2021 Festival Presenters

Angie Abdou

Angie Abdou has published seven books and co-edited Writing the Body in Motion, a collection of essays on Canadian Sport Literature. A starred-review in New York’s Booklist declared her best-selling memoir, Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom, “a first rate memoir and a fine example of narrative nonfiction.” Angie Abdou is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University. Her latest book is This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Memoir.

Peace Akintade

Peace Akintade is an African Canadian Poet, Public Speaker, and Thespian residing in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan's Youth Poet Laureate and Co-cordinator of Write Out Loud, a Saskatoon based Youth Poetry Community. Playwright for the Obsidian Theatre "21 Black Future" project. Youth Speaker’s Bureau for the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. Her poems touch on the impact of colonization in her village, colorism, growing up in Kuwait, Nigeria and Canada, and relearning her culture with art.

Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali

Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1985. He resides in Toronto and is working on a book of essays about urban form and specters of our past.

Wayne Arthurson

Wayne Arthurson is a writer of Cree and French Canadian descent, the author of six novels including Fall From Grace, winner of 2012 Alberta Readers’ Choice award and the first novel in the bestselling Leo Desroches crime series. His most recent book, The Red Chesterfield, was published by the University of Calgary Press and won the Best Novella in the 2020 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian crime fiction and the 2020 Trade Fiction Book of the Year by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

Sharon Butala

Born in Saskatchewan in 1940 Sharon didn't leave (permanently?) until her husband's death in 2007. She has published 21 books of fiction and nonfiction, some bestsellers and won a number of prizes as well as being shortlisted 3 times for the Governor Generals' Award, once for the Commonwealth Prize and once for the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. She is an Officer in the Order of Canada and an inductee into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Tenille Campbell

Tenille K Campbell is a Dene/Métis author from English River First Nation, SK. She is enrolled in her PhD program at University of Saskatchewan. Her newest poetry collection, Nedí Nezu (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2021) is an exploration of the beautiful space that being a sensual Indigenous woman creates in life, in relationships, in the land. Her inaugural poetry book, #IndianLovePoems (Signature Editions, 2017) is an award-winning collection of poetry that focuses on Indigenous Erotica.

Craig Davidson

Craig Davidson was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. He has published four previous books of literary fiction, including Rust and Bone, which was the inspiration for a Golden Globe–nominated feature film of the same name; the Scotiabank Giller Prize–nominated novel Cataract City; and the novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club, which was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize. His bestselling memoir, Precious Cargo, about his year spent driving a school bus for children with special needs, was a finalist for Canada Reads. Davidson lives in Toronto with his partner and children.

Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is the Tkaronto-based author of four novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement, All Inclusive, and Seven, which will be released in summer, 2020. Farzana was recently named one of CBC Books’ “100 Writers in Canada You Need To Know Now". She is also an activist, part-time psychotherapist and amateur tarot card reader. http://www.farzanadoctor.com

Cort Dogniez

Cort Dogniez is a proud Métis man, born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Cort spent a lot of time with his kohkom and is honoured to have learned her history, stories, and cultural perspectives, which he passes on through his storytelling. Cort has always been passionate about including Indigenous perspectives in a meaningful way for students and staff to build their understandings and make schools safe, welcoming and respectful for everyone.

Bevann Fox

Bevann Fox is a member of Pasqua First Nation, originally from Piapot First Nation. In 2012 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Culture and in 2018 her Master in Business Administration, Leadership from the University of Regina. In 2014 she was honoured with the YWCA Women of Distinction Award—Arts, Culture and Heritage. She is the founder, producer, and co-host of Access TV's The Four and also works as Manager for Community-Based Prevention at Yellow Thunderbird Lodge/YTCCFS (Yorkton Tribal Council Child Family Services). She is a certified yoga teacher and an artist in sculpture and acrylics.

Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Carol Rose GoldenEagle is a Saskatchewan Author of award-winning novel BEARSKIN DIARY. It was chosen as the national Aboriginal Literature Title for 2017. The French language translation of this novel, entitled Peau D’ours won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019. Her first book of poetry – entitled Hiraeth was shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019. Her second novel – Bone Black– was released in the Fall of 2019. Her latest title, The Narrows of Fear (novel), was released October 2020. Another collection of poetry, called Essential Ingredients, will be released in Fall 2021.

Hiromi Goto

Hiromi Goto is an emigrant from Japan who gratefully resides in Lekwungen Territory. Some of her award-winning titles include Chorus of Mushrooms, The Kappa Child, and Half World. Her first graphic novel, Shadow Life, with artist Ann Xu was published in Spring 2021 with First Second Books. She is currently engaged with land-based learning, taking photos, and writing about these moments. She can be found on IG @hiromigotowrites.

gillian harding-russell

gillian harding-russell’s recent books include In Another Air (Radiant Press, 2018) and Uninterrupted (Ekstasis Editions, 2020), both nominated for Saskatchewan Book Awards. In 2016, the sequence Making Sense won first place in Exile’s Gwendolyn MacEwen chapbook Award, and in 2015 Proud Men Do Not Listen won second place. A chapbook Megrim (The Alfred Gustav Press) was published this spring 2021. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature from The University of Saskatchewan and currently works as an editor and reviewer as well as on her poetry.

Harold Johnson

Harold R. Johnson is the author of 5 works of fiction, 4 works of non-fiction and one genre bending publication. His book FIREWATER was shortlisted for a Governor General Award. He worked as a miner, logger and served in the Canadian Navy before obtaining a Master of Laws Degree from Harvard University. After a legal career he is now happily retired to his trapline where he lives and writes along with his wife Joan.

Sylvia Legris

Sylvia Legris' latest poetry collection is Garden Physic (New Directions 2021). Among her previous books are The Hideous Hidden and Nerve Squall, winner of the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2006 Pat Lowther Award. Other awards include the 2018 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award and, in 2014, the Lieutenant Governor's Saskatchewan Artist Award. Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review, the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Poetry, and Granta.

Melanie McFarlane

Melanie McFarlane is the co-editor of the TABC poetry collection, a freelance editor, and author of adventurous tales for tweens and teens. She has served on the executive of a number of literary non-profit boards and believes that a writer’s strength comes from their writing community.

Téa Mutonji

Born in Congo-Kinshasa, Téa Mutonji is a poet and fiction writer. Her debut collection, Shut Up You’re Pretty, is the first title from Vivek Shraya’s imprint, VS. Books. It was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (2019), and won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award (2020) and the Trillium Book Award (2020). Mutonji lives and writes in Toronto.

Dorothy Ellen Palmer

Dorothy Ellen Palmer is a disabled senior writer, mom of two, retired English/Drama teacher, improv coach and union activist. Her adoption-disability memoir, Falling for Myself, (Wolsak and Wynn, 2019), was acclaimed by The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and Quill & Quire. Longlisted for the ReLit Award, When Fenelon Falls, (Coach House, 2010), features a disabled teen in the Woodstock-Moonwalk summer of 1969. Wiggins: Son of Sherlock, featuring a feminist-disability lens appeared this spring with MX Publishing, London, England. She tweets @depalm.

Lyndon Penner

Lyndon Penner arrived in this world about 40 years ago and it was clear from the beginning that his life would be never be ordinary or boring. Fascinated with the natural world right from the start, Lyndon pursued a career in horticulture at the first opportunity. He is a gardener, designer, writer, botanical guide, traveler, teacher, bird enthusiast, environmentalist, and excellent baker.

C.L. Polk

C. L. Polk (they/them) wrote the Kingston Cycle, beginning with the World Fantasy Award winning novel Witchmark. Their standalone novel, The Midnight Bargain, was a national Canadian bestseller. They have been a film extra, a costermonger, and identified lepidoptera before settling down to write fantasy novels. Mx. Polk lives near the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, in a tiny apartment with too many books and a yarn stash that could last a decade.

Jael Richardson

Jael Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lessons, a Father’s Life. She is a book columnist in CBC’s q and she’s the founder and Executive Director of The Festival of Literary Diversity. Her debut novel, Gutter Child arrived in January 2020. She lives in Brampton, ON.

Kristine Scarrow (Teen Writing Experience)

Kristine is the author of the four young adult novels: The Gamer's Guide to Getting the Girl, The 11th Hour, If This Is Home, and Throwaway Girl, all published by Dundurn Press. Kristine has a special interest in writing as a healing art. She is the writer-in-residence at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon and conducts online journal and writing workshops as the founder of Creative Soul Writing Academy.

Jenn Sharp

Jenn Sharp is an author, freelance journalist and food activist. Her writing has appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Regina Leader-Post, CBC Saskatchewan, Eat North and the Globe and Mail. Jenn’s first book, Flat Out Delicious: Your Definitive Guide to Saskatchewan's Food Artisans is a robust and inspiring travel companion for both local and visiting food-lovers alike. It reveals the stories, inspiration and friendly faces of the people who craft great food in Saskatchewan.

Linda Spalding

Born and raised in Kansas after which, Colorado, Mexico, Hawaii and, at last, Canada, which is now forever home. Many jobs and fortunes. Social services, child care, single parent, magazine editor, arts administrator, writer.

Guy Vanderhaeghe

Guy Vanderhaeghe is a three-time winner of the Governor’s-General Award for fiction. He is the author of short story collections, novels, plays, and one teleplay. For his body of work he has received the Timothy Findley Award, the Habourfront Prize, the Kloppenburg Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and was made a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Val Halla

Val Halla, a dual citizen of both the historic Métis Nation, and Canada, was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. She moved to Nashville in 2008 to pursue her songwriting and hone her craft. Her music is a blend of country, rock and folk. She has opened for classic rockers like Alice Cooper, Burton Cummings, Ted Nugent, and Eric Burdon. Her latest album, Gravel Roads, released in May and is available across all streaming platforms.