Poetry (Adult)

Jan Morrison

Jan Morrison’s poems have appeared in  literary journals such as Grain, Pottersfield Portfolio, and Newfoundland Quarterly. Her plays, States of Grace; Death, the MusicalShroom!Fields of Crimson; and Mrs. Finney’s Hat have been staged at The Chester Playhouse; Neptune Theatre; The Halifax Fringe Festival;  and Eastern Front Theatre. She has recently had her debut novel published by Boulder Books – The Crooked Knife. When not writing Jan likes to garden and ramble the shore near her home in Prospect, NS.

Sue MacLeod

Sue MacLeod is the author of one YA novel, Namesake, and three poetry collections.

She has made her home in Halifax, where she was the city’s first poet laureate (2001 to 2005) and in Toronto and Montreal. Sue has read from her work across Canada and has taught creative writing at Dalhousie University, the Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Quebec Writers’ Federation. She also works as a freelance editor.

Sue’s poems have been described as “necessary and cherishable” (George Elliott Clarke), and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang, writing in Open Book Toronto, said, “I wandered around town quoting her poetry out loud to myself until I noticed how many people crossed the street to avoid me.” Reviewing Sue’s YA novel, Canadian Children’s Book News wrote, “without a misstep .. this book is a gem” and CM Magazine agreed: “In every way, this book is a triumph.”

Sue now lives in south end Halifax. Her second YA manuscript, “Slow Dancing at the Revolution,” is currently out to publishers.

Sara Jewell

Author & freelance writer

Licensed lay worship leader, United Church of Canada

Substitute teacher, elementary and secondary

Bachelor of Arts (honours) English and Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Kelly S Thompson

Kelly S. Thompson is a writer and retired officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Kelly has a Honours Bachelor degree in Professional Writing from York University, a certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University, a master’s in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and is completing a PhD in Literary and Critical Studies, Creative Writing, at the University of Gloucestershire in the UK, where she examines representations of grief and trauma in memoir.

Kelly’s work has won awards in a variety of genres. She won the House of Anansi Press Golden Anniversary Award for Fiction, the 2014 and 2017 Barbara Novak Award for Personal Essay, and was shortlisted for Room magazine’s 2013 and 2014 Creative Nonfiction awards, placing 2nd in the 2019 contest. Her essays have appeared in anthologies across Canada, including Boobs, by Caitlin Press, Embedded on the Home Front, with Heritage House and Everyday Heroes with Simon & Schuster.

Her work has appeared in literary magazines across the country and her professional writing has been printed in Chatelaine, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, and more. Her article on military sexual harassment titled “Battle Fatigue,” was runner up for Feature Article of the Year with the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She was also nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2022.

Her memoir Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces with Penguin Random House Canada, was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller and declared one of the top 100 books of 2019 by the Globe and Mail.

Kelly also teaches writing to all levels, having run after-school writing programs for teenage  girls, creative writing classes for children, and taught Creative Writing and Communications at Trent University. She now teaches at the University of King’s Creative Non Fiction. She also developed and runs classes for Royal Roads University and Loyalist College.

Kelly’s next memoir, Still, I Cannot Save You, will release with McClelland & Stewart in January, 2023.

Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland

I am an author, theatre artist and arts educator with more than four decades of professional experience. As a theatre artist, I have toured with Second City doing improv comedy, played the Witch in Hansel and Gretl with the Honolulu Symphony and told my original stories at the Toronto International Storytelling Festival. My arts education credits include work with Learning Through the Arts, World Vision, and the Storytellers School of Toronto.

I served as  Artistic Director of KPH Theater Productions in Miramichi, N.B. from 2012 to 2016, and along with my husband, Beverly Glenn Copeland, completed half a dozen artist residencies* in N.B. schools. I was honoured to serve as Writer-in-Residence* for James M. Hill High School in 2015. (*Funding support through NB Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.)

In February 2016 I was part of the faculty at the San Miguel Writers Conference (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), and led the creative writing workshop at the Knowlton Literary Festival in Knowlton, Quebec in October.

In 2017, I returned to Mount Allison University to indulge myself in two years of full time study of eco-poetry, feminist philosophy, sustainability in education and medieval studies. Thanks to MTA, in the summer of 2017 I completed a residency to research and create a one-act spoken-word play entitled, “Bearing Witness”.

During my tenure as 2018 Writer-in-Residence at Joggins Fossil Institute, I researched and wrote — “Daring to Hope at the Cliff’s Edge: Pangea’s Dream Remembered”: an art/science collaboration and conversation between myself and the three-hundred million year old rock. The theme: how to find what Buddhist eco-philosopher, Joanna Macy calls Active Hope as we stand at this cliff’s edge in our evolution as a species. The book was launched in Sackville, N.B. on Sept. 29, 2019 by Chapel Street Editions.

Due to covid, my cross country tour to promote this book was cancelled, but late 2020 saw a resurgence of interest in the work and its message of hope. I participated in the Writing for Change series launched by The Rose Theater in Brampton, ON. An exciting variation on this theme will be happening virtually on March 21 at The Rose with spoken-word artist extraordinaire, Ian Keteku.

Since moving to Spencers Island in Jan. 2021, I am making new writing and peforming friends and will be part of the Shipwright Sessions (Ships Company Theater) in Aug. 2021.

 

 

Basma Kavanagh

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.

Suzanne Stewart

Having completed a Ph.D. in English literature (with a specialization in the Romantic Period) at the University of Saskatchewan, Suzanne also holds an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax.  She lives and writes in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she teaches (part-time) at St. Francis Xavier University in the Department of English, as she shares her delight and passion for books with young readers and writers. When not writing, reading, or teaching, Suzanne spends her time outdoors; her journeys into the countryside, during all four seasons, inspire and shape her aesthetic experience of the world.

 

John J. Guiney Yallop

John J. Guiney Yallop is a Two-Spirited writer and academic. His writing and research includes poetic inquiry and narrative inquiry. John is interested in stories of lived experience, identities, emotions, communities and gratitude. His most recent book is OUT of Place.

Robin Metcalfe

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

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, participant-to-participant) feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca