EMWF Presenter Profiles

August 2018

Sheila Heti
By Anna Bowen

A prolific and well-loved author, Sheila Heti has released Motherhood, a novel which closely examines the process by which a female writer in her late thirties chooses whether or not to have children, while drawing in themes of mental health, divination, intergenerational mothering, gendered expectations, and romantic love.

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Natasha Deen
By Helen Kubiw

Natasha Deen aspired to be a superhero as a child, and when she and her family moved to Canada from the unrest in Guyana, she could have used those extraordinary skills to help navigate school as the only mixed race (Chinese, African, West-Indian, East-Indian) child in her classroom. Though she didn’t end up working as a superhero, she did become a writer, and her experiences and the skills she developed to thwart evil wrongdoers–hiding in the shadows, sneaking around, thinking like a spy or investigator–have all contributed to her success as an author.  Read more…

July 2018

Billy-Ray Belcourt
By Anna Bowen

When 23-year old Billy-Ray Belcourt stepped up to accept the Griffin Poetry Prize for 2018, his response was one to remember: “This book was written not to be a book…It was written…to allow me to figure out how to be in a world that I did not want, a world that many of us who are Indigenous did not want.” Read more…

Dennis Lee
By Helen Kubiw

Many people have fond memories of Dennis Lee’s award-winning poetry collections, Alligator Pie (1974) and Jelly Belly (1983), and he has continued to delight and connect children with poetry in his most recent illustrated book. Good Night, Good Night (HarperCollins, 2018) is a collection of poetry that will enchant readers with the charm of sleep and dreaming. Read more…

June 2018

Claire Tacon
By Anna Bowen

Claire Tacon is a Guelph-based novelist and the author of In the Field (Biblioasis 2011), which was the winner of the Metcalf-Rooke award. Claire holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, lectures at St. Jerome’s University, and produces micro-fiction podcast The Oddments Tray with Chioke I’Anson.  You can find the animated trailer for her much-anticipated new novel, In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo (Wolsak & Wynn 2018), here. Read more…

Gillian Chan
By Helen Kubiw

Gillian Chan’s life is as varied as her authorship. In her childhood, she and her family travelled extensively throughout England (her birth place) and Europe, as required by her father’s job with the Royal Air Force. Throughout, Gillian Chan was guided by the books she read, while gaining fodder for her writing. Read more…

May 2018

Iain Reid
By Anna Bowen

Iain Reid’s newest novel and second thriller, Foe (Simon & Schuster), comes out in August of 2018 and has already been optioned for film by Anonymous Content. The novel is described as a “haunting, philosophical puzzle of a novel.” Foe follows Henrietta and Junior who live in an isolated home in the country, and the fallout that happens when Junior is whisked away and Henrietta is left, not alone, but with… “familiar company.” Read more…

Lana Button
By Helen Kubiw

With the wonderful name of Lana Button, Lana was destined to be a children’s book author. Born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick and trained in theatre, performing on TV, film and stage, Lana Button’s road to children’s writing may seem an oblique one but when she wrote her first, Willow’s Whispers (Kids Can Press, 2010), Lana Button, children’s author, had arrived. Read more…

April 2018

Cherie Dimaline
By Helen Kubiw

It’s impossible not to hear Cherie Dimaline’s name everywhere in the CanLit community right now. Her most recent book, the young adult dystopian novel, The Marrow Thieves (DCB, 2017), was battling out with four other titles on the 2018 Canada Reads, the annual literary competition of the CBC. The Marrow Thieves is a novel in which a world in decline perpetrates horrors against Indigenous people who are the sole keepers of the ability to dream, a commodity housed in the marrow of their bones. Read more…


James Bow & Erin Bow
By Helen Kubiw
September 2017

It would be fair to say that both James Bow and Erin Bow came to writing circuitously. Read more