Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland, grew up in Trinidad and lives in Canada. She writes fiction and poetry, and is a visual artist. Mootoo’s critically acclaimed novels include Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab, Valmiki’s Daughter, He Drown She in the Sea, and Cereus Blooms at Night. She is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award, a Chalmers Arts Fellowship and the James Duggins Mid-Career Novelist Award from the Lambda Literary Awards. Her work has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the International DUBLIN Literary Award and the Booker Prize. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Joni Murphy is a writer from New Mexico who lives in New York. Her debut novel, Double Teenage, was published by Book*hug Press in 2016. It was named one of The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of the Year. Her latest novel is Talking Animals.
Beatriz Hausner was born in Santiago, Chile, and came to Canada with her family as a teenager. She has published several poetry collections, including The Wardrobe Mistress, Sew Him Up and Enter the Raccoon. Selected poems and chapbooks of hers have been published internationally and translated into several languages. Hausner is a respected historian and translator of Latin American Surrealism. Her history of advocacy in Canadian literary culture is also well known: she has worked as a literary programmer in Toronto and was Chair of the Public Lending Right Commission.
Hana Shafi (a.k.a. Frizz Kid) is a writer and artist. Her art and writing frequently explores themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. Her first book, It Begins with the Body, was listed by CBC as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2018. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Journalism Program. Known on Instagram for her weekly affirmation series, Shafi is the recipient of the 2017 Women Who Inspire Award, from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. Born in Dubai, Shafi immigrated with her family to Mississauga, in 1996. She lives and works in Toronto.