2015 Online Semifinals Judges
Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed-blood writer and arts activist, originally from Manitoba, at home on the west coast. Her first book, Wiles of Girlhood, won the Gerald Lampert Award (LCP, 1992). She has published eight further books, most recently: Halfling spring (Kegedonce, 2014), A Night for the Lady (Ronsdale, 2013), Mother Time (Ronsdale, 2007), and (as editor) Salish Seas: An anthology of text + image (AWCWC, 2011). Her essays and poetry appear in over tweny-five anthologies and diverse journals. She has been called to judge poetry or nonfiction on behalf of BC Book Prizes, the Governor General’s Awards, and for various other arts organizations. A frequent performer, she volunteers with the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, and (in past) with The Writers’ Union of Canada and The Writers’ Trust of Canada. A grand multipara, a mentor, editor, and blogger, Joanne recently accepted the role of poetry editor for EVENT Magazine.
Born in Montreal, Martine Audet is the author of over a dozen poetry books published since 1996, as well as two children’s books. She has taken part in a variety of literary and artistic events, and her poems are published regularly in Quebec and elsewhere. Among her distinctions, Audet has received the Estuaire Magazine Prize and the Alain-Grandbois Prize, and has been shortlisted several times for the Governor General’s Award and the Grand Prize in Poetry at the Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival. Audet occasionally associates painting and photography to her writing and illustrated L’oiseau, le vieux-port et le charpentier by the late poet Michel Van Schendel. Her most recent book of poetry, Tête première dos contre dos, was published in the fall of 2014.
Born in Haiti, Bathélemy Bolivar emigrated to the United States in 2000 to study computer sciences while teaching physics. In 2002, he settled in Winnipeg, where he continues to teach. In 2011, his master’s studies in Education and Online Business gave him the opportunity, with the help of friends from both Haïti and elsewhere, to launch Ecole haïtienne sans Frontières (Haitian School Without Borders), the mission of which is to provide free, high-quality education to Haitian students.
Bathélemy Bolivar has published four books of poetry: Manguiers têtus (which won the Rue-Deschambault Prize in 2006), Re-bondir, mots de terre / voices of the earth, which is bilingual, and Tempo.
Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Born and raised in Toronto, she has also lived in Halifax, Espanola, Vancouver, and on the Sechelt Peninsula. In the early 1990s, she was co-editor of The Eternal Network, and assistant coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair. Her work has appeared in many magazines including EVENT, Two Serious Ladies, newpoetry.ca, canadianpoetries.com, subTerrain, This Magazine, and The Puritan. She is the author of many chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, Simple Master (Pedlar Press, 2002), Flutter (Mansﬁeld Press, 2008), and most recently, Holler (Mansfield Press, 2012). Her work has also appeared in Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press), Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Inﬂuence (The Mercury Press), Pissing Ice: An Anthology of ‘New’ Canadian Poets (BookThug), My Lump in the Bed: Love Poems for George W. Bush (Proper Tales Press), and Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament (Mansﬁeld Press), and recently in collaborative form in Our Days in Vaudeville by Stuart Ross and 29 Collaborators (Mansfield Press). She is the co-owner of a new independent bookstore in Lunenburg, NS called Lexicon Books (open May 2015.)
Éric Charlebois’ eighth collection of poetry, Compost-partum, was published in October 2014 following the publication of Le miroir mural devant la berceuse électrique in 2012, Lucarnes in 2009, Circatrices in 2008, Cinérite in 2006, Centrifuge in 2005, Péristaltisme in 2004, and Faux-fuyants in 2002. A number of these six previous collections won or were shortlisted for prizes, including the Trillium Book Award, the Le Droit Prize, and the Ottawa Book Award, as well as being included in university reading lists. Charlebois also co-directs the poetry list published by Neige-Galerie.
In 2012, Alliance Culturelle de l’Ontario asked Charlebois to create a live hybrid art project with painter Benjamin Rodger where they created spontaneous poetry that was then broadcast and published. Charlebois seeks situations where he can create spontaneously, in the moment, and impulsively; what he calls “exploetry.”
Jon Paul Fiorentino’s first novel is Stripmalling, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. He is the author of the poetry books Indexical Elegies, which won the 2010 CBC Book Club Award for Best Book of Poetry, The Theory of the Loser Class, which was shortlisted for the 2006 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and Hello Serotonin, and the humor book Asthmatica. His most recent book of poetry is Needs Improvement, which was published in 2013 with Coach House Books. He lives in Montreal, where he teaches creative writing at Concordia University and edits Matrix magazine.
Ariel Gordon is a Winnipeg writer. Her second collection of urban/nature poems, Stowaways (Palimpsest Press) was launched in spring 2014. When not being bookish, Ariel likes tromping through the woods and taking macro photographs of mushrooms. (photo credit: Mike Deal)
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. Her most recent book is Red Juice: Poems 1998 – 2008. She currently lives in Toronto, where she teaches poetics in a private workshop and at Ryerson University.
Nikki Reimer is a writer concerned with emotional ecology. She has published books of poetry (DOWNVERSE and [sic]), chapbooks and essays. She also edits, including special issues of The Incongruous Quarterly and Poetry Is Dead. Reimer is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, a past member of KSW, a contributing editor to Poetry Is Dead, and a founding director of the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund Society. Visit her website (reimerwrites.com), or Calgary, where she lives.
Gaston Tremblay was born in 1949 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario where he founded the publishing house Prise de parole and launched La Nuit sur l’étang. In 1988, he moved to Montreal to become an artist in the big city. He founded l’Agora de la danse and the new Monument-National. Since then, he has earned a degree in arts administration at HEC, as well as a Master’s degree and a PhD in literature at UQÀM. His favourite topics are creative writing and Franco-Ontarian literature. He took the liberty of writing some poetry before becoming a novelist and essayist. Gaston Tremblay is currently working on his seventh poetry collection: Turbulences.
Long story short: Tremblay has worked as log driver, miner, journalist, host, publisher, arts administrator and, currently, university professor at Queen’s in Kingston.
When he was young, he wanted to be a small man... sadly, he failed.