2014 Judges

Laurent Fadanni

Laurent Fadanni
Born in 1976 to Italian parents, Laurent Fadanni grew up in Belgium. Following a BA in Romance Philology, he studied African literature at Dakar University in Senegal. An inveterate traveller, Fadanni taught French and drama in many countries before settling in BC in 2006, where he teaches French at École Gabrielle-Roy in Surrey. Laurent Fadanni has published six books of poetry in Belgium and in Canada, including Cartographie du vertige, which was awarded Belgium’s Polak Prize from the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature. His sixth book of poetry, Viticulture des gouffres, is about his passion for wine. In 2012, Fadanni planted 3,000 vines in his budding vineyard and is keen to share his first harvest.

 

Lise Gaboury-Diallo

Lise Gaboury-Diallo
A professor in the French studies department at Université de Saint-Boniface, Lise Gaboury-Diallo has written seven books of poetry and two short story collections since 1999. In 2004, she won Radio-Canada’s Literary Prize for poetry for her book Homestead, poèmes du cœur de l’Ouest (2005). L’endroit et l’envers, another book of poetry, won the Rue-Deschambeault prize in 2009. Lointaines, nouvelles, shortlisted for Radio-Canada Reads 2011, received honourable mention for the Émile-Ollivier Prize and won the Rue-Deschambeault Prize in 2011. Her short story collection Les enfants de Tantale (2011) was included in a shortlist of six books considered for Radio-Canada Reads 2012. Her most recent book of poetry, Confessions sans pénitence, illustrated by Denis Devigne, was published in 2013 by Éditions du Blé.

 

Gillian Jerome

Gillian Jerome
Gillian Jerome’s first book of non-fiction, Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (with Brad Cran), won the 2008 City of Vancouver Book Award and was shortlisted for a BC Book Prize. Her first book of poems, Red Nest (Nightwood), won the ReLit Award for Poetry in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2010. She teaches literature at the University of British Columbia, edits poetry at EVENT magazine, and works with other writers at Canadian Women in the Literary Arts.

 

Nepveu

Pierre Nepveu
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, with Laurent Mailhot, of La poésie québécoise des origines à nos jours, a much-loved Quebec poetry anthology, which was reprinted in 2007. Pierre Nepveu has been involved in collecting the scattered works of poet Gaston Miron and is also the author of Miron’s biography, Gaston Miron. La vie d’un homme, published in 2011. Pierre Nepveu received the Athanase-David prize in Quebec and was awarded the Order of Canada for his life’s work. Read an interview with Pierre Nepveu

 

Fred Wah

Fred Wah
Fred Wah was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan but grew up in the Kootenay region of southeast British Columbia. He has published since the early 1960s and frequently presents internationally on Canadian poetry and poetics. Some of his notable books include Diamond Grill (1996), a biofiction, Faking It: Poetics and Hybridity (2000), a collection of essays, both from NeWest Press, and more recently two collections of poetry, Sentenced to Light (2008) and is a door (2009), both from Talonbooks. A “collected” is scheduled for 2015. He splits his time between Vancouver and the Kootenays.

 

Rita Wong

Rita Wong
Rita Wong is the author of three books of poetry: sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai, Line Books 2008), forage (Nightwood 2007, winner of Canada Reads Poetry 2011), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang 1998). She lives on the unceded Coast Salish territories otherwise known as Vancouver, where her work investigates the relationships between contemporary poetics, social justice, ecology, and decolonization. Her poem  “J28” for IdleNoMore can be found in the journal Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society. Wong teaches in Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. Currently she is researching the poetics of water and working toward watershed literacy. Read an interview with Rita Wong

 

 

Host

Johanne Blais

Johanne Blais
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.