian Affairs and the Minister of Transport. In 1990, after voting against the Goods and Services Tax, he was expelled from the Conservative caucus. He briefly sat as an independent Progressive Conservative before joining the Liberal Party in 1991.

He has served as Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Committees of the Whole House, and was appointed Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa and, later, Secretary of State for Asia Pacific. In April 2005, he chose to become an independent Member of Parliament.From 1990 1994, Mr. Kilgour served as the Chair of the Canadian chapter of the International Committee for a Free Vietnam, and he continues to shed light on the plight of political prisoners in Vietnam. In December of 1994, his efforts to promote human rights in Vietnam were acknowledged by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Vietnam.

He is the author of several books including: Uneasy Patriots: Western Canadians in Confederation (Lone Pine Publishing, 1988); Betrayal: The Spy Canada Abandoned (Prentice Hall, 1994); Uneasy Neighbours: Canada, the USA and the Dynamics of State, Industry and Culture, with David T. Jones (Wiley, 2007).

Mr. Kilgour and David Matas were awarded the 2009 Human Rights Prize of the International Society for Human Rights in Switzerland for their work in raising awareness of state-sponsored organ pillaging in China. In 2010, they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Pierre L’Abbé – Author

Pierre L’Abbé holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion from the University of Toronto. He has taught world religions and ethics at the University of Toronto and Humber College.

Religion and morality in contemporary society are major themes in his poetic works, Lyon (Letters, 1996) and Ten Days in Rio (watershedBooks, 1998).

His concerns on the interplay of aesthetics, morality, and religion come together in critical writings on art in southeast Asia and politics in Europe, and in his short story collection, In the Time of Talking (Guernica Editions, 2005).

Chris Laing – Author

Chris Laing is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in private business for 20 years before joining the Federal Public Service where he served in the Department of the Secretary of State and National Museums of Canada in Ottawa until his retirement.

He has expanded his long-time interest in detective stories from that of avid reader to writing in this genre. He is the author of the Max Dexter Mystery Series, set in Hamilton in the post-WWII era. The first novel in the series, A Private Man, was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award, Best First Novel, 2013. The second novel, A Deadly Venture, received the Kerry Schooley Award presented by the Hamilton Arts Council in 2015. The third novel in the series, A Family Matter, will be published by Seraphim Editions in the Spring, 2017.

He has also written a number of short stories which have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Hammered Out as well as a number of online journals. A collection of his short stories about growing up in Hamilton during WWII, West End Kid: Tales from the Forties was published in 2013 as an e-book only and is available from most on-line retailers.

He now lives in Kingston, Ontario with his wife, artist Michèle LaRose.

Ian Lancashire – Author

Ian Lancashire is a Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Toronto who accidentally discovered changes in our vocabulary that are early-warning signals of Alzheimer’s Disease. His books include Forgetful Muses: Reading the Author in the Text; and Using TACT with Electronic Texts: A Guide to Text-Analysis Computing. The Internet databases he edits are Representative Poetry Online (RPO) and Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME). In 2015 he became Director, Humanities, Academy 1, Royal Society of Canada.

Shawna Lemay – Author

Shawna Lemay is a writer, blogger, editor, photographer, and library assistant. She is the creator and co-editor of the website, Canadian Poetries. She has written five books of poetry, All the God-Sized Fruit, Against Paradise, Still, Blue Feast and Red Velvet Forest, a book of essays, Calm Things, and a work of experimental fiction, Hive: A Forgery.

She resides in Edmonton, Canada with her partner, Robert Lemay, a visual artist, and their daughter, Chloe.

Tanis MacDonald – Author

Tanis MacDonald writes, studies and teaches in Victoria, but roams the wild prairie like a bison whenever she gets the chance. Holding Ground was nominated for the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award, and for the Eileen Sykes MacTavish Award at the Manitoba Writing and Publishing Awards in 2001.

She was the premier recipient of the Milton Acorn/Muriel Rukeyser award for her chapbook This Speaking Plant (Unfinished Monument Press) in 1997. She won the Bliss Carman Award for Poetry in 2003. Her second book, Fortune (Turnstone Press) was nominated for the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book at the MWP Awards in 2004.

David Matas – Author

David Matas received his B.A. at the University of Manitoba in 1964, and is a graduate of Oxford University with a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence, 1967) and a Bachelor of Civil Law (1968). Since 1979, he has maintained a private practice in refugee, immigration and human rights law. He was a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (1980), a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Conference on an International Criminal Court (1998), and a member of the Canadian Delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust (2000). From 1997 to 2003, he was Director of the International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development (later, Rights and Democracy).

In addition, he has been a frequent member of the Canadian delegation to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe Conferences on Anti-Semitism and Intolerance (Vienna 2003, Berlin 2004, Bucharest 2007).

He has been active in a number of associations and organizations for human rights: Amnesty International, B’nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Council for Refugees, and the Canadian Jewish Congress. He acted as an election observer in the following countries: South Africa (1994) for Canadian Bar Association, Ukraine (December 2004) for Canada Corps, Haiti (February 2006) for International Election Observation Mission, the Congo (October 2006) for the Carter Centre.

Mr. Matas has been active in Canadian politics. He was a candidate for the federal Liberal Party for Winnipeg South Centre (1979, 1980, 1984), and a member of the national policy committee for the Liberal Party from 1973 to 1978.

He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards including: the Governor-General’s Confederation Medal in 1992, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Manitoba Association of Rights & Liberties in 1996, the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada Midwest Region Human Rights Achievement Award in 1999, and the Vancouver Interfaith Brotherhood Person of the Year 2006. Mr. Matas was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2008.

David Matas is the author of a number of books: Justice Delayed: Nazi War Criminals in Canada (Summerhill Press, 1987) with Susan Charendoff; Closing the Doors: The Failure of Refugee Protection (Summerhill Press, 1989) with Ilana Simon; No More: The Battle Against Human Rights Violations (Dundurn, 1994); Bloody Words: Hate and Free Speech (Bain & Cox, 2000); Aftershock: anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism (Dundurn, 2005). He is also the co-editor of The Machinery of Death (Amnesty International USA, 1995).

David Matas and David Kilgour were awarded the 2009 Human Rights Prize of the International Society for Human Rights in Switzerland for their work in raising awareness of state-sponsored organ pillaging in China. In 2010, they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Steve McCabe – Author

Steve McCabe is a visual artist, poet and art instructor. His fine line drawings have illustrated several poetry books and he has designed numerous images for the cover page of WORD, Toronto’s literary calendar. As Artist in Residence at ARTPARK (Lewiston, NY), he created mixed media sculptures incorporating text and found objects. He has painted murals and exhibited works on paper. He is the creator of a children’s activity feature syndicated by the Toronto Star.

Susan McCaslin – Author

Susan McCaslin has authored ten volumes of poetry, including A Plot of Light and At the Mercy Seat. She is the editor of the anthologies A Matter of Spirit: Recovery of the Sacred in Contemporary Canadian Poetry and Poetry and Spiritual Practice: Selections from Contemporary Canadian Poets, and is on the editorial board of Event literary magazine.

“Radiant Body” won first place in the Federation of B.C. Writers’ 2006 poetry contest, and her poems have appeared on the buses in Vancouver’s Poetry in Transit program as well as in many literary journals across North America.

Visit Susan’s website at www.susanmccaslin.ca

Helen McLean – Author

Helen McLean pursues a dual career as painter and writer. Her novel Significant Things (Dundurn Press) was shortlisted for the 2004 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, Canada and Caribbean division. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Brick, Quill and Quire, Books in Canada, the Literary Review of Canada, Room of One’s Own, and Ars Medica. Her paintings have been exhibited across Canada and are in many private and corporate collections including the Bank of Canada, Ottawa. Her portrait of Margaret Laurence hangs in the Margaret Laurence Home in Neepawa, Manitoba.

Colin Morton – Author

Colin Morton was born in Toronto, grew up in Calgary, and lives in Ottawa, where he is a freelance writer and editor. His poetry and fiction have appeared in diverse literary journals including Descant, The Fiddlehead, Arc, Grain, The Malahat Review, Ascent, and The North American Review.

He has performed his work with the word-music intermedia group First Draft and the jazz ensembles SugarBeat and Sonic Circle, and in the award-winning animated poetry film Primiti Too Taa.

Colin has received numerous awards for his writing including the Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry. In 2002 he took part in the Convergence project, bringing poetry for peace to senators and MP’s on Parliament Hill. His previous Seraphim book, Dance, Misery, was shortlisted in 2004.

Ezat Mossallanejed – Author

Ezat Mossallanejed holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy. A victim of torture in Iran, he escaped to Canada in 1985.

In Montreal, he was a founding member of the Iranian Cultural and Community Centre, Institut Éducatif pour les Jeunes Iraniens, and the Montreal Democratic Forum.

In Toronto, he worked as a Youth Counsellor with St. Christopher House and as a Refugee Policy Analyst, and later was the Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service – Canada.

At present, Ezat is a full-time Counsellor and Policy Analyst with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT). He is a member of the Editorial Board of Refugee Update, a journal of refugee protection and advocacy in Canada. Sleeping Giant Productions has made a documentary about Ezat’s experience of torture which has frequently been broadcast by Vision TV.

Ezat is the Chair of the Board of Culturelink and is on the Board of the Canadian Centre for International Justice. He is the author of four books in Persian and one in English.

The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture – The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture aids survivors in overcoming the lasting effects of torture and war.

Gary Mossman – Author

Gary Mossman is a freelance writer with a background in history and sport. He is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR) and has been published in The Hockey News. His book, Fifty Years at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club, was published in 2012. A biography of Father David Bauer, the Basilian priest who coached Canada’s national hockey team in the 1960’s, is awaiting publication. He lives in Toronto.

Michael B. Nelson – Author

Michael B. Nelson was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and grew up in Wawa. He spent his summers at the Sturgeon River Outfitting Camp near Like Nipigon. After attending the University of Toronto he travelled widely and worked both in Canada and abroad. He is currently a woodworker and film carpenter.

Katharine O’Flynn – Author

Katharine O’Flynn, originally from Ontario, now lives in Montreal.  After retiring from teaching English as a Second Language, she turned to writing.  Her fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry have appeared in print and online journals and anthologies in Canada and the U.S. Her chapbook, Photographs, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2015.

Rosalie Osmond – Author

Rosalie Osmond is a native of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, but spent a large part of her adult life in England. Educated at Acadia University, Bryn Mawr College, and Cambridge University, she has taught English literature at university level in Canada and the U.K. She has published three works of non-fiction. Waldenstein is her first novel.

Chris Pannell – Author

In 1996, the Jasper Press published Chris Pannell’s first solo collection of poetry, three broadsheets entitled Fractures, Subluxations and Dislocations. This set subsequently won the Hamilton and Region Arts Council poetry book award.

In 1999, his first full-length book, entitled Sorry I Spent Your Poem, was published by watershedBooks. Since 1993 he has led the new writing workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. He edited both anthologies the group has produced: Your Baggage is in Buffalo (1994) and Between a Dock and a High Place (1997).

His non-fiction has appeared in The Globe and Mail and in various computer industry journals. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Ted Plantos – Author

Ted Plantos has published eleven collections of poetry, including Mosquito Nirvana (Wolsak and Wynn, 1993), Dogs Know About Parades (Black Moss Press, 1993), Daybreak’s Long Waking: Poems Selected and New (Black Moss Press, 1997), and most recently Five O’Clock Shadows (Letters Bookshop), Mix Six (Mekler & Deahl), and The Edges of Time (Seraphim Editions).

He has also published two children’s books, the acclaimed best-selling story Heather Hits Her First Home Run (Black Moss Press, 1986, also available on cd-rom from Discus) and poems At Home On Earth (Black Moss Press, 1991).

His poems, short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including: Antigonish Review, Arc, Books in Canada, Canadian Author & Bookman, Canadian Forum, Canadian Literature, Dandelion, Exhibit B, Greenfield Review, Paragraph, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Saturday Night, Love and Hunger (Aya Mercury, 1989), Windfield Review, Windhorse Reader, Great Canadian Murder and Mystery Stories (Quarry Press), We Stand On Guard: Poems and Songs of Canadians in Battle (Doubleday Canada).

 

Ted Plantos: 1943-2001

Eulogy by Robert Priest

It is hard in the brief time allotted here to credit all of Ted Plantos’ gifts and achievements. He did so much for poets and for the poetry community in his ‘activist’ mode that it has tended to overshadow the accomplishments of his poetry. Ted was writing and winning prizes for his protean and magical writings since the late sixties. Although he wrote well in the ‘fabulist’ tradition he was also a master of what many call “people’s poetry.” His poem “Stan’s Complaint”, for instance, is a comic masterpiece which really nails the voice and the concerns of working man Stan in such a way that no-one could listen to it without busting a gut laughing. But it wasn’t a laughter of scorn or distance, it was a laughter of self-recognition – commonality. And that was key to all of Ted’s massive output – commonality. But never at the expense of lyricism or imagination. Ted was not didactic or preachy. His rich imagery and euphonious manner floated the poems into instant accessibility and engagement whether you agreed with. their content or not. And yes, Ted was an excellent reciter of his own poetry, which helped. For further tastes of what was at the heart of his verse it might be efficient to recite some of the titles of his books – many of which are little poems in themselves. For instance: She Wore a Streetcar to the Wedding, or All the Easy Oils of Energy, Mosquito Nirvana, or my favorite, This Tavern Has No Symmetry.

At the time of my own arrival on the Toronto scene in the early seventies Ted was already a well-established literary figure. He had published several books, received prizes and honour of all honours had his poem “The Light Is on My Shoulder” printed on a poster and boldly displayed on posts and hoardings throughout Cabbagetown. This might have led many a poet to ascend to Olympian heights of disengagement and disdain. In fact, quite the opposite, it accorded Ted a position from which he could exercise the true generosity of his nature by helping out other up-and-coming poets. At that time Ted was the convenor of a poetry series at the house on Gerrard, right in the heart of one of Toronto’s grittiest sections. He ran this series for eight years, often featuring and mentoring and publishing poets who were to continue on in the People’s Poetry movement which Ted so cherished and fostered. A partial list of some of his other activities in this arena: Ted edited and published Cross-Canada Writers’ Magazine. He helped found the Canadian Poetry Association. He established and ran the Milton Acorn Memorial People’s Poetry Award, edited and published People’s Poetry Letter. He edited the League’s own Museletter for several years and befriended Milton Acorn, who oft needed befriending. The list goes on. As James Deahl has said: “No one ever did more to promote People’s Poetry and the poets associated with it than Ted Plantos. No one.” For myself I can say that Ted gave me my first reading, published some of my first poems and always had words of thoughtful encouragement to offer when we met. He beamed with positive energy, never a word of jealousy or mean-spirited spite. He was loyal to his friends and more energized to give prizes than to seek them. He was definitely a true people’s poet, a great guy and a generous being. In the years to come as we re-read and re-evaluate his works I know that we will find many lasting poems that will continue to enliven our literature. Ted himself, though, is gone and will be sorely missed for a long time to come.

League of Canadian Poets AGM 2001

J.S. Porter – Author

Poet and essayist, J.S. Porter was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and educated at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He has had a longtime interest in the arts. Formerly an arts contributor to Grail, in 1999 he received a Catholic Press award for his article on the German-Canadian sculptor Ted Rettig.

He has been a contributor to Poetry Ireland Review, Kentucky Poetry Review, Canadian Literature, The Antigonish Review, Quarry, Brick and the Literary Review of Canada. He has contributed articles and reviews to The Globe and Mail, The Ottawa Citizen, The National Post, The Hamilton Spectator and the electronic journal Hamilton Arts & Letters.

He is also the author of four books: The Thomas Merton Poems; Spirit Book Word: An Inquiry into Spirituality and Literature; Thomas Merton: Hermit at the Heart of Things; and The Glass Art of Sarah Hall.

At the 2013 City of Hamilton Arts Awards, J.S. Porter received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rob Ritchie – Author

Seraphim Editions published Rob Ritchie’s first novel, Orphans of Winter, in 2006. It was shortlisted for a Relit Award in 2007.

Rob Ritchie is a third generation musician who currently resides in Wiarton, Ontario. Raised in an intensely musical family, he has enjoyed considerable success in that field; spending a decade as piano player and contributing songwriter for the Canadian group Tanglefoot, and with the 2004 release of his solo CD Five O’clock Shadow.

It is no surprise that themes of music and performance have seeped into his latest work of fiction.

Stan Rogal – Author

Born in Vancouver, Stan Rogal obtained a B.A. from Simon Fraser University, majoring in English and doing a double minor in Philosophy and Theatre. He moved to Toronto in 1987, where he completed an M.A. in English at York University. He ran the popular Idler Pub Reading Series for ten years, was co-creator of Bald Ego Theatre, and is now the artistic director of Bulletproof Theatre. His work has appeared in several anthologies (The Edges of Time, Seraphim Editions 1999) and numerous literary magazines, and he is the author of seven books of poetry, two novels and three short story collections.

In Search of the Emerald City re-synthesizes three modern myths at once: Oz, Rimbaud, and Van Gogh. By poetic collage and pastiche, and through verbal prestidigitation, this veteran writer morphs familiar motifs from pop, middle and highbrow culture into a strange, darkly mischievous brew. The wholesome, fantastical fortunes of Dorothy of Kansas are shadowed jaggedly by the legends of the tormented poet and painter.

Bernadette Rule – Author

Bernadette Rule won the poetry prize at the 1991 Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, and has won Hamilton’s Short Works Prize for both poetry (2015) and literary non-fiction (2014). She taught English at Mohawk College, and creative writing in the Writing Certificate Program at McMaster. She also hosts Art Waves, an arts-interview radio program, on 101.5 The Hawk Sunday nights at 7.  Art Waves is podcast at archive.org/details/artwaves

Paul Sanderson – Author

Since being called to the Ontario bar in 1983, Paul Sanderson has practised entertainment and arts law exclusively. He is currently in private practice with his own firm, Sanderson Entertainment Law.

He is co-founder of ALAS (Artist Legal Advice Services), Canada’s first summary advice legal service which offers free legal advice for artists of all disciplines, and is an instructor at Metalworks Institute of Sound and Music Production. Paul is also a founding member, guitarist and songwriter for Blue Room.

Paul is the author of the legal texts Musicians and the Law in Canada (Carswell Legal Publications), the 4th edition was released in 2014 and Artists’ Contracts: Agreements for Visual and Media Artists (CARFAC Ontario) now in its 2nd edition

Hilary (Cunningham) Scharper – Author

Hilary (Cunningham) Scharper is a cultural anthropologist and writer. She received her doctorate from Yale University in anthropology and currently teaches at the University of Toronto. As an anthropologist, she brings a keen sense of the “everyday” world of “ordinary” people into her creative work.

In Dream Dresses she explores the social, cultural and imaginative worlds of women in poignant stories that probe the “hidden transcripts” of how the dress and dressing come to be linked with desire and hope.

Ted Schmidt – Author

Ted Schmidt is the recently retired editor of the Catholic New Times. He has given workshops on the social justice and biblical ethics from Kitimat B.C. to Stepenville, Nfld.

In a lifetime of teaching he has been honoured by religion teachers and colleagues at large. In 1991 he received the Ontario English Teachers’ Award of Merit, the highest distinction the association grants. In 1998 he received the Glorya Nanne award for his writing on Catholic education. In 2002 he received the Social Justice Award from the Toronto Secondary Catholic Teachers Association. In 2006 the Ontario Teachers’ Federation honoured him with the Greer Memorial Award for his “outstanding commitment to publicly funded education.”

A pioneer in Holocaust studies, Schmidt was the first teacher in Canada to systematically teach the Holocaust (1968) and has done several workshops for the Holocaust Remembrance committee. In 1993 he co-authored the Ministry of Education OAC course on Philosophy. For 30 years Ted has taught courses on scripture and social ethics as well as doing several series on biblical themes in parishes.

An award winning columnist for the Catholic New Times, Ted Schmidt has written and spoken widely across Canada on the topics of Church and culture.

Kerry J. Schooley – Author

1949 – 2010

 

Kerry J. Schooley was co-editor of three collections of Canadian noir fiction: ICED, Hard Boiled Love, and Revenge, all from Insomniac Press. His non-fiction and reviews have appeared in local publications and on national radio shows. As John Swan his fiction has appeared in two books: the Rouge Murders (The Jasper Press) and Sap, (Insomniac Press) and numerous journals and anthologies from Blood and Aphorisms to Zygote. As Slim Volumes, his poetry has snuck into such diverse venues as Frank, Mystery Review, Black Cat 115, Kairos, Tower, The Globe and Mail, Hammered Out and the CBC’s Fresh Air. Slim was also one half of the performance poetry duo, The New Phrenologists.

Mr. Schooley was a creative writing teacher with McMaster University’s Certificate in Writing Program and performed at many literary events in and around Hamilton.

Sarah Sheard – Author

Sarah Sheard is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Almost Japanese (Coach House Press), The Swing Era (A.A. Knopf Canada) and The Hypnotist (Doubleday Canada). She is in private practice as a Gestalt psychotherapist and writing coach. She also owns a horse and is writing a nonfiction book about the western reining scene.

Sarah’s blog: krankthebook.com

Sarah’s website: sarahsheard.com

Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes – Author

Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes, Jamaican-Canadian, former nun, is an Ontario poet/educator with a special interest in writing and language education.

She studied, taught and worked in education in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kingston and Mandeville, Jamaica and in Toronto where she has lived since immigrating to Canada in 1969. She holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum from OISE/UT, Supervisory Officer certification and has completed course work towards an Ed.D.

Mary Lou’s poetry and non-fiction articles have been published in a variety of journals including Arc, Canadian Woman Studies, Lichen, Surface and Symbol and the chapbook anthology, Six from the Sixth, Sixth Floor Press, 2002. She is co-author with Trina Wood, of The Writer Within: Dialogue and Discovery, Harcourt Brace, Toronto, 2002. Her poetry has been reproduced in Elements of English 12, Harper, Hilker and Smith, Harcourt Canada, Toronto, 2002. In 1998 she participated in the Writing Studio Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her first poetry collection, The Fires of Naming, was published by Seraphim in 2001. Following her retirement from the Ontario Ministry of Education in 2002, she divides her time between writing and projects in education.

Linda Stitt – Author

Linda was born in Huntsville, Ontario, and was educated in Georgetown and Toronto. She lived for many years in Thunder Bay where she began the exploration of her evolution. As a result, she has become an active participant, rather than an impotent bystander, to the process which Carl Sagan describes as “matter coming to consciousness”. She has two children who are almost as old as she is.

Linda returned to Toronto in 1978, working at a series of odd jobs until forced by friends to come out of the closet with her poetry in 1982. Now impossible to repress, Linda loves to give readings anywhere, anytime, and she does so with gratifying frequency.

Russell Thornton – Author

Russell Thornton is a North Vancouver, B.C. poet who has lived in Montreal, in Aberystwyth, Wales, and in Larissa and Thessaloniki, Greece.

He won first prize in the League of Canadian Poets National Contest in 2000 for “The Beginnings of Stars.” He has also had poems chosen in Arc’s “Poem of the Year” contest in the “Editor’s Choice” and “Honourable Mention” categories (1998 and 2002), and in The Fiddlehead’s “The Fiddlehead Contest” in the “Honourable Mention” category (1997).

His poems are included in a number of anthologies of Canadian poetry, including Vintage 95, 96, and 97/98 (Quarry Press), The Edges of Time (Seraphim Editions, 1999), and Vintage 2000 (Ronsdale Press 2000). Some of his poems appear in Greek translation in the anthologies Foreign Language Poems on Thessaloniki (Kedros Publishers, Athens, 1997), Into a Foreign Tongue Goes Our Grief: Poems On or After Cavafy (Bilieto Publishers, Peania, 2000), and Thessalonki: A City in Literature (Metaixmio Publishers, Athens, 2002).

In addition to A Tunisian Notebook, Thornton is the author of several books and chapbooks, among them The Accurate Earth (Reference West chapbook series, Victoria, 1997), The Fifth Window (Thistledown Press, 2000), and House Built of Rain (Harbour Publishing, 2003), which was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in the B.C. Book Prizes, 2004.

His conversation with Patrick Lane is included in the collection of talks between the newer generation of Canadian poets and the older generation of well established poets, Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation (Nightwood Editions, 2002).

Janet Turpin Myers – Author

Janet Turpin Myers spent the best part of her childhood summers in Muskoka, diving off the dock into the blue-black waters of Peninsula Lake. Despite being advised as a teenager to pursue office work rather than writing, she has been writing all her life: novels, poems, and short stories. Her poetry has appeared in Hammered Out and Tower Poetry. Nightswimming is her debut novel. She resides in Burlington, Ontario.

Ruth E. Walker – Author

Ruth E. Walker’s award-winning fiction and poetry have appeared in Canadian publications such as Geist and Prairie Fire, in the US in the Utne Reader Online and Literary Mama, and in the UK in Chapman and Rain Dog.

She is a founding editor (1999-2007) for the Canadian journal LICHEN Arts & Letters Preview. Living Underground is her first novel.

David Whitehouse – Author

David Whitehouse, a British journalist, has worked in France since 1996. He co-authored the autobiography of long-time Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy published in 2013.

Laurelyn Whitt – Author

Laurelyn Whitt’s poems have appeared in various journals in Canada and the United States, including Descant, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Nimrod International, PRISM International, Puerto del Sol, Rattle and The Tampa Review. Her first book Interstices, won the Holland Prize and was published by Logan House Press (2006). Words For Relocation (Will Hall Press, winner of the Norma O. Harrison Chapbook Competition for poets of social conscience and the natural world) and another chapbook, a long dream of difference (Frith Press), were published in 2001. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Native Studies at Brandon University in Manitoba.

Paulina Wyrzykowski – Author

Paulina Wyrzykowski was born in Warsaw, Poland, and immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of nine. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Law degree and a Masters of Social Work, and went on to practice refugee law in Canada before moving to Uganda in 2007. She is currently working in the field of forced migration, transitional justice and conflict transformation.

The Year of Numbers was inspired by Paulina Wyrzykowski’s experiences in Cairo, where she worked with African refugees while still a student. In her writing the author frequently deals with themes of cultural dislocation and the impact of political violence on individual lives. The Year of Numbers is her first novel.

Elizabeth Zetlin – Author

Elizabeth Zetlin’s previous publications include Said the River (Penumbra Press, 1995), Connections (Always Press, 1994), and Ghost of Glenelg (Always Press, 1995), all collaborations with visual artists. Her chapbook The Gourd Poems received the 1999 Canadian Poetry Association’s Shaunt Basmajian Award. Her poetry has also received a Stephen Leacock Award (1998), and her first short story an honourable mention at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival.

In May 2001, CBC Radio’s Ontario Today program broadcast the poems “My Sweet Love” and “Peonies,” and hosted a “Gourd Word” contest. The winner, Tracy Shepherd, received a Zetlin poem inspired by her word, “milk,” and an ornamental gourd with the winning word inscribed.

In addition to writing, Elizabeth works as a visual artist, creating installations such as ornamental gourds inscribed with images or words; hundreds of garlic cloves that mature into a word of prayer; and a life-sized birch bark cone inscribed with words of body and garden. Her current project is The Punctuation Field, both a manuscript and a meadow (featuring commas, parentheses, the @ symbol, a question mark, and the emoticon for irony).

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Toronto and Traverston (near Markdale), Ontario.