Meet the past Writers/Storytellers-in-Residence at the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.
Ariel Gordon (she/her) is a Winnipeg/Treaty 1 territory-based writer, editor, and enthusiast. She has published Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019), a collection of essays that combines science writing and the personal essay, and TreeTalk (At Bay Press, 2020), a public poetry project where Ariel hangs poems in trees and asks passersby to add their thoughts, ideas, and secrets. She is also the ringleader of Writes of Spring, a National Poetry Month project with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival that appears in the Winnipeg Free Press.
A long-time affiliate of CCWOC, Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Métis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, North End Love Songs won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in 2013. Her novel, The Break was a bestseller in Canada and has won multiple awards and nominations.
Frances Koncan is a writer of mixed Anishinaabe and Slovene descent from Couchiching First Nation. Koncan is an alumna of the Faculty of Arts (major in Psychology and minor in Theatre) and has an MFA in Playwriting from the City University of New York – Brooklyn College. They got their start as a writer by blogging about the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and has since expanded their storytelling-style repertoire to include plays, screenplays, creative non-fiction, journalism, video essays, digital content creation and more.
Lindsay Wong is the Vancouver based, best-selling, award-winning author of the memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family, which won the 2019 Hubert-Evans Prize for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2018 Hilary Weston Prize for Nonfiction and was defended by Joe Zee on Canada Reads 2019. She holds a BFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and an MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University.
Raised in a Franco-Manitoban Métis family and recognized by Storytellers of Canada as being a Master Storyteller, Malo draws on his background as an Educational Programs Developer at the Manitoba Museum and as a Professor in the Tourism Department of l’Université de St. Boniface to connect with audiences through storytelling, music and song.
Richardson was born and raised in Winnipeg, worked for many years as a children’s librarian and then for the CBC in Vancouver, and has been re-rooting himself in Manitoba’s beautiful rural southwest, in the RM of Louise. His book for adult readers is a collection of linked short stories, I Saw Three Ships. For children there is a picture book, illustrated by Slavka Kolesar, The Promise Basket.
Mercredi was born in Misipawistik (Grand Rapids) and grew up listening to his grandmother’s stories. His affinity for the wilderness and his sensitivity to the deep cultural prejudices of the broader culture inform his writing. He has published poetry collections, including Spirit of the Wolf: Raise Your Voice and The Duke of Windsor: Wolf Sings the Blues. He is a long-time member of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Writers Collective. Duncan lives in Winnipeg.
Hughes was born in Atikokan in northern Ontario and brought up on the Welsh island of Ynys Mon. He was educated at the universities of York and Edinburgh, and King’s College, Cambridge. Hughes is a celebrated writer with international acclaim, having published multiple novels and short fiction pieces. He is a winner of the Edward Stanford Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place, the Rhys Davies short story prize and the O. Henry Award.
Bergen is a celebrated writer with international acclaim. His 2005 book, The Time in Between was awarded Canada’s prestigious literary award – the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is also a multi-time winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, along with the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and others. His novels and stories have been recognized as a finalist or listed many times over the years including for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Canada Reads, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and again for the Giller Prize.
Jordan is a Nisga’a writer who’s conceptual writing engages with the representation of Indigenous peoples in anthropology and popular culture. Abel’s books include, The Place of Scraps, Un/inhabited and Injun, the winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2015, CBC Books named Abel one of 12 Young Writers to Watch. Abel’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals across Canada. He has been an editor for Poetry is Dead magazine, PRISM international and Geist.
Still is a Winnipeg poet exploring intersections of language and aesthetics. Her first collection of poems, Saltations, was nominated for three Saskatchewan Book Awards and in 2008 she received a Saskatchewan Emerging Artist Award. In 2012 she received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.
Steven Ross Smith
Smith is a poet, fiction and non-fiction writer and a sound and performance poet. He has been publishing books since the 1970s, and was a member of the legendary sound poetry group, Owen Sound. He has published thirteen books and is published in journals, audio recordings and videos in Canada, USA and abroad.
Randolph is one of Canada’s foremost cultural theorists, having been writing, publishing and lecturing for over thirty years. She is the author of Psychoanalysis and Synchronized Swimming (1993); Symbolization and Its Discontents (1997), Why Stoics Box (2003), The Ethics of Luxury (2008), Shopping Cart Pantheism (2015) and Out of Psychoanalysis: ficto-criticism 2005-2015. A practicing psychoanalyst, Dr. Randolph is also known as engaging lecturer and performance artist whose unique vocal soliloquies have been delivered in universities and galleries across Canada, as well as England, Australia and Spain.
Fitzgerald is the author of five novels, including Pigtopia, which took second place in the Barnes & Noble Discover Awards. Her first short story collection, Miranda’s Shadow, was published in 2013. She has written radio drama for the BBC, several theatre plays, film, journalism, poetry and edited several collections of short fiction. Born in Ireland, she now lives on the North East coast of England.
Liz Duffy Adams
Liz Duffy Adams is a New Dramatists alumna and playwright. Her work has been produced or developed at the Women's Project Theatre (Off Broadway), Magic Theatre, Seattle Rep, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Humana Festival, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, Cutting Ball, Shotgun Players and Crowded Fire. Adams has a BFA from New York University and an MFA from Yale School of Drama.
Louise Wallwein was brought up in 13 different children’s homes and wrote her first play at the age of 17. A renowned poet, playwright and filmmaker, her explosive work detonates her audiences’ imaginations. Louise has written, performed, and collaborated all over the world, bringing to life characters that exist in the margins of society.
Christine Fellows and John K. Samson
Winnipeg singer/songwriter Christine Fellows has released five solo albums to date, and her sixth album, Burning Daylight, will be released in 2014 alongside a companion graphic novel. An avid interdisciplinary collaborator, Fellows often works with visual artists, choreographers, filmmakers and musicians to create performance works, scores and spectacles.
In addition to his work as The Weakerthans frontman, Winnipegger John K. Samson is a writer whose poetry and prose has appeared in Matrix Magazine, CV2, Geist, The Believer, and Post-Prairie: An Anthology of New Poetry. Samson is also the co-founder and managing editor of Winnipeg publishing house ARP Books.
Murphy has worked as a professional storyteller since 2006. She has taught and performed in English and Spanish in more than 20 countries. Her repertoire includes traditional material from many cultures ranging from 3,000 to 50 years old. Clare has worked as an actor, writer, director, performer, and producer of theatre and storytelling. She is a member of several international groups that focus on training for storytellers, as well as developing multilingual/translation storytelling theory.
Ito graduated from UBC in the spring of 1987 with a BFA in Creative Writing. She went to Japan on a Mombusho scholarship to work on literary translations of modern and contemporary Japanese poetry. In 1990, she returned to Canada and started a Masters of Arts degree in English at the University of Alberta. Ito writes in different genres – poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction – and has published in these genres in various literary journals. She has also done translation of Japanese poetry into English. Ito has published three books of poetry – Frogs in the Rain Barrel (1995), Season of Mercy (1998) and Alert to Glory (2011).
Marie Louise Chown and Kay Stone
Patrick Ryan has worked as a teacher and professional storyteller for over 40 years. He regularly tours Britain, Europe and the US performing, lecturing and conducting workshops. Ryan has written for the BBC and has participated in several major storytelling projects. Ryan grew up in Illinois, where he attended the Universities of Illinois and Chicago. He taught primary school in the USA and Britain for ten years and, in 2004, he completed his doctoral degree at the University of Glamorgan, where he was a research fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling.
Cook is an award-winning poet, novelist and literary critic. She was born in Johannesburg where she worked as a freelance arts and culture correspondent before moving to Winnipeg. Dr. Cook holds a PhD specializing in Canadian literature from UM and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia. She first novel, The House on Sugarbush Road, won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award in 2013. She has been the poetry editor of Prairie Fire magazine and has taught creative writing classes at UM.
Mabasa is an award-winning novelist, children’s writer and dub poet from Harare, Zimbabwe. Inspired by his grandmother, he is also a storyteller who began telling stories before he could write and has since shared them with audiences from Harare to San Francisco. An accomplished mentor for budding writers and storytellers, a champion of the Shona language and a lay preacher at his local church, Ignatius is the Deputy Director of the British Council in Zimbabwe.
Roberta Kennedy is a traditional Haida singer, drummer and storyteller, and one of Canada's leading aboriginal performers. She has given hundreds of performances in nearly every province in Canada. She performs for children and adults at festivals, schools, universities, conferences, workshops, and on TV and radio. Roberta is also a Dene Culture teacher and teaches the Dogrib language to primary students.
Andrews had been a children’s book author for 40 years and was shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award. Andrews also organized many arts events, including founding an organization that helps bring artists into schools. She also created and ran StorySave, a project of Storytellers of Canada that records elders in the Canadian storytelling community.
Armin Wiebe is an award-winning author, playwright, short story writer, humourist, essayist, and novelist. He is the winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award for his novel Tatsea, and he is also the author of three wonderful comic novels set in the fictional Mennonite town of Gutenthal, Manitoba. His work is renowned for the musicality of its dialect and dialogue.
Rody Gorman is a poet, writer, lyricist, editor, essayist and translator. He has published a number of volumes of poetry in both Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic. He has worked as writing fellow at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye and at University College Cork, and is editor of the annual Irish and Scottish Gaelic poetry anthology An Guth.
Gregory Scofield, one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal writers and storytellers, was CCWOC’s inaugural writer/storyteller-in-residence. His collections of poetry have earned him both a national and international audience. His approach blends oral storytelling, song, spoken word and the Cree language. His maternal ancestry traces back to the fur trade and to the Metis community of Kinosota, Manitoba, which was established in 1828 by the Hudson’s Bay Company. His paternal ancestry is Jewish, Polish and German, something reflective of the immigrant experience to Canada at the turn of the century. Gregory’s works of poetry and his memoir are taught at numerous universities and colleges throughout Canada and the U.S., and his work has appeared in many anthologies.