Board of Directors 2017-2018


Jill GoldbergJill Goldberg


Jill Goldberg teaches literature and creative writing at Langara College in Vancouver, where she is also close to finishing her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. Currently she’s working on her first novel and is collaborating with an animator who is turning her poetry into film. Her writing and photography have been featured in various places including subTerrain, Matrix, The Globe and Mail, and Tikkun Magazine, amongst others. In 2015 she won the Tethered by Letters poetry prize. Jill is delighted to chair an organization that’s working on making the literary world more inclusive and evermore vibrant.



Diana Newton


Diana Newton

(Photo credit: Louis-Philippe Chiasson)

Diana Newton is a fully bilingual fiction writer, freelance editor, book publishing and creative writing consultant with twenty years experience in book publishing in Canada, the U.S., and overseas. Her current and former clients include the World Bank, UNESCO, l’Agence internationale de la francophonie, and Canadian book publishers. She holds an M.Sc. in architecture from the Technical University in Vienna, Austria, an M.A. in international affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and a Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing. Diana is also a graduate of the Banff Publishing Program and the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing program in the U.K.

The author of numerous publications on book publishing, including a commissioned encyclopedia chapter and a commissioned co-authored book, she received a writing prize from the Canadian Political Science Association. A former UN volunteer in Africa, she is currently working on her second novel, an interracial love story and family drama set at the height of apartheid in South Africa and Botswana. Diana is thrilled to have joined the board as its new secretary and keeper of bilingualism.

Twitter : @D_NewtonSmith



David LeachDavid Leach


David Leach is a former magazine editor (Monday, explore) and the author of two books of narrative nonfiction: Fatal Tide: When the Race of a Lifetime Goes Wrong (Viking Canada, 2008) and Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel (ECW, 2016). As an undergraduate, he studied with Jack Hodgins at the University of Victoria and is currently the Chair of UVic’s Department of Writing, where he teaches courses in creative nonfiction, journalism, interactive narrative, instructional design and the literature of journeys.

Twitter : @LeachWriter

Website :


Rob BuddeDr Rob Budde

Past chair

Rob Budde has published eight books (five poetry–Catch as Catch, traffick, Finding Ft. George, declining America, and Dreamland Theatre, two novels–Misshapen and The Dying Poem, and a book of short fiction–Flicker). In 2002, Rob facilitated a collection of interviews (In Muddy Water: Conversations with 11 Poets). Rob teaches creative writing and Canadian Literature at UNBC in Prince George. In 1997, Budde completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. He is currently working on a science fiction/cyberpunk novel called The Overcode and a textual relationship with the plant Devil’s Club called Panax.



Joe Kertes

Past chairJoe Kertes

Joseph Kertes was born in Hungary but escaped with his family to Canada after the revolution of 1956. He studied English at York University and the University of Toronto, where he was encouraged in his writing by Irving Layton and Marshall McLuhan. Kertes founded Humber College‘s creative writing and comedy programs. He is currently Humber’s Dean of Creative and Performing Arts and is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching and innovation. His first novel, Winter Tulips, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. Boardwalk, his second novel, and two children’s books, The Gift (Groundwood) and The Red Corduroy Shirt (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), met with critical acclaim. His latest novel, Gratitude, won a Canadian National Jewish Book Award and the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Kertes has also been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and a CBC Literary Award.



Jess NicolJess Nicol

Student Liaison

Jess Nicol is a PhD student at the University of Calgary, where she studies creative writing and fictocriticism. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories, as well as her dissertation: a genre-bending, collage-like exploration of the lives of material and digital objects, which focuses on the Bob Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction as its case study. Jess is the 2017-2018 Frances Spratt Graduate Student Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities.




Rebecca SalazarRebecca Salazar

Student Liaison

Rebecca Salazar is the author of the poetry chapbook Guzzle (Anstruther) and an editor for The Fiddlehead and Icehouse Poetry. Her poetry has recently appeared in Poetry is Dead, Prism International, Minola Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue, with non-fiction in The Puritan and Partisan Magazine. Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, she is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar at the University of New Brunswick.



Lillian AllenLillian Allen

[Her biography follows shortly]









Cassie Bérard

Cassie Bérard

Cassie Bérard is a professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal’s Department of literary studies, where she teaches the theory and practice of creative writing, and a regular researcher at FIGURA, the Centre de recherche sur le texte et l’imaginaire. She is the author of two novels, D’autres fantômes (Druide, 2014) and Qu’il est bon de se noyer (Druide, 2016), and several short fiction stories published in Quebec journals. She has co-edited several works, including the anthology of short stories, Il n’y a que les fous, published in 2015 by L’Instant même, and later, the collective work Portrait de l’artiste en intellectuel, published by Nota Bene the same year. She is currently working on a research-creation project, entitled “Fabrique d’artifices : techniques de feinte et formes de détournements dans l’écriture de fiction narrative,” in which she examines the author’s productive function and scholarly conduct.


Gregory Betts

Gregory Betts is a Professor at Brock University in the Department of English Language & Literature. As poet and scholar, his work responds to the history of avant-gardism in Canada and, more particularly, to the recurring and alluring (like a siren) idea that the world can be changed by the arrangement of words on a page. He is the author of six books of poetry, including Boycott (Make Now Press, 2014), The Obvious Flap (with Gary Barwin, BookThug, 2010), The Others Raised in Me (Pedlar Press, 2009), and If Language (BookThug, 2005). As an editor, he has published seven books of experimental Canadian writing, most recently Space Between Her Lips: The Selected Poetry of Margaret Christakos (Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2017). He is the founding Artistic Director of the Festival of Readers in St. Catharines, and the curator of the Digital Archives.


Shauntay Grant

Shauntay GrantShauntay Grant is a writer and storyteller from Halifax. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University, and as playwright-in-residence for 2b theatre company she is currently developing her stage play The Bridge.

A descendant of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees who came to Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries, Shauntay’s love of language stretches back to her storytelling roots in Nova Scotia’s historic Black communities. She is a multidisciplinary artist with professional degrees and training in creative writing, music, and theatre, and her homegrown artistic practice embraces African Nova Scotian folk tradition as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. Shauntay’s awards and honours include a Best Atlantic Published Book Prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, a Poet of Honour Prize from Spoken Word Canada, and a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing from the Canada Council for the Arts. She served as Halifax’s third poet laureate from 2009 to 2011.


El Jones

[Her biography follows shortly]







Larissa Lai

Larissa LaiLarissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; two books of poetry, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and most recently, a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A new novel, The Tiger Flu, is forthcoming from Arsenal Pulp Press in Fall 2018. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers’ Award, she has been a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award, the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism. She holds a Canada Research Chair II in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing there.

Websites :,


Pierre-Luc Landry

Pierre Luc Landry (Courtoisie Benoit Laflamme)

(Photo courtesy Benoit Laflamme)

Pierre-Luc Landry is a professor in the Department of French, Literature, and Culture at the Royal Military College of Canada, in Kingston. He published two novels with Éditions Druide, L’équation du temps in 2013 (finalist for the Prix des lecteurs de Radio-Canada and shortlisted for the Prix France-Québec) and Les corps extraterrestres in 2015 (winner of the Ottawa Book Award). Les corps extraterrestres was translated into English by Arielle Aaronson and Madeleine Stratford and published by QC Fiction in 2017 under the title, Listening For Jupiter. In June 2017, Nota Bene published Pierre-Luc and Stefania Becheanu’s book, Silence-décomposition. À l’écoute d’une ville, in the “Indiscipline” collection. Pierre-Luc also works in book publishing as a literary editor and was the publisher at La Mèche from 2014 to 2017.


Carrianne LeungCarrianne Leung

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto and teaches at OCAD University. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo, was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her second book of fiction, titled That Time I Loved You, will be launched in the spring of 2018 by Harper Collins Canada.






Kathy MacKathy Mac

Kathy Mac’s most recent book of poems is Human Misunderstanding (Roseway, 2017) Her previous poetry books are The Hundefräulein Papers (2009) about the years she spent as the dog-sitter of Elisabeth Mann Borgese, the daughter of Thomas Mann, and Nail Builders Plan for Strength and Growth (2002) which won the Gerald Lampert Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. As Kathleen McConnell, she’s also published a book of essays, Pain, Porn and Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalion to Twilight (2012). She runs the creative writing programs in the English Department at St. Thomas University, in Fredericton, NB.


Tannis Nielsen

Tannis NielsenTannis Nielsen is a Métis Woman (of anishnawbe and danish descent,) with twenty years of professional experience in the arts, cultural and community sectors, and ten years teaching practice at the post-secondary level. Tannis holds a Masters in Visual Studies Degree (M.V.S.) from the University of Toronto, an Art and Art History-Specialist Degree from U of T, as well as a Diploma in Art and Art History from Sheridan College, in Oakville, Ontario.

Tannis’s research interests include: anti-colonial/anti-capitalist theory, Indigenous decolonization methodologies, Indigenous pedagogies/oral histories, Indigenous feminism, Indigenous arts activism(s), Indigenous governance/natural law(s), and the relative investigations between Indigenous science and quantum physics.

In 2006, Tannis’s dissertation asserted the need for localized Indigenous contexts to be inserted accurately within the structures of the academy by visually illustrating the negative consequence of colonial trauma on Indigenous culture/land/language, familial relationships, and memory. Her text titled “Not Forgotten,” emphasized this positioning by repudiating the need of utilizing the constraints of an English/imperialist punctuation and capitalization in text. The focus of this text has led to a number of select invitational presentations which include lectures titled; “Deconstructing the Doctrine(s) of Discovery” for the Law Union of Ontario, “Global Cities – Indigenous Histories” at York University, “Sourcing Indigenous Ways of Knowing,” at McMaster University and “Academic Capitalism, Apartheid and Insurgency” at the Toronto Free Gallery.

As a visual artist Tannis’s practice includes: drawing, painting, new media installation, sculpture and performance. Since 2007 her media works have investigated the relativities between Indigenous science and quantum physics. Her emergence into this field was inspired by the seemingly random chaotic behavior of electromagnetic energy. In creating “static” (a large scale video projection) Tannis utilized electro magnetic energy as the main medium of creation, in a work that articulated her cosmological understanding of Creation.

Tannis has served on the Aboriginal Engagement Committee at UBC-O and has sat as Advisor to the Equity and Diversity Committee at OCAD-U, the Toronto District School Board, a member of the Toronto Native Community History Project and is the past President of The Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts (A.N.D.P.V.A.), a national Native arts organization in service since 1972. Tannis currently teaches in the painting and drawing stream at OCAD-U.



Dorothy Palmer

[Her biography follows shortly]




Kim Pittaway


Kim PittawayKim Pittaway (BJ (Carleton), MFA (Goucher) ) is the executive director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College, in Halifax. Prior to stepping into the role of ED, she was a mentor in the MFA program and taught the magazine workshop in the journalism program. She has also taught in the journalism program at Ryerson University and has conducted a wide range of professional development workshops for Magazines Canada, the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, IFEX, and others. She is the former managing editor and editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, and the recipient of several honours and awards for her work in journalism: she is an eight-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, recipient of the NMA Outstanding Achievement Award, a winner of an honourable mention from the American Society of Journalists and Authors in service journalism, winner of a 2009 Canadian Science Writers Association Science & Society award in the radio documentary category, and finalist for the best newsstand issue (circ 200,000+) in the 2006 Canadian Newsstand Awards.

She has written for Hazlitt, The Walrus, Maclean’s, Chatelaine, More, Canadian Living, Best Health, Homemaker’s, Reader’s Digest, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Cottage Life, and others. She has also produced radio documentaries for CBC’s The Current and Tapestry.


Sue SinclairSue Sinclair

Sue Sinclair is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Heaven’s Thieves (Brick Books 2016). Her previous collections have all been nominated for awards including the Gerald Lampert Award, the Pat Lowther Award (twice), the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Atlantic Poetry Prize (twice). The Drunken Lovely Bird won the American Independent Publisher’s Poetry Prize and Mortal Arguments was a Globe and Mail “Top 100” book. In 2014 Sue was the inaugural critic-in-residence for CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts), and she currently teaches creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. Sue also works as a poetry editor for Brick Books.


Daniel Scott Tysdal


Daniel TysdalDaniel Scott Tysdal is the ReLit Award winning author of three books of poetry, most recently Fauxccasional Poems (icehouse 2015) and the poetry textbook The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems (Oxford University Press 2014). Online, he runs the Fauxccasional Poems Video Project and he delivered the TEDx talk, “Everything You Need to Write a Poem (and How It Can Save a Life)”. Tysdal’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry and Best Canadian Essays, and has earned him awards including honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards and the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence. He is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, at the University of Toronto Scarborough. In 2012, the UTSC student newspaper, The Underground, named him one of their four “Professors of the Year.” You can read more about his work at


Andrew Westoll

Andrew WestollAndrew Westoll is an award-winning author, journalist and teacher. His books include The Riverbones, a travelogue set in the remote jungles of Suriname, and the national-bestselling The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, which is the biography of a family of chimpanzees who were rescued from a research laboratory and retired to an animal sanctuary near Montreal. The Chimps won the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and was a finalist for several other major book awards. Andrew holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, is a Gold National Magazine Award winner, and his writing has been anthologized in Cabin Fever: The Best New Canadian Non-Fiction. Andrew’s debut novel, The Jungle South of the Mountain, was published by HarperCollins Canada in the fall of 2016. Andrew’s teaching interests include creative non-fiction, fiction and the intersections between literature and science.

Visit him at