2013 Headliners

Mohamed Abdi

Mohamed Abdi

Mohamed Abdi is a Somali-Canadian journalist engaged in advocacy journalism. He is also an emerging writer and a film maker with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from Athabasca University. He has also authored ... Read More 

CR Avery

CR Avery

Whether performing to thousands at the Royal Albert Hall or the lucky few who made it inside the packed past capacity speakeasy, C.R. Avery is a unique, raw and dynamic performer. His genius lies ... Read More 

Douglas Barbour

Douglas Barbour

Douglas Barbour is Professor emeritus, Department of English & Film Studies, University of Alberta. His books include Visible Visions: The Selected Poems of Douglas Barbour (NeWest Press; winner of the Stephan G. Stephansson Award); Story for a ... Read More 

Kimmy Beach

Kimmy Beach

Nuala: a fable is Kimmy Beach’s sixth book. Her second, Alarum Within: theatre poems (Turnstone Press, 2003), has been adapted twice as a stage play. The Last Temptation of Bond (UAP, 2013) was featured ... Read More 

Astrid Blodgett

Astrid Blodgett

Astrid Blodgett’s short stories have appeared in The Journey Prize Anthology, Meltwater: Fiction and Poetry from the Banff Centre for the Arts, and several Canadian literary magazines. She was short-listed for the Writers’ Guild ... Read More 

Thea Bowering

Thea Bowering

Thea Bowering writes prose that wants to be poetry. Her experimental fiction deals with the figure of the Female Flâneur: a solitary, marginalized walker, and observer of urban life. Thea has worked in Edmonton ... Read More 

Sam Bukambu

Sam Bukambu

Born in Tanzania, Sam Bukambu moved to the US for computer information studies. He now lives in Edmonton as a self employed entrepreneur. He is happily married to Aurora, with whom he is raising ... Read More 

Jenna Butler

Jenna Butler

Jenna Butler is a poet, professor, essayist, and organic farmer from northern Alberta. She teaches Creative Writing at Red Deer College. Jenna Butler is the author of three books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, ... Read More 

Kevan Anthony Cameron

Kevan Anthony Cameron

Kevan Anthony Cameron, also known as Scruffmouth is a scribe, spoken poet, performer and proud co-editor of The Great Black North. He is a veteran of the poetry slam scene in North America and aims to ... Read More 

Jillian Christmas

Jillian Christmas

Spoken word poet Jillian Christmas lives in Vancouver, BC., where she serves as co-director of Versəs Festival of Words. She has won Grand Poetry-Slam Championship titles at both the Vancouver BedRocc poetry-slam (2011), as well ... Read More 

Alison Clarke

Alison Clarke

Alison Clarke is a writer/artist who also enjoys painting and drawing. She also experiences life as a spoken word artist. She is the author of The Sisterhood, a young adult fantasy novel about a ... Read More 

George Elliott Clarke

George Elliott Clarke

Celebrated author and scholar George Elliott Clarke has been named Toronto’s fourth poet laureate. He has published in a variety of genres: verse collections, Saltwater Spirituals and Deeper Blues (1983), and Lush Dreams, Blue ... Read More 

Simon Crowley

Simon Crowley

Simon Crowley was born in 1984 in a former tuberculosis sanatorium. His poems have appeared on Post-it Notes, bus transfers, and bar bills across Canada, as well as in a series of limited-edition chapbooks; ... Read More 

Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham is a board member of the national arts service organization, IPAA (Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance) and a National Working Group member of NANAA (National Aboriginal Network of Arts Administrators). He has been ... Read More 

Patricia Darbasie

Patricia Darbasie

Pat is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting and MFA Directing programs has been an actor/performer in Edmonton for many years. Upon completion of her MFA Pat attended York University where ... Read More 

Tanya Davis

Tanya Davis

Tanya Davis is wrapping up her term as poet laureate for Halifax. Poet, storyteller, musician and singer-songwriter, she fuses these elements together in a refreshing matrimony of language and sound, side-stepping genre and captivating ... Read More 

Kris Demeanor

Kris Demeanor

Kris Demeanor was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada right about the time of the first moon landing, the son of a Swedish beauty queen and a German General Proficiency award winner. He’s a songwriter ... Read More 

Trisia Eddy

Trisia Eddy

Born and raised in Edmonton, Trisia Eddy has been an active member of the local literary and arts culture for many years. She founded Red Nettle Press in 2007 as a way of supporting ... Read More 

Jannie Edwards

Jannie Edwards

Jannie Edwards has published three collections of poetry and worked on many artistic collaborations, most recently a video and poetry installation, adrift, with visual artist Agnieszka Matejko and videographer Bob Lysay, part of a ... Read More 

Mohamed Elgendi

Mohamed Elgendi

Mohamed received the B.S. degree (first-class honours) in computer engineering from High Institute of Engineering, Egypt, in 2000. He received his M.E. degree in electrical engineering with a scholarship from Charles Darwin University, Australia ... Read More 

Latoya Farrell

Latoya Farrell

Latoya Farrell was born in Fort McMurray, and raised by Caribbean parents. Her work has appeared in exhibitions such as InFuse 2 at the Garvey Cultural Centre and 5 Artists, 1 Love at the ... Read More 

Florent J. Feulefack

Florent J. Feulefack

Florent is originally from Cameroon. He now lives in Edmonton as an applied economist. Imbued with an in-born passion for writing poetry, Florent has written hundreds of poems and won awards in many poetry ... Read More 

Eric Folsom

Eric Folsom

Eric Folsom is a resident of Kingston, Ontario and currently serves as that city’s Poet Laureate. He is the author of several poetry collections, including Icon Driven from Wolsak and Wynn and Northeastern “Anti-ghazals” ... Read More 

Christine S. Frederick

Christine S. Frederick

Christine Sokaymoh Frederick is the co-founder/co-director of Alberta Aboriginal Arts, and is the Aboriginal Leadership Academy Coordinator for the Centre for Race & Culture. She is a Métis, Edmonton-based artist with many years experience ... Read More 

Francisco A. Fwallah

Francisco A. Fwallah

Francisco was born in Angola. He came to Canada in 1999. He writes in Portuguese and English. Writing became to him a path to dream loudly. Through it, he has found a way to ... Read More 

Kasia Gawlak

Kasia Gawlak

As the daughter of an artist and a journalist, Kasia is drawn to the symbiotic relationship between words and images, and enjoys mixing poetry with visual art, collage, and photographs. Her work is confessional ... Read More 

Marty Gervais

Marty Gervais

Marty Gervais is an award-winning journalist, photographer, poet, playwright, historian, editor and teacher. Among his poetry awards are the Milton Acorn “People’s Poetry Award” for his book, Tearing into a Summer Day. He also ... Read More 

Michael Gravel

Michael Gravel

Michael Gravel is a poet, writer, emcee, publisher, and tea afficionado. He believes that art, design, and poetry strive for the same ideal: to say the most with the least. His poetry chapbooks include ... Read More 

Medgeen Guillet

Medgeen Guillet

Medgeen Guillet was born in Haiti, and raised in Montreal when her family immigrated to Canada in the 1970s. Initially studying Marketing Management at McGill University, Guillet’s creative instincts prompted her to switch gears, ... Read More 

Joe Gurba

Joe Gurba

Writer, Student, Research Assistant, Artist, Impresario, Agnostic Christian Anarchist Marxist Humanist, Edmontonian, Somnambulist, Life-Amateur, hopefully one of the good guys. Read More 

Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison’s eight books include the Governor General’s Award–finalist Big Breath of a Wish, and Hero of the Play, the first book of poetry launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame. He teaches English and Creative Writing ... Read More 

Andrea House

Andrea House

Andrea House comes to the Poetry Festival as a veteran of Edmonton’s theatre and musical communities; as an actor with Edmonton theatre companies such as Teatro La Quindicina, the Citadel Theatre, and Theatre Network, ... Read More 

pj johnson

pj johnson

pj johnson was formally invested as the Yukon’s first Poet Laureate on Canada Day, 1994 by Yukon Commissioner Kenneth McKinnon during a ceremony held in Whitehorse at Rotary Park. Sometimes called “the Raven Lady”, ... Read More 

Don Kerr

Don Kerr

Saskatchewan’s poet laureate, Don Kerr, has published ten books of poetry and as well as fiction and one teen novel. He is also a dramatist who has written for the Fringe and for CBC ... Read More 

Robert Kpogo

Robert Kpogo

Robert is a master Togolese musician and active member of Wajjo African Drummers and Kekeli African Dancers. He was born in Ghana and grew up in Togo, West Africa. Robert has performed in cultural ... Read More 

Amélie Lanctôt

Amélie Lanctôt

Amélie Lanctôt is from Sherbrooke, Québec. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Sherbrooke and a diploma in Theatre. She has published several poems in various issues of the journal ... Read More 

Evelyn Lau

Evelyn Lau

Evelyn Lau is the author of ten books, including five volumes of poetry. Her work has received the Milton Acorn Award, a Governor-General’s nomination, and a National Magazine Award for Poetry. Her most recent ... Read More 

Deborah Lawson

Deborah Lawson

Deborah Lawson is an Edmonton-based freelance editor and writer. She’s been writing poetry for many years, and in 2003 she began to take part in Edmonton’s vibrant poetry community and work with some of ... Read More 

John B. Lee

John B. Lee

John B. Lee was appointed Poet Laureate of Brantford in Perpetuity in 2004 and Poet Laureate of Norfolk County (2011-2014).  The author of over seventy published books, his work has appeared internationally in over ... Read More 

Giselle Lemire

Giselle Lemire

A seasoned bilingual actress, director, and coach as well as a Spoken Word Poet and past Edmonton Slam Champion, this season Giselle initiated Poetry Strip Tease…Poets Go Paperless, a Workshop Series on memorization and ... Read More 

John Leppard

John Leppard

John Leppard is an active member of the Edmonton poetry scene, performing his unique style of spoken word in a variety of venues. A respected leader in the poetry community, John brings abundant experience ... Read More 

Liz Lochhead

Liz Lochhead

Liz Lochhead was appointed Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – in 2011, after serving as the Poet Laureate for Glasgow. A poet and playwright, she is described as “both transgressive and ... Read More 

Erika Luckert

Erika Luckert

Erika Luckert is an Edmonton writer, photographer, and student of the arts. Erika’s work has been featured in numerous local publications such as DailyHaiga, Glass Buffalo, Notebook Magazine, and 40 Below: Edmonton’s Winter Anthology. ... Read More 

Kath MacLean

Kath MacLean

Kath MacLean is a multi media artist and educator living in Edmonton. She writes poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, critical reviews, performance poetry, drama & film and has performed her work throughout Canada and the ... Read More 

Heather Simeney MacLeod

Heather Simeney MacLeod

Heather Simeney MacLeod grew up throughout various regions of British Columbia, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. A few years ago Heather returned to Canada from Scotland, and she is currently a Ph. D. ... Read More 

Lorien Maheu

Lorien Maheu

Lorien Maheu was born in Maui, Hawaii in June of 1988. Five years later he moved to British Columbia with his mother and brother and grew up in Nelson, B.C. He credits his mother, ... Read More 

Alice Major

Alice Major

Alice Major’s newest book, Welcome to the Anthropocene, continues her long engagement with science and mathematics. With her customary wit and intelligence, she tackles the urgent questions raised by human activity on the planet. ... Read More 

Roman Gebre Mariam

Roman Gebre Mariam

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Roman Gebre Mariam fell in love with the world of literature at an early age. Roman has written collections of hundreds of poems, for which she is seeking a ... Read More 

Valerie Mason-John

Valerie Mason-John

Dr. Mason-John is an award winning writer who has done extensive work with schools on issues like bullying and violence as well as workshops on spoken-word poetry. She is the author of four non ... 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 

Lynett McKell

Lynett McKell

Driven to write from an early age, Lynett McKell weaves tales from her life’s truth and sends them our way, wrapped in melody from deep within. A self taught musician, her music carries a ... Read More 

Jérôme Melançon

Jérôme Melançon

Jérôme Melançon lives in Camrose with his wife, their two children and their cat. He arrived there through Saskatchewan, France, Ontario, Québec, and New-Brunswick. He teaches philosophy, as well as Canadian, Indigenous, and Chiense ... Read More 

Brucer Meyer

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer is the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie. He is author of 34 books, 13 of them poetry, with six more books in the works. He is professor of English ... Read More 

Brett Miles

Brett Miles

Edmonton’s Brett Miles is one of Canada’s premiere saxophonists and a funk/jazz musician. The youngest son of Edmonton Eskimos great, Rollie Miles, Brett has also been creating visual art for the last 21 years. ... Read More 

Tololwa Mollel

Tololwa Mollel

Tololwa Mollel is an award-winning author of over sixteen internationally published books for the young, plays and stories for performance. A fall 2013 publication will add a new book to that number. Mollel has ... Read More 

Mireille Moquin

Mireille Moquin

Mireille Moquin has been a hard working actor and singer-songwriter in Edmonton and Western Canada for the better part of a decade. In 2005, she won the Gala albertain de la chanson, and was ... Read More 

Omar Mouallem

Omar Mouallem

Omar Mouallem is a National Magazine Awards nominated writer and Metro News columnist, who moonlights as Edmonton rapper A.O.K. After four years as Avenue’s associate editor, he recently left to serve as the Edmonton ... Read More 

Jason Lee Norman

Jason Lee Norman

Jason Lee Norman is a writer with a beard. His first book of short fiction entitled Americas was released in April, 2012 and his new eBook Beautiful Girls & Famous Men was just released ... Read More 

Andy Northrup

Andy Northrup

Andy Northrup is a singer/songwriter who has also written and acted for the stage and screen. He has recorded three critically acclaimed CDs, Slow Burn Avenue, Cardboard Logic and Making My Way and was ... Read More 

Komi Olaf

Komi Olaf

Komi Olaf is a multitalented Nigerian artist currently living in Toronto. As “Poetic Speed”, he began his career as a spoken word artist in 2006 at “Conscious”, a spoken word play at Carleton University. ... Read More 

Holger Peterson

Holger Peterson

Holger Petersen has been a record producer, broadcaster, music industry board member, album collector, and serious music fan for over three decades. He is the founder of Stony Plain Records in Edmonton, which now ... Read More 

Mary Pinkoski

Mary Pinkoski

Mary Pinkoski, 5th Poet Laureate of the City of Edmonton (2013-2015), is an internationally recognized poet. She has performed on stages across North American and at the 2015 Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. ... Read More 

Elsa Robinson

Elsa Robinson

Elsa finally decided to start her art career in November 2005. Up until then, she had focused on producing art prints on t-shirts in an effort to bring the art to the streets of ... Read More 

Glenn Robson

Glenn Robson

A rabid avant gardener of all things miraculously strange and strangely miraculous, mild-mannered Glenn Robson works across form and medium—word, sound, and image—refining his un-ique poetics. He is one half of the sound poetry ... Read More 

Janet Rogers

Janet Rogers

Janet Marie Rogers is the third Poet Laureate for the city of Victoria (2012-2015). She is a Mohawk/Tuscarora poet, spoken word and performance poet who also works in audio and video poetry. She has ... 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 

Yaa Serwaa Somuah

Yaa Serwaa Somuah

Yaa Serwaa was born in Ghana, where she worked as teacher, radio presenter and a playwright, after graduating with an education degree in 2001. She moved to Edmonton in 2008. She has self-published eleven ... 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 

Jocelyne Verret

Jocelyne Verret

Jocelyne Verret is a long-time member of the Stroll of Poets and a past President. She is a published poet, novelist, dramaturge, and essayist. The Works Art and Design Festival of 2017 featured twelve ... Read More 

Gisèle Villeneuve

Gisèle Villeneuve

Gisèle Villeneuve is a Calgary-based bilingual writer working in multiple genres. As a novelist, short story writer, poet, and translator, she delights in alternating freely between French and English. Rising Abruptly, a collection of ... Read More 

Fred Wah

Fred Wah

Fred Wah was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in 1939, but he grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. After teaching in the Kootenays and at the University of Calgary, he ... Read More 

Brian Webb

Brian Webb

Brian’s reputation extends nationally and abroad. He is known as an artist, teacher and dance presenter. In 2009, he taught creative process to emerging contemporary South Asian dance artists from Canada, US, UK, India, ... Read More 

Marlon "Arlo Maverick" Wilson

Marlon “Arlo Maverick” Wilson

Arlo Maverick (Marlon Wilson) is an Edmonton-based hip-hop MC whose sound explores Jazz, Reggae, and Soul yet identifies itself as hip-hop. Influenced by his uncle’s multi-genre record collection which ranged from country western, funk, ... Read More 

Liz Withey

Liz Withey

Elizabeth Withey is a writer, journalist and artist based in Edmonton. She is a 2014 finalist for the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Awards in the “emerging artist” category. Elizabeth has been on staff ... Read More 

Paul Zits

Paul Zits

Paul Zits received his MA in English from the University of Calgary in 2010, completing his creative thesis, Massacre Street (UAP 2013) under the supervision of experimental Canadian poet Christian Bök. Since, he has ... Read More