May 15 — Round 2
Considered the father of contemporary Acadian poetry, Herménégilde Chiasson is also a playwright, filmmaker, and visual artist. One of the great voices of Radio-Canada, he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and received the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique. Between 2003 and 2009, Chiasson was Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.
Kevin Connolly was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and grew up in Maple, Ontario. His first book of poetry, Asphalt Cigar, was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award; his third book, Drift, won the Trillium Book Award; and his fourth book, Revolver, was nominated for both the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Trillium Book Award. Connolly lives in Toronto with the writer Gil Adamson.
Lynn Crosbie was born in Montreal and is a cultural critic. A PhD in English literature with a background in visual studies, she teaches at the University of Toronto and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her books (of poetry and prose) include Pearl, Queen Rat, and Dorothy L’Amour. She is also the author of the controversial book Paul's Case and the editor of The Girl Wants To. She is a contributing editor at Fashion, and a National Magazine Award–winner who has written about sports, style, art, and music.
Franco-Ontarian poet Andrée Lacelle was the first francophone to win the prestigious Trillium Book Award. A translator, teacher, and literary critic, she also writes for children and is the creator of the radio drama Survenance, broadcast on Radio-Canada. Her poems deal with internal landscapes, listlessness, clashing images, and dreamlike worlds.
Pierre Nepveu taught literature at Université de Montréal for thirty years. Poet, novelist and essay writer, Professor Nepveu has published well over a dozen books, including several collections of poetry, two of which earned Governor General’s Literary Awards. He is also the author, along with Laurent Mailhot, of La poésie québécoise, des origines à nos jours, a much-loved Quebec poetry anthology, which was reprinted in 2007. Since 2000, Pierre Nepveu has been involved in collecting the scattered works of poet Gaston Miron, the first three volumes of which have been published. He also recently published a celebrated biography of Gaston Miron titled La vie d’un homme.
Ms. Reid has appeared in theatres across Canada, and in the US and UK. Selected roles include Violet in August: Osage County (Sterling Award) and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire; Clare in A Delicate Balance, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Mme. Arkadina in The Seagull, the title role in Hedda Gabler, Mrs. Erlynne in Lady Windermere’s Fan, Lady Utterwood in Heartbreak House, Jane in Cavalcade, Judith Bliss in Hay Fever, and Amanda in Private Lives. Ms. Reid has appeared in various movies, including The Time Traveler’s Wife and My Big Fat Greek Wedding; television roles, including King of Kensington; and has provided several voices for animated series. A graduate of McGill University, Ms. Reid is a Member of the Order of Canada and is the recipient of an honorary degree from Bishop’s University, as well as the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award (2008) and the ACTRA Award of Excellence (2010). She is vice-president of the Actors’ Fund of Canada.
Johanne Blais is a word maven. She is a trained translator as well as a professor of writing and grammar, a public speaker, and a columnist. Perfectly bilingual and a passionate admirer of the languages of both Shakespeare and Molière, Johanne Blais has spent more than 15 years sharing her passion each week with thousands of Canadians as CBC Radio C’est la vie’s “Word Lady,” through her language segment “Word of the Week.” Johanne Blais’s sparkle and humour combine with her gift for explaining words in their individual daily context. She teaches with great warmth and a smile in her voice. Her love for French has also led her to write engaging columns on the breadth and variety of French as it is spoken in Canada. Johanne Blais is one of Canada’s best-loved voices, listened to with pleasure across the country.
May 14 — Round 1
Novelist, short story writer, poet, essayist, and translator Marguerite Andersen has published close to fifteen books, including Le figuier sur le toit (which won the Trillium Book Award and the Prix des lecteurs Radio-Canada) and Parallèles (which was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award). Since 1998, she has edited Virages, a Franco-Ontarian short story magazine. Marguerite Andersen has lived around the world, including in Germany, Tunisia, the US, Ethiopia, France, the UK, and Quebec. She now lives in Toronto.
Linda Besner is originally from Wakefield, Quebec. Her poetry has appeared in The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and The Malahat Review, among other journals, and been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2012. Her radio work has aired on CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera, Outfront, and The Next Chapter. Her first collection of poetry, The Id Kid, was published in 2011 by Véhicule Press, and was named as one of The National Post’s Best Poetry Books of the Year. She lives in Toronto.
Dani Couture is the author of two collections of poetry: Good Meat (Pedlar Press, 2006) and Sweet (Pedlar Press, 2010). Sweet was named one of Maisy’s Best Books of 2010 by Maisonneuve and nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Sweet won the ReLit Award for poetry. In 2011, Dani Couture also received an Honour of Distinction from The Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize. Her debut novel, Algoma, was published in fall 2011 by Invisible Publishing. She is the literary editor at This Magazine.
Jeramy Dodds is the winner of the 2006 Bronwen Wallace Award and the 2007 CBC Literary Award for poetry. His first collection of poems, Crabwise to the Hounds (Coach House Books, 2008), was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and won the Trillium Book Award for poetry. He is a poetry editor at Coach House Books.
Suzanne Legault was born in Sudbury and taught in the French department at Glendon College, York University for thirty years. She holds a PhD from Sorbonne University. She is the co-author of a book about the role of women in Canada’s cultural imagination, a French-language textbook, and a children’s fairy tale. Suzanne Legault assisted in the publication of a book following a conference on Franco-Ontarian culture. In 2009, she published a manual on teaching poetry and is currently conducting research on the role of poetry in prisons.
Michael Lista is the author of Bloom. He is the poetry editor of The Walrus and poetry columnist for The National Post. His poems and essays appear in Poetry magazine. A second book, The Scarborough, will appear in 2014. He lives in Toronto.
Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded Skanky Possum, a poetry journal and book imprint in Austin, Texas, where they lived for 14 years. The author of eight books and chapbooks, she currently lives in Toronto, where she teaches poetics in a private workshop and at Ryerson University. Wave Books published her third full-length collection of poems, As Long As Trees Last, in September 2012.
Sara Peters was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She completed an MFA at Boston University, and was a 2010 to 2012 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her work has appeared in Slate, Maisonneuve, This Magazine, B O D Y, The Threepenny Review, The Walrus, and Poetry. Her first book, 1996, was recently published by House of Anansi Press.
A professor in the Department of French Studies at York University, Lélia Young is also a writer of both short stories and poems. She has published several books, including Entre l’outil et la matière (1993), Si loin des cyprès (1999), Aquarelles. La paix comme un poème (2006), Réverbère (2007), and I wrote these words (2013). Lélia Young founded the Prix Micheline Saint-Cyr (a short-story contest for students) and is the founder and editor of Langage et créativité. Langue et analyse, a journal that reviews texts from French-speaking Canada. In December 2003, Lélia Young was appointed President of honour of la Société des écrivain-e-s de Toronto for her contribution to Franco-Ontarian culture and literature. Lélia Young is also founder and director of Cercle-réseau international de chercheur-e-s en littérature francophone.