Larissa Andrusyshyn

Photo credit: James Bouthillier

Larissa Andrusyshyn completed an MA in English and creative writing at Concordia University. Her first poetry collection Mammoth (DC Books 2010) was longlisted for the ReLit award, and shortlisted for the QWF first book prize and the Kobzar literary award. Her second poetry collection Proof (DC Books) was published in 2014. Her poems have been a finalist for Arc Magazine’s Poem-of-the-Year, the CBC Poetry Prize and the 3 Macs carte blanche Prize. She facilitates creative writing workshops in Montreal and is currently working on a new poetry manuscript and her first novel.

Ryan Barnett

Ryan is a creative producer and writer. Over the past 10 years, he has created thousands of minutes of bilingual video and podcast programming for the cultural and education sectors. His work has been installed in museums, featured on CTV, CBC television and radio, in The Globe & Mail, National Post, Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and dozens of other publications. Ryan is currently writing a graphic novel based on the work and life of silent screen star Buster Keaton. His non-fiction writing has been published by Firefly Books in North America and Éditions Glénat in Europe. 

Website: knockaboutmedia.com

Moe Clark

Photo of a woman smiling
photo credit: Nang k'uulas

Métis multidisciplinary artist Moe Clark is a nomadic songbird with wings woven from circle singing and spoken word. Originally from Treaty 7, she’s called tio’tia:ke (Montreal) home for over a decade. Moe fuses together vocal improvisation with multilingual lyricism to create meaning that is rooted in personal legacy and ancestral memory. Apart from performance, she facilitates creative workshops in various contexts; she produces festivals and performances; and she mentors emerging indigenous artists. In 2016 she launched nistamîkwan: a transformational arts organization with an emphasis on intercultural and intergenerational collaboration. Moe has two albums of music, a bilingual book of poetry and multiple performance videos. Her work has been featured around the world at the Lincoln Centre (US), Queensland Poetry Festival (AU), Maelström Poetry Festival (BE) and Planet IndigenUs festival (CA), among others.

www.moeclark.ca / www.nistamîkwan.com

Tawhida Tanya Evanson

Photo credit: Temmuz Arsiray

Born and based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal, Tawhida Tanya Evanson is an Antiguan-Canadian poet, performer, producer, arts educator and director of Banff Centre Spoken Word and ANU live arts events. She has published six artist books, launched four studio albums, two videopoems and toured across Canada, UK, South Africa and Australia. In 2013, she was Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and received the Golden Beret Award for her contribution to the genre. “Bothism” (2017 Ekstasis Editions) is her first published poetry collection followed by “Nouveau Griot” (2018 Frontenac House). Other recent publications include Arc Poetry, WSQ Feminist Press, “Making Room” (Caitlin Press), and “Resist Much/Obey Little” (Dispatches Editions). She has fiction forthcoming in “Changing Face of Can Lit” (2020 Guernica Editions), is at work on a novella and moonlights as a whirling dervish.


April Ford

Photo credit: Bernardo Fernandez

By weekday, April is a Youth Worker for the Pointe-Saint-Charles YMCA program Pathways to Education. By the weekend, she’s a novelist, poet, and essayist. Her published books include Carousel (a novel), International Book Awards Winner for LGBTQ Fiction; Death Is a Side-Effect (poems); and The Poor Children (stories), Winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards Program for Fiction. In addition, she’s a Pushcart Prize recipient for her short story “Project Fumarase” and has held fully funded residencies at Ucross Foundation and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

April has extensive experience in helping people discover their aptitudes for language and creative expression. She’s especially interested in how we can use our built-in skills—along with potential we might not yet realize we have—to tell original stories and make our experiences accessible to others. Through fiction, poetry, memoir, drawing, and public speaking, April provides tools for people to find their voices, try out new voices, and even be a voice for others. As every individual and group is unique, she adapts workshop content and activities accordingly, always intending to challenge and empower participants. 

Learn more about April: aprilfordauthor.com

Emily Tristan Jones

Black and white photo of woman
Photo credit: Julien Bonnet

Emily Tristan Jones was born in the Northwest Territories. Her poems have been published in The Puritan, Harvard Review, Denver Quarterly, Vallum, White Wall Review, and many other journals. She is an alumna of the University of Chicago (a winner of its emerging writers series), Banff Centre for the Arts, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is the founder of Hermes (a gallery in Halifax) and has curated exhibitions for the Dalhousie Art Gallery (Dalhousie University), Current Space (Baltimore), and elsewhere. Her own art has been distributed by Vtape and exhibited internationally. She lives in Montreal, where she teaches poetry and is editor of Columba (an online quarterly).

Visit: www.emilytristanjones.ca.

Julianna Kozma

Julianna Kozma debut novel, Mosquitoes of Summer, was the 2009 winner of Book Idol.com. The following year, Canadian publisher McArthur & Co. published Mosquitoes of Summer, followed by Secrets of the Dunes. Most recently, Secrets of the Dunes was endorsed by Canadian Teacher Magazine, as well as by Canadian Materials Magazine. Prior to becoming a novelist, Julianna worked as a financial journalist for 15 years. Since then she has gone into teaching, and works both in the elementary and high school system. Julianna divides her time between the Laurentians in Quebec, and Prince Edward Island with her husband, their two children, and their pet parrots, Mr. Bean, Pickles and Indigo.

Angela Leuck

Angela Leuck headshot

An award-winning poet, Angela Leuck’s work has been published in journals and anthologies around the world. She is the author of More Grows in a Crooked Row (inkling, 2016), Garden Meditations and A Cicada in the Cosmos (in­kling, 2009), and Flower Heart (Blue Ginkgo, 2006). She has also edited numerous anthologies, including Rose Haiku for Flower Lovers and Gardeners (Price-Patterson, 2005), Tulip Haiku (Shoreline, 2004), and, with Maxianne Berger, Sun Through the Blinds: Montreal Haiku Today (Shoreline, 2003). She lives in Hatley, Quebec, with her husband, the poet Steve Luxton.

Domenica Martinello

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Domenica Martinello is a writer and educator. She was a finalist for the 2017 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the winner of the carte blanche 3Macs award for a genre-bending piece of literary criticism on Elena Ferrante. Recent poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Globe & Mail, Vallum, carte blanche, Lemon Hound, PRISM International, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Montreal, Martinello holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and her debut collection All Day I Dream About Sirens is forthcoming from Coach House Books in Spring 2019.

Chris Masson

Chris Masson headshot

Chris Masson is a poet, performer, and educator currently based in Montreal, where he organizes poetry slams and teaches poetry workshops to youth with the Throw Poetry Collective and the Quebec Writers Federation Writers in the Community program. He has been featured on stages across the continent, and toured his one-man play “Pathos, Punchlines, and Painkillers” to various festivals. His work appears in the love letter anthology Where the Nights Are Twice As Long (Goose Lane 2015).

Rachel McCrum

Woman speaks passionately into microphone
photo credit: Michael Kovacs

RACHEL McCRUM is a poet, performer and workshop facilitator. Originally from Northern Ireland, she lived in Edinburgh, Scotland between 2010 and 2016. She was the first BBC Scotland Poet-in-Residence, and Broad of cult spoken word cabaret Rally & Broad. She has taught and performed in Greece, South Africa, Haiti, and Canada, and toured her first book ‘The First Blast To Awaken Women Degenerate’ (Freight Books) across Ireland, Scotland and England in 2017. She was the co-founder of Stewed Rhubarb Press (Callum MacDonald Award 2012). She is now delighted to call Montreal home, where she is co-Director of Mile End Poets’ Festival (with Ian Ferrier), Membership Coordinator of Quebec Writers’ Federation, and runs around with various poetry events including the bilingual series Les Cabarets Bâtards and – with Aaron Boothby – new summer Sunday evening series Breathing Space.

For more information: https://rachelmccrumpoetperformer.wordpress.com/

Berlin Reed

Berlin Reed is an independent curator, author, and chef who has been practicing his craft since 2008. His work explores Black and Queer identities, celebrating the brilliant ingenuity held in both cultures as a form of decolonial resistance. Through the language of gastronomy, Reed established himself by curating multi-dimensional pop-ups in artistic ecosystems from San Francisco to Brooklyn to Montreal between 2008-2013. While being self-taught, he has also been a guest instructor and lecturer. He has published a memoir, as well as several essays, articles, and zines over the years. Reed co-founded Montreal chef/artist collective Atelier Etta in 2019, launched a micro-press in September 2020, and currently works as the Community Food Program Coordinator at DESTA Black Youth Network.

Photo credit: Julie Lebert

Mahta Riazi

Mahta Riazi (she/her/hers) is an Iranian/Canadian poet, community worker, and educator currently living in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal) on the unceded territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk people). Mahta works in popular education and is interested in the literary arts as a way to connect communities and collectively learn and heal. Her poetry appears in inQluded magazine, Voicemail Poems, Headline Anthology, FEED literary magazine, khejalat zine and Yolk literary magazine. 

Photo credit: Self-ish open mic @selfishopenmic

Greg Santos

Greg Santos is the author of Blackbirds (Eyewear, 2018), Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014), and The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books, 2010). His newest full-length poetry collection is forthcoming with DC Books. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He regularly works with at-risk communities, and teaches at the Thomas More Institute. He was the poetry editor of carte blanche for seven years and will become the new Editor-in-Chief of the magazine in Fall 2019. Santos lives in Montreal with his wife and two children.

Visit: https://gregsantos.me/

Jason “Blackbird” Selman

Jason Selman smiling in black and white
Photo credit: Melika Dez

Jason “Blackbird” Selman is a Montreal-born poet and trumpet player. He is the author of The Freedom I Stole (2007, Cumulus Press), and Africa As A Dream That Travels Through My Heart (2016, Howl), and co-editor of the poetry anthology Talking Book (2006, Cumulus Press), which chronicles the writings of Kalm Unity Vibe Collective (of which he is a founding member). He has done extensive poetry workshops in schools and community groups across the Montreal area. His work is grounded in the themes of ethno-musicology, surrealist expression, love, and the intersection of masculinity and emotional vulnerability.

Deanna Smith

Deanna Smith is a lover of words.  Over the years, she has expressed this love through art, as a poet, and through science, as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Her creative work is rooted in her experiences as a descendent of the African Diaspora, a person who thinks in two languages, a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a neighbor of the many displaced peoples of Turtle Island. She has been fortunate to perform in venues across Canada and to have led workshops for participants aged 4-80. Her work has been published in Montréal Serai and in “The Great Black North – Contemporary African Canadian Poetry” (Frontenac 2013). She performs regularly with the Kalmunity Vibe Collective.

Jesse Stong

Jesse Stong is the director of Playwrights Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators Unit, where he has supported over 85 emerging artists over the last four years. Jesse is a graduate of playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada and received his Masters in Art Education from Concordia University. In 2016/2017 he was assistant curator for the National Arts Centre’s Disability Summit, and in 2016 he received the Michaëlle Jean Foundation Award for his innovative writing/puppetry workshops for schools and youth groups.

Gillian Sze

Gillian Sze in a classroom
Photo credit: Jowan Gauthier

GILLIAN SZE is the author of multiple poetry collections, including Peeling Rambutan (Gaspereau Press, 2014), Redrafting Winter (BuschekBooks, 2015), and Panicle (ECW Press, 2017), which were finalists for the QWF’s A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Sze’s work has been supported by the Canada Council of the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and has received awards such as the University of Winnipeg Writers’ Circle Prize and the 3Macs carte blanche Prize. She has served as a judge for a number of literary competitions, such as the National Magazine Awards, the bpNichol Chapbook Award, and the Malahat Long Poem Prize. She studied Creative Writing and English Literature at Concordia University and received a Ph.D. in Études anglaises from Université de Montréal. Originally from Winnipeg, she now resides in Montreal where she teaches creative writing and literature

Visit: www.gilliansze.com

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Program sponsors

We would also like to express our gratitude to the following sponsors, without whom the Writers in the Community program would not be possible