Nina is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. She worked for 25 years as an environmental consultant in the field of aquatic ecology and limnology, publishing papers and technical reports on water quality and impacts to aquatic ecosystems. Nina has written over a dozen eco-fiction, science fiction and fantasy novels. An award-winning short story writer, and essayist, Nina currently lives in Toronto where she teaches writing at the University of Toronto and George Brown College. Her book “Water Is…” (Pixl Press)—a scientific study and personal journey as limnologist, mother, teacher and environmentalist—was picked by Margaret Atwood in the New York Timesas 2016 ‘The Year in Reading’. Nina’s most recent novel is “A Diary in the Age of Water”—about four generations of women and their relationship to water in a rapidly changing world—released in June 2020 by Inanna Publications.
Basma Kavanagh is a poet, visual artist, and letterpress printer who lives and works in Nova Scotia, in Mi’kma’ki. She produces artist’s books under the imprint Rabbit Square Books. She has published two collections of poetry, Distillō (Gaspereau, 2012), and Niche (Frontenac, 2015), which won the 2016 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2019 NS Masterworks Arts Award. The book-length poem, Ruba’iyat for the Time of Apricots (Frontenac 2018), was shortlisted for the 2019 J.M. Abraham Poetry award, and won the Book Publishers Association of Alberta’s Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry Book of the Year. Basma has taught workshops and courses on poetry, printmaking, bookbinding, and letterpress, and has formally and informally mentored emerging artists and writers. She has been an artist in residence at the Penland School of Crafts, the Banff Centre, and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
Leo J Deveau is a former public librarian, now author, freelance researcher, newspaper columnist, commentator and speaker. He is a director of the Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society, a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, a member of the Creative NonFiction Collective (CFNC), the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society and the Royal United Services Institute (Nova Scotia branch).
Gwen has been a writer and editor since Justin Trudeau was a babe in arms. Long ago, she published poems and short stories but did not make enough money to eat, let alone drink. She wrote three history books: Once Upon a Mine, For Love of Stone and Gesner’s Dream. Never heard of them? You’re not alone. It took a while, but Gwen finally realized that book royalties would not pay the rent.
She thereafter began a thirty-year career that saw her authoring or editing heavy scientific tomes, lively political speeches, boring government reports and million-dollar grant proposals for clients across Canada. These days, she conducts self-editing workshops for professionals and, as a sideline, writes essays that articulate the life-patterns she sees everywhere. She’s also writing a non-fiction book, The Solace of Stone©, that explores how rocks (which she feels are sentient beings with memories) embody our personal and collective yearning for mystery and transcendence.
Gwen has a B.Sc. from University of Toronto (geology) and diplomas from The Banff Centre (creative writing; arts journalism). Apart from that, her education has come from life: she’s been a ballet school piano player, seamstress, lounge singer, arts journalist, geo-magazine editor, desktop publisher, freight train jumper, prospector, geologist, project manager, executive director for a provincial writers’ federation, geotourism guide, writing/editing workshop facilitator, and science teacher. Gwen is also a professional member with The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Canadian Freelance Guild.
A writer, Queer activist and community historian of Acadian and Newfoundland heritage, Robin Metcalfe has published journalism, cultural criticism, short fiction and poetry in international periodicals and anthologies. He won the 2000 Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for a National Magazine Award in 2004. He lives in Weijuik/Sheet Harbour Passage.
Pronouns: he, him
Nina Newington’s first novel, Where Bones Dance, won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Georges Bugnet Award for Novel in 2008. Guernica Press is publishing her second novel, Cardinal Divide, in September 2020. She is currently finishing a memoir about living illegally in the US for twenty years.
A former Kennedy scholar with an MA in English Literature from Cambridge, she makes her living designing gardens and building things. She is an active member of Extinction Rebellion in Annapolis County. English by birth, she and her American wife immigrated to Canada in 2006. They raise sheep on unceded Mi’kmaw territory near the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
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.
Kayla Hounsell is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author. Her book First Degree: From Med School to Murder: The Story Behind the Shocking Will Sandeson Trial, is a true crime book based on a story she covered as a reporter for years. Published by Nimbus Publishing, it was a finalist for an Atlantic Book Award for Non-fiction writing. Based in Halifax, and originally from Newfoundland, Kayla has also worked in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Rwanda, South Sudan, Liberia and the U.K. First Degree is her first book.