2018 presenters

Our presenters (listed here in alphabetical order) appear in our evening events and take part in the Saturday panel discussions. Watch this space as our lineup develops!


Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from BC. Abel’s creative work has recently been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (Arbiter Ring), and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayword).  Abel 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).



Dave Butler is an East Kootenay writer, photographer, forester and biologist. He’s the author of the Jenny Willson mystery series, published by Dundurn Press. Full Curl, the first in the series, appeared in September 2017. It was a finalist for the Unhanged Arthur in 2015. No Place for Wolverines, the next in the series, will be out this fall. Dave is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


Deryn Collier is the author of The Bern Fortin novels Confined Space and Open Secret, both published by Simon & Schuster Canada. Originally from Montreal, she is a graduate of McGill University. After a very short career as a federal bureaucrat she ran away to the mountains of British Columbia, where she has been for over twenty years. She lives in Nelson, BC with her husband, sons and cats.


J. Edward Chamberlin, from Halfmoon Bay, B.C., was raised in the East Kootenay but has been on faculty at the University of Toronto since 1970. He has been active in aboriginal land claims on many continents, including Australia, Africa and here in North America. He has a special interest in narrative. His books include If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground (2003), which explores how stories and songs locate people in a landscape, and which was shortlisted for both the Charles Taylor Prize and the Pearson Writer’s Trust Award. His newest book is The Banker and the Blackfoot (2016), which Sid Marty, in Alberta Views, calls: “a passionate and well-informed look into the heart of Alberta’s Golden West, and into the hearts of the white and Aboriginal leaders whose impact on events in that era still resonates today.” The Vancouver Sun termed the book “a wrenching account of betrayal and loss, and one which Chamberlin seems, to his credit, to take very personally.”



Lorna Goodison, from Halfmoon Bay, B.C., born and raised in Jamaica, was installed this May as the first female poet laureate of Jamaica, a position she’ll hold until 2020. More than a dozen collections of her poems have been published to critical acclaim, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas for her second collection, I Am Becoming My Mother (1986). Her prose memoir, Harvey River: A Memory of My Mother and Her People, won the 2008 $40,000 BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction, Canada’s largest prize for non-fiction. She also published several collections of short fiction. Goodison has taught at the universities of Michigan and Toronto, and served as a juror for Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize for fiction.


R.M. Greenaway lives in Nelson, BC. Cold Girl, the first in her BC Blues crime series, won the 2014
Arthur Ellis Unhanged (Best Unpublished) and went on to be released by Dundurn Press in March 2016.
Undertow followed in 2017, Creep in 2018, and Flights & Falls is up next. The series, a character-driven
police procedural set in North Vancouver, is ongoing.


Sean Arthur Joyce Long known to Kootenay audiences for his newspaper articles and poetry, Joyce is the author of three titles of Canadian history and a novel, Mountain Blues (NeWest Press 2018). His nonfiction book Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest was toured to 25 communities across Canada. Joyce’s poems and essays on poetics have been published in Canada, the US and the UK. He has three collections of poetry published by New Orphic Publishers of Nelson, BC.


Marsha Lederman is the Western Arts Correspondent for The Globe and Mail, where she writes about books and publishing, as well as film, TV, visual art, theatre, dance and other cultural matters. Born and raised in Toronto, Marsha moved to Vancouver in 2007, when she joined The Globe. Before that, Marsha worked for CBC Radio, where she held a variety of positions, including National Arts Reporter. Prior to joining CBC, she worked as a private radio talk show host, reporter and news anchor. She has degrees from Ryerson and York University. She says one of the best things about her job is getting paid to read and write about books. Marsha will interview our Saturday Night Live! authors on stage.



Roz Nay grew up in England and studied at Oxford University. She has been published in The Antigonish Review and the anthology Refuge. Roz has worked as an underwater fish counter in Africa, a snowboard videographer in Vermont, and a high school teacher in both the UK and Australia. She now lives in Nelson with her husband and two children. Her debut novel Our Little Secret won the Douglas Kennedy Prize for Best Foreign Thriller 2017 in France, was a Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller, and made it onto CBC’s Top 10 Thrillers of 2017. Her second book is slated to be out in fall 2018.


Rayya Liebich is a bilingual poet, writer, and teacher. After twelve years teaching French at Nelson’s Waldorf School, she recommitted to her writing practice and now works as a professional artist. Rayya’s work has appeared in literary journals internationally. Her essay Radical Choices won the Geneva Literary Award in 2015, and her 2015 poetry collection Tell Me Everything won the Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award the same year. Her play Three Minutes took first place in the 2005 Kootenay Literary Competition. Teaching includes Liminal Life Writing at Oxygen Art Centre and Writing Through the Grief at Kalein Hospice, among others. Youth engagement includes creative writing for teens at the Nelson Public Library and Artstarts in the Classroom in several West Kootenay schools. Rayya brings her great energy and inspired words to the 100-Mile Opening Gala.


Susan Musgrave who lives on Haida Gwaii where she runs Copper Beech Guest House. Musgrave has excelled in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature and more. She has published 19 collections of poems (most recently Origami Dove in 2011), four novels (most recently Given in 20212), and several collections of her essays and books for children. Her most recent edited anthology is Force Field: 77 Women Poets of B.C. (2013). Her most recent book is A Taste of Haida Gwaii (2015), a cookbook including recipes and stories from her life on B.C.’s westernmost island chain. Musgrave served as a panelist on the 2006 Canada Reads CBC program, and teaches in the University of B.C. creative writing department’s optional residency Master of Fine Arts program. In 2012 she won the Spirit Bear Award for her enduring contribution to the poetry of the Pacific Northwest. “Her artistic presence over the past 40 years has helped create who we are,” wrote Patrick Lane. “She is as important to us as Emily Carr.” In 2014 she was awarded the $20,000 Matt Cohen Award, given in recognition of “a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer.”



Steven Price lives in Victoria, B.C. and is the author of two award-winning poetry books, Anatomy of Keys (2006), winner of the Gerald Lampert Award, and Omens in the Year of the Ox (2012), winner of the ReLit Award. Price saw his first book of poetry, Anatomy of Keys, win the Gerald Lampert Award and be shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize, as well as being named a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year for 2006. His first novel, Into That Darkness, was published by Thomas Allen to acclaim in 2011. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets, and Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets, and has been translated into German and Hungarian.


Stephen Reid of Sidney and Masset, B.C., is Canada’s best-known bank robber. He met his wife Susan Musgrave in 1983 when she was writer-in-residence at the University of Waterloo and he was serving a 20-year sentence for bank robbery. His heists include the biggest Canadian gold robbery ever recorded ($785,000 worth of gold from an Ottawa airport), and the biggest bank robbery in San Diego, California history ($283,000 US Dollars). While in prison, he had shown the manuscript of his novel, Jackrabbit Parole, to Musgrave, and they married three years later. The novel was released the same year. In 1999, Reid was arrested for a bank robbery in Victoria, which involved a shootout. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, released on parole in 2008, and re-incarcerated in 2010 for parole violations.  He was released in 2015. His second book is a collection of essays, A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison, which won the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize.


Judy Toews is a retired nutritionist turned crime writer. A former columnist, technical writer, and non-fiction author, she lives in Nelson, BC. Give Out Creek (Mosaic Press, 2018) is her debut novel and the first in a series of Stella Mosconi mysteries. It was shortlisted for the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished crime novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. Visit Judy at www.jgtoews.com or follow her on Twitter @judytoews

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