Festival 2020  Authors & Headliners

Yasser Abdellatif

Yasser Abdellatif

Yasser Abdel-Latif is a writer and poet from Cairo, Egypt. He has lived and worked in Edmonton since 2010. He has published four fiction books, two poetry collections, and translated many literary works from French ... Read More 

Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel’s ... Read More 

Karrie Auger

Karrie Auger

Karrie Auger is a thirty-four-year-old nehiyaw iskwew, originally from Treaty 8 territory, Wabasca, Bigstone Cree Nation. She has lived in amiskwaciy for most of her life. She spends most of her days thinking about ... Read More 

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt (he/him) is a poet, author, and scholar from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for his debut collection, This Wound Is a World, which was also a ... Read More 

Mary Berg

Mary Berg

Mary Berg is the winner of MasterChef Canada Season 3, and the star of Mary’s Kitchen Crush, as well as a cooking expert on CTV’s Your Morning, The Social, and The Marilyn Denis Show. ... Read More 

David Berry

David Berry

David Berry is a writer and cultural critic. His work has appeared in The Globe & Mail, Hazlitt, Toronto Life, and elsewhere, and he was an arts and culture columnist for the National Post ... Read More 

Mila Bongco-Philipzig

Mila Bongco-Philipzig

Mila Bongco-Philipzig was born in Manila, Philippines and arrived in Edmonton in 1984 with a grant for graduate studies at the University of Alberta. After completing her master’s, she moved to Germany on a ... Read More 

Leilei Chen

Leilei Chen

Leilei Chen is an academic, a writer, and a translator from China. She is the author of Re- Orienting China: Travel Writing and Cross-cultural Understanding, which was nominated for the Robert Kroetsch City of ... Read More 

Liam Coady

Liam Coady

Liam Coady’s work is special for its ability to foreground the human possibilities of social unity, personal resilience, love and enduring hopefulness. A member of the 2011 National Slam Champion Team and a 2-time ... Read More 

Jennifer Cockrall-King

Jennifer Cockrall-King

Jennifer Cockrall-King is a Canadian writer and author based in Naramata, in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. She writes about food, drinks, cooking, and nature, and is a contributing editor and columnist for the award-winning ... Read More 

Desmond Cole

Desmond Cole

Desmond Cole is the author of the number one bestseller THE SKIN WE’RE IN: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. He is an award-winning journalist, radio host, and activist whose writing has appeared ... Read More 

Christa Couture

Christa Couture

Christa Couture is an award-winning performing and recording artist, non-fiction writer and broadcaster. She is also proudly Indigenous (mixed Cree and Scandinavian), queer, and a mom. Her seventh album Safe Harbour was released on ... Read More 

Lorna Crozier

Lorna Crozier

Lorna Crozier is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including God of Shadows, which was longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, What the Soul Doesn’t Want, The Wrong Cat, Small Mechanics, The Blue ... Read More 

Torbjørn Ekelund

Torbjørn Ekelund

Torbjørn Ekelund is an author and editor of the Norwegian online nature magazine, Harvest Magazine. He is a dedicated outdoors person and avid walker, who, after being diagnosed with epilepsy several years ago, hung up his car ... Read More 

Luciana Erregue

Luciana Erregue-Sacchi

Luciana Erregue is a Canadian-Argentinian art historian, writer, and editor. Her poetry and creative non-fiction essays have appeared in the anthologies Looking Back, Moving Forward (Mawenzi House, 2018), Relatos Entrecruzados (Editorial Mapalé, 2020), and ... Read More 

Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman is a journalist, essayist, and media entrepreneur. She is a contributing editor to The Gentlewoman. Every Friday, she sends a popular email newsletter. Ann lives in Los Angeles. Read More 

Shimelis Gebremichael

Shimelis Gebremichael

Shimelis Gebremichael moved to Canada about four years ago. Shimelis is originally from Ethiopia where he practiced journalism in both print and electronic mediums. He is currently a Master of Arts in Communications and ... Read More 

S. Giroux

S. Giroux is a bilingual Indigenous Metis woman residing in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 land. She has been published in the 2018 anthology of the Stroll of Poets. Sage writes about her life ... Read More 

Tazeen Hasan

Tazeen Hasan

In addition to maintaining her own blog, Tazeen Hasan regularly contributes hard news, investigative pieces, and editorials on topics ranging from science and technology to geopolitics and entertainment for a variety of online and ... Read More 

Isael Huard

Isael Huard

Isael Huard is a sound designer and recording engineer. He has a degree in music composition from the University of Alberta where he specialized in music technologies. He works as a foley mixer at ... Read More 

Zoë Johnson

Zoë Johnson

Zoë Johnson is a queer transgender non-binary writer living mid-Michigan. They are an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and a current graduate student in the creative writing MFA ... Read More 

K'alii

K’alii

K’alii is an Indigenous organizer, poet and ecology student from the Nisga’a Nation in BC. Their artwork frequently focuses on exploring aspects of identity and overcoming intergenerational trauma. Read More 

Ian Keteku

Ian Keteku

Ian Keteku is a poet, writer, multimedia artist and educator living in Toronto. He is the 2010 World Poetry Slam Champion. His work is committed to using words as both an interpretation and cure ... Read More 

Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen is a poet, journalist and novelist who lives on Treaty 6, Edmonton. She currently works as an agricultural journalist with Alberta Farmer newspaper. She is the author of 2 books of poetry, ... Read More 

Helen Knott

Helen Knott

Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro- descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016, Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women’s ... Read More 

Gina Rae La Cerva

Gina Rae La Cerva

Gina Rae La Cerva is a geographer, environmental anthropologist, writer and painter. She holds advanced degrees from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor’s degree ... Read More 

Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc‘s essays and stories have appeared in publications across Canada, the US, and the UK. She is the author of the novels The Miracles of Ordinary Men and the forthcoming The Centaur’s Wife. ... Read More 

Wendy McGrath

Wendy McGrath

Wendy McGrath is a writer and artist who works in multiple genres. Her poetry/photography collaboration with Danny Miles, drummer for July Talk and Tongue Helmet, is trying to find a home. McGrath’s most recent ... Read More 

Naomi McIlwraith

Naomi McIlwraith

Born and raised in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton), Naomi McIlwraith is a Métis writer, poet, and teacher who honours her parents and grandparents through her life’s work. She is the author of the bilingual poetry book, ... Read More 

Lauren McKeon

Lauren McKeon

Lauren McKeon’s critically acclaimed first book, F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism, was a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and was selected by the Hill Times as a book of the ... Read More 

Marco Melfi

Marco Melfi

Marco Melfi is an Edmonton poet whose work has been published in The Prairie Journal, FreeFall, the Edmonton Poetry Festival’s Poetry Route and 40 Below: Volume 2. His chapbook, In Between Trains, was published ... Read More 

Francine Merasty

Francine Merasty is a Nehithaw Iskwew, Opawikoschikanek ochi, a reserve in Northern Saskatchewan. She is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and a fluent Cree speaker. She is a mother to one ... Read More 

Peter Midgley

Peter Midgley

Peter Midgley is a poet and storyteller born in South Africa and based in Edmonton. He has performed in several countries around the world and has published three children’s books, one of which, Thuli’s ... Read More 

Amina Mohamed

Amina Mohamed

Amina Mohamed was born and raised in Amiskwacîwâskahikan. She is a community organizer and a poet that works towards reconciling her culture with who she has become. Amina is a writer of words, a ... Read More 

Randy Morin

Randy Morin

tānisi kahkiyaw! Randy Morin nitisihkāson is from the Big River First Nation, Treaty 6, located in central Saskatchewan. He currently lives in Saskatoon with his partner Lindsay Knight (also known as Eekwol) and two ... Read More 

Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain is Shetaot’ineh, Mountain Dene, originally from Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, NWT. His earlies were twelve years in residential schools. He worked in the Indian Brotherhood, later Dene Nation, and has since ... Read More 

Juliana Neufeld

Juliana Neufeld

Juliana Neufeld is a Toronto based children’s book illustrator and artist, known for her work on Treasure Hunters, the best selling middle grade series by James Patterson, as well as her collaborations with noted ... Read More 

Stan Nochasak

Stan Nochasak

Stan Nochasak is forty-five years old and originally from Nain, Nunatsiavut (“Our Beautiful Land” in Inuktitut, located in northern Labrador) , but currently lives in St. John’s since 1994. There, he initially attended Memorial ... Read More 

Adriana Onita

Adriana Oniță

Adriana Oniță is a Romanian-Canadian poet, founder of The Polyglot, a multilingual magazine of poetry and art. She writes poetry in English, Spanish, Romanian, French, and Italian. Her passion for languages has led her ... Read More 

Adrienne Pan

Adrienne Pan

Adrienne Pan is the host of CBC Edmonton’s afternoon drive show, Radio Active. Adrienne moved to radio after six years anchoring CBC Edmonton TV News at 6 in her hometown, and 15 years in ... Read More 

Michelle Parise

Michelle Parise

Michelle Parise is an award-winning journalist, writer and performer. She’s worked for the CBC for more than two decades, in everything from radio news, children’s television, music programming, and at the helm of many ... Read More 

Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel is an award-winning queer poet & artist. She is the City of Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, and the Canadian Individual Slam Champion. She is a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award.  ... Read More 

Tamara (Baldhead) Pearl

Tamara (Baldhead) Pearl

Tamara (Baldhead) Pearl is a Nēhiyaw iskwew from One Arrow First Nation, Saskatchewan, located in Treaty 6 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis. She is a proud single mother of a ten-year-old ... Read More 

Daniel Poitras

Daniel Poitras

Daniel Poitras is a half-breed poet from the Paul First Nation. Currently residing in Edmonton, he writes about the challenges that Indigenous and Metis people face today. He has been published in the Home ... Read More 

Michael Posner

Michael Posner

Michael Posner is an award-winning writer, playwright, journalist, and the author of seven books. These include the Mordecai Richler biography, The Last Honest Man, and the Anne Murray biography, All of Me, both of ... Read More 

James Raffan

James Raffan

James Raffan is a prolific writer, speaker, and geographer, and the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Circling the Midnight Sun; Emperor of the North; Bark, Skin and Cedar; and Fire in the ... Read More 

Namitha Rathinappillai

Namitha Rathinappillai

Namitha Rathinappillai (she/her) is a Tamil-Canadian spoken word poet, artist, and writer who has entered the poetry community in 2017. She has been involved with Urban Legends Poetry Collective (ULPC) ever since her engagement ... Read More 

Jennifer Reeser

Jennifer Reeser

Jennifer Reeser is the author of six collections. Her most recent is Indigenous from Able Muse Press. She is a biracial writer of Anglo-Amerindian ancestry, Native through both parents. Her family is part of ... Read More 

Emily Riddle

Emily Riddle

Emily Riddle is a nehiyaw writer, researcher, and library worker. Her writing has appeared in PRISM International, GUTS Magazine, Canadian Art, Briarpatch Magazine, Teen Vogue, The Globe and Mail, among others. Read More 

Corinne Riedel

Corinne Riedel

Corinne Riedel is an auntie spirit, a member of the Stroll of Poets Society in Edmonton, and lives in Old Strathcona near Mill Creek Ravine in Edmonton with many relatives. She’s a sun chaser ... Read More 

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award and was nominated for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.  A ... Read More 

Jade Roberts

Jade Roberts

Jade Roberts is an Indigenous educator, podcaster, and artist who enjoys working with and mentoring youth and helping others share their personal stories.. She is Woodland Cree from La Ronge, SK in Treaty 6 ... Read More 

Ana Ruiz Aguirre

Ana Ruiz Aguirre

Ana Ruiz Aguirre is a Cuban-Canadian cultural researcher and development strategist. Born in Santiago de Cuba and currently based in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, AB), her work focuses on the development of cultural equity through research, writing, ... Read More 

Maitham Salman

Maitham Salman

Maitham Salman was born in Iraq and came to Canada in 1998 as a political refugee. He has published a novel, Husks as Big as My Country, and a collection of short stories, The Dirhams ... Read More 

Saltwater Hank

Saltwater Hank

Born in Prince Rupert, BC, and a member of the Gitga’at community, Tsimshian folk artist Saltwater Hank resurrects stories of the land, loss, and absurd circumstances and shines them through a sepia lens, witnessing ... Read More 

Asma Sayed

Asma Sayed

Asma Sayed is Canada Research Chair in South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She is a multilingual writer, translator, and academic originally from India. She holds a PhD in Comparative ... Read More 

Anna Marie Sewell

Anna Marie Sewell

Anna Marie Sewell specializes in collaborative multi-genre projects. MacEwan University’s 2019 Writer-in-Residence, her creative process draws on heritage (Mi’gmaq/Anishinaabe/Polish), music, and multiple languages. Edmonton’s fourth Poet Laureate, she’s published two poetry books. Her first ... Read More 

Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. Her best-selling book I’m Afraid of Men was her­ald­ed by Vanity Fair as “cultural ... Read More 

Harnarayan Singh

Harnarayan Singh

Harnarayan Singh is a co-host and play-by-play announcer, having called over 700 NHL games for Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi, along with becoming a host in English with Sportsnet for select national games. Having ... Read More 

Titilope Sonuga

Titilope Sonuga

Titilope Sonuga is a writer and performer whose work has graced stages and pages across the globe. Through her practice, she grasps for moments of tenderness and persistent joy at the intersection of blackness ... Read More 

Aminatou Sow

Aminatou Sow

Aminatou Sow is a writer, interviewer, and cultural commentator. She is a frequent public speaker whose talks and interviews lead to candid conversations about ambition, money, and power. Aminatou lives in Brooklyn. Read More 

Mark Spector

Mark Spector

Mark Spector is a sports journalist for Sportsnet and has been reporting for the Canadian media for over thirty years. His career spans multiple mediums, from having hosted The Mark Spector Show on TEAM ... Read More 

Dorothy Thunder

Dorothy Thunder

Dorothy Thunder is a Plains Cree (nêhiyawiskwêw) from Little Pine First Nation, Saskatchewan and full-time Cree instructor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She is a Language Keeper, educator, ... Read More 

Matthew Weigel

Matthew Weigel

Matthew Weigel (he/him) is a Dene and Métis poet and artist pursuing an MA in English at the University of Alberta and holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences. His words and art have been ... Read More 

Lindy West

Lindy West

Lindy West is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the bestselling author of Shrill, a memoir which has been adapted into a Hulu series starring Aidy Bryant (airing on ... Read More 

Lana Whiskeyjack

Lana Whiskeyjack

Lana Whiskeyjack is a multidisciplinary treaty iskwew artist from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Treaty Six territory, Alberta. She is guided by her grandmother’s advice: “Go to school, travel, and see as much as you ... Read More 

Brandon Wint

Brandon Wint

Brandon Wint is an Ontario born poet and spoken word artist who uses poetry to attend to the joy and devastation and inequity associated with this era of human and ecological history. Increasingly, his ... Read More 

Julia Zarankin

Julia Zarankin

Julia Zarankin is a writer and self-proclaimed birdsplainer. She has written for media including The Walrus, Antioch Review, Birding Magazine, Ontario Nature and The Globe and Mail. Zarankin won the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival ... Read More 

Anya Zoledziowski

Anya Zoledziowski

Anya Zoledziowski is an Edmonton-based multimedia reporter who focuses on race, gender, and Indigenous issues. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, VICE, The Tyee, and more. In 2018, ... Read More 


To see the festival's author line-ups from previous years, visit our Headliners Archive.