Coffee Chats advisor

Virginia Konchan

Virginia Konchan is the author of the poetry collections Any God Will Do (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020) and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and four chapbooks, That Tree is Mine (Gaspereau Press, 2020), Empire of Dirt (above/ground press, 2019), The New Alphabets (Anstruther Press, 2019), and Vox Populi (Finishing Line Press, 2015).  She holds degrees from Beloit College (BA), Cleveland State University (MFA), and the University of Illinois-Chicago (Ph.D).  Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Best New Poets, The Believer, and The New Republic, her essays and criticism in Kenyon Review Online, Boston Review, Jacket2, and Guernica, her translations in The Brooklyn Rail, Asymptote and Circumference, and her fiction in StoryQuarterly, Joyland, and Memorious, among other places.   Her work has been anthologized in several collections, and her honors include grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow, The Banff Center, and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice.  Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she currently lives and works in Halifax.

Andy Verboom

Andy Verboom is publisher of Collusion Books, co-founding editor of long con magazine, and author of six poetry chapbooks, most recently DBL (knife fork book, 2020).

His poetry has won Frog Hollow’s Chapbook Contest and Descant’s Winston Collins Prize, been shortlisted for CV2’s Young Buck Prize and Arc’s Poem of the Year, and appeared in CAROUSEL, Prism, The Puritan, Vallum, and elsewhere.

Thibault Jacquot-Paratte

From the Annapolis Valley. Travelled across North Amrica, Europe, India, Japan, Cameroon, Tunisia. Bachelor’s of Nordic studies from the Sorbonne in 2015, Master’s in sociology in 2017; year of study in Tromsø, Norway, Study certificates from the University of Vaasa (Fi.), and The Askov Folkehøjskole (DK.).

Started publishing poetry in 2010, has since published poetry, short stories, essays, and theatre in both English and French, in Canada, Europe and India. His first three plays were published in Paris in 2016-2017; first poetry collection in Allahabad in 2020. In 2017, co-directed and co-wrote one film (Danish-Estonian coproduction). Also a musician and a songwriter, has had the opportunity to play in Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, India and japan, and has produced multiple recordings. He has also been invited as an official poet to certain events, such as one of the official poets of the SNA at the 2019 CMA, in Moncton. His published work ranges across almost all genres – realism, fantasy, absurdism, abstract prose, poetry…

Janice Landry

Janice Landry is an award-winning writer and journalist whose non-fiction work primarily focuses on mental health and wellness.

Landry started writing books to honour her late father, Capt. Basil (Baz) Landry M.B., of the former Halifax Fire Department, now Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE). HRFE is the oldest fire service in Canada. Capt. Landry was awarded the Medal of Bravery by the Canadian government, in 1980, for his part in rescuing an eight-week-old baby from a horrific 1978 Halifax house fire.

Most of Landry’s books include multiple interviews with Canadian first responders, emergency personnel, and their loved ones – as she advocates nationally for better support, education, and pre-emptive training for people across agencies, backgrounds, and careers, who work around trauma.

She has recently completed her fifth book (2019) which focuses on two key cornerstones in mental health and wellness: gratitude and resiliency. That book, “Silver Linings,” is lovingly dedicated to her late mother, Theresa Landry, and friend, Audrey J. Parker, who both died while Landry was working on the project.

“Silver Linings” includes an interview with the person considered to be the world’s preeminent expert and researcher in the field of gratitude, Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California – Davis.

Landry freelances under Groundhog Productions. She is a proud graduate (BJ Hons. Distinction) of the University of King’s College, Halifax. Landry spent five months landing the interview with Dr. Emmons in order to honour her late journalism professor, Ian Wiseman, who taught at King’s.

David Wimsett

David A. Wimsett works include poetry, fiction and non-fiction. He examines relationships between people and explores women’s issues in many of his works by placing characters in situations where they expose their nature while moving stories forward. He enjoys creating literary and genre fiction with the belief that good writing is good writing, no matter the form.

David is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia on the Writers’ Council.

Greg Loewen

G.V. Loewen is the author of thirty books in print and is one of Canada’s leading contemporary thinkers. His non-fiction works include books in education, ethics, health, aesthetics and social theory. He recently wrote an eleven volume adventure saga for young persons and other shorter fiction works. Loewen is apparently also the most prolific scholarly book writer of ‘Generation X’ (1963-1981). He is a student of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Born in Victoria, January 31, 1966, Loewen was educated at the University of Victoria with a BA and MA in anthropology and at the University of British Columbia, receiving the PhD in anthropology in 1997. He held two tenure stream positions in the United States before taking up his academic position in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2005, where he was chair of the sociology department for five years and from which he retired in 2018. Over the course of his career, Loewen won two major teaching awards at two universities and was nominated for four others.

Alec Bruce

Alec Bruce is an established reporter, writer and editor with a flair for producing award-winning stories. He is a nationally syndicated columnist on business, politics and social issues for Troy Media. His senior editorial positions have included those with the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times of CanadaCommercial News Magazine, the Moncton Times & Transcript, and Atlantic Business MagazineHis by-lines have appeared in ROB MagazineFPNYT, CBCCanadian LivingReader’s DigestThe Hollywood Reporter, the Halifax Chronicle HeraldHalifax Magazine, and Huddle.Today, among others. He is also the author of Keeping the Faith: The Story of Laura McCain (Margaret Norrie McCain/Goose Lane Editions, 2013).

Alec’s professional awards include:

Silver for “Commentary” in the 2014 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2014 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Commentary” in the 2012 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Regular Column” in the 2011 International TABBIES Awards.

Silver for “Profile Article” in the 2011 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Regular Column” in the 2010 International TABBIES Awards.

Gold for “Commentary” in the 2010 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Magazine Article” in the 2010 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Merit for “Feature Article” in the 2009 International TABBIES Awards.

Silver for “Business Reporting” in the 2009 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2009 Atlantic Journalism Awards. 

Gold for “Commentary” in the 2008 Atlantic Journalism Awards. 

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2007 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2007 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Commentary” in the 2006 Atlantic Journalism Awards. 

Finalist in the 2005 Kenneth R. Wilson National Business Writing Awards. 

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller is the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life (Pottersfield Press), My First Book of Canadian Birds (Nimbus Publishing), and The Day the Buddha Woke Up (Wisdom Publications). She’s also the deputy editor and a staff writer at Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly called the Shambhala Sun) and the editor of three anthologies for Shambhala Publications, including Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West.

Miller has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Dalhousie University. Her writing has appeared in The Best Women’s Travel Writing series, the Best Buddhist Writing series, The Chronicle Herald, The Globe and Mail, Saltscapes, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, and a wide range of other publications. Miller lives in Halifax with her husband and two children.

Jen Powley

Jen Powley is a 39-year-old prairie girl living in Canada’s ocean playground. She left Alberta after a degree in social sciences at the King’s University College in Edmonton, where she edited the school newspaper. Powley moved across the country to pursue an after-degree in journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Following that, in 2001, she moved back to Halifax after a summer in Alberta. She then held jobs at the Independent Living Resource Centre (now Independent Living Nova Scotia) and the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities. Realizing she could not engineer the type of societal change she wanted, Powley returned to school earning her Master’s of Urban Planning at Dalhousie University, and then worked for five years at the Ecology Action Centre. Losing her voice due to her multiple sclerosis, Powley recognized the presentations the job required were no longer feasible so she returned to the University of King’s College to pursue her Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction. In May 2017, Powley released her first and only book, a memoir Just Jen, published by Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing. 

Nancy Rose

Nancy is the author/photographer of 4 childrens book in the Secret Life of Squirrels series, and a new (2021) alphabet board book featuring Oakley the Squirrel. She is a retired high school Family Studies teacher and Guidance Counsellor. In 2010 she started making squirrel size props (a barbecue, mailbox, washer and dryer, etc) and dioramas, and she lured her backyard squirrels into her sets by hiding nuts. Her humorous photos of the squirrels appeared online and in newspapers and magazines world-wide. In 2014 her first children’s book, The Secret Life of Squirrels, was published in Canada, U.S. and Japan and South Korea. For classroom visits, Nancy brings along a tote box filled with some of her homemade props to show the students and she talks about the art and craft of recycling and being creative.

Nancy’s books are available in paperback to schools through Scholastic Books.

Nancy is available again for Google Meet sessions, which went over very well in the 2020 school year, and also for live classroom presentations.

 

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