Alayna Munce grew up in Huntsville, Ontario, and has spent most of her adulthood in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. Alayna began working at Brick Books in 2007, and became a member of Brick’s editorial collective a few years later. Her work has appeared in numerous Canadian literary journals. In 2003, she won second prize in the CBC Literary Awards’ travel writing category. In 2004, her work was featured in the anthology Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets. Her first novel, When I Was Young and in My Prime (Nightwood Editions, 2005) was nominated for the Trillium Book Award and appeared on the national bestseller list. Alayna has also worked as a freelance fiction editor. In recent years, books she has edited have won and been nominated for many national and regional awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, The Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Trillium Book Award.
Don McKay was born in Owen Sound, Ontario, raised in Cornwall, and was educated at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Wales, where he earned his PhD in 1971. He taught creative writing and English for 27 years in universities including the University of Western Ontario and the University of New Brunswick.
In 2008, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. McKay is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Long Sault (1975), Lependu (1978), and Apparatus (1997). He has twice won the Governor General’s Award, for Night Field (1991) and Another Gravity (2000). In June 2007, he won the Griffin Poetry Prize for Strike/Slip (2006).
Mckay has also made a wide impression as a teacher and editor. He is the co-founder of Brick Books, one of Canada’s leading poetry presses, and was editor of the literary journal The Fiddlehead from 1991 to 1996. He has participated in the Sage Hill Writing experience in Saskatchewan and he is Associate Director for poetry at the Banff Centre for the Arts Writing Studio. He has edited many books by fellow poets, including Ken Babstock, George Elliot Clarke, Tim Lilburn, Barbara Colebrook Peace, and Michael Redhill.
Stan Dragland is a Canadian novelist, poet and literary critic. A longtime professor of English literature at the University of Western Ontario, he is most noted for his 1994 critical study Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9, which played a key role in the contemporary reevaluation of the legacy of poet Duncan Campbell Scott in light of his role as deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Dragland was educated at the University of Alberta and Queen’s University. While teaching at Western, he was the co-founder of the poetry publisher Brick Books and the literary magazine Brick.
His first novel, Peckertracks, was a shortlisted finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award. He won the Newfoundland and Labrador Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award in 2005 for his memoir Apocrypha: Further Journeys, and he was a shortlisted finalist for the E. J. Pratt Poetry Award in 2007 for Stormy Weather: Foursomes.
Michael Crummey is author of the memoir Newfoundland: Journey into a Lost Nation; three books of poetry, including Hard Light and Arguments with Gravity, winner of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Poetry; and the short fiction collection Flesh & Blood. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and his second novel, The Wreckage, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His third novel, Galore, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean) and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His fourth novel, Sweetland, was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His most recent novel, The Innocents, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Michael Crummey lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Maureen Hynes lives in Toronto. Her first book of poetry, Rough Skin (Wolsak and Wynn, 1995), won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. Her second collection, Harm’s Way (Brick Books, 2001), was followed by Marrow, Willow (Pedlar Press, 2011) and then The Poison Colour (Pedlar Press, 2015), which was a finalist for both the League of Canadian Poets’ Pat Lowther Award and Raymond Souster Award. Sotto Voce was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and was a finalist for the Golden Crown Literary Awards Society awards. She is poetry editor for Our Times magazine. Sotto Voce is Maureen’s fifth poetry collection.
Karen Solie’s first collection of poems, Short Haul Engine, won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize, the ReLit and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her second, Modern and Normal, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous North American journals. She is a native of Saskatchewan and now lives in Toronto.
John Steffler was the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada from 2006 to 2008. His other books of poetry include Lookout, a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize; That Night We Were Ravenous, winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize; and Helix: New and Selected Poems, winner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Poetry Prize. Steffler is also the author of the award-winning novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright. Brick Books issued a new edition of The Grey Islands in 2000 and is now presenting a newer edition in 2015 as the Brick Books Classics 2.
Jan Zwicky has published nine collections of poetry including Songs for Relinquishing the Earth, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award in 1999, Robinson’s Crossing, which won the Dorothy Livesay Prize and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004, Forge, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Pat Lowther Award, and Thirty-Seven Small Songs and Thirteen Silences. Her books of philosophy include Wisdom & Metaphor, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004, and Plato as Artist, a non-specialist celebration of Plato’s writerly talents. Zwicky has published widely as an essayist on issues in music, poetry, philosophy and the environment. A native of Alberta, she now lives on Quadra Island, off the coast of British Columbia.
Irfan Ali is a poet, essayist, writer, and educator. His short poetry collection, Who I Think About When I Think About You was shortlisted for the 2015 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Accretion is his first full-length work. Irfan was born, raised, and still lives in Toronto.
Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award, is the author of fourteen previous collections of poetry. His collection The Burning Alphabet won the Canadian Authors’ Association Chalmers Award for Poetry in 2005. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and in 2014 he was nominated for the Trillium Award for his novel, The Outside World. He lives in Holland Landing, Ontario.