Since 1990, The Word On The Street has proudly hosted some of the finest talent in Canadian literature. Our next festival is shaping up to be another great one. Check out all of the confirmed authors, performers, and storytellers below!
Carmen Aguirre is a Vancouver-based, multiple-award-winning theatre artist and author who has written and co-written twenty-five plays. Her first book, Something Fierce won CBC Canada Reads in 2012 and is a #1 national bestseller. In addition to writing, Carmen has over eighty film, TV and stage acting credits.
Mexican Hooker #1: And My Other Roles Since the Revolution
Theodora Agyeman-Anane is a writer and photographer. Born in Ghana and raised in Italy, she spent her formative years commuting from Vicenza to Verona to study Optics, but all she dreamt of was writing and photographing. She is living her dreams in Saskatchewan with her husband and two kids. Wasting Away is her debut novel.
Donna Besel loves writing of all kinds, and she does presentations on writing in many places. Her first book, Lessons from a Nude Man, earned a fourth place spot on McNally’s 2015 bestsellers list, nominations for Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.
Lessons from a Nude Man
BIF NAKED was born in India and raised in the United States and Canada, spending many of her formative years in Winnipeg. After fronting the underground bands Gorilla Gorilla and Chrome Dog, Bif became a prominent alternative artist, performer and songwriter. Her striking image, friendly personality and powerful live performances have had her appearing in concerts and festivals around the world.
LISA BIRD-WILSON is a Cree-Métis writer from Saskatchewan whose writing has appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including Grain, Prairie Fire, The Dalhousie Review, Geist, kimiwan, cîhcêwêsin and Best Canadian Essays. She is the author of the novel Just Pretending (Coteau Books, 2013).
The Red Files
GAIL BOWEN’s first Joanne Kilbourn mystery, Deadly Appearances (1990), was nominated for the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada Best First Novel Award, and A Colder Kind of Death (1995) won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel; all 14 (and counting!) books in the series have been enthusiastically reviewed. Bowen is renown for her crime/mystery novels and has also written plays have been produced across Canada and on CBC Radio. Now retired from teaching at the First Nations University, Bowen lives in Regina.
What's Left Behind
John Boyko is the author of five previous books, including the bestselling Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation. Hailed by the Globe and Mail as “a distinguished scholar of Canadian political history,” Boyko is a frequent media commentator on historical and current political issues.
Cold Fire: Kennedy’s Northern Front
For the past 25 years, Erna Buffie has worked in the film industry. In 2013 she won the award for Best Direction in a Documentary (Smarty Plants) and in 2011, she wrote and directed The Changing Sea, which won several awards. Her other film writing and directing credits include, The Pill, By Woman’s Hand and The Burning Times. Erna’s short stories have appeared in Room of One’s Own and The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction. In 2004, she won the Nova Scotia Writers Federation Short Fiction Award for her short story, Pearl.
Let Us Be True
Anne Collins is an editor, an award-winning writer and the publisher of the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group, part of Penguin Random House Canada. Among the authors she works with are Julian Barnes, Ian Brown, Romeo Dallaire, Linden MacIntyre, JB Mackinnon, Ami McKay, Sean Michaels, Eden Robinson, Patti Smith and Alissa York.
Joan Crate was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and was brought up with pride in her Indigenous heritage. She taught literature and creative writing at Red Deer College, Alberta, for over 20 years. Her first book of poetry, Pale as Real Ladies: Poems for Pauline Johnson, has become a classic. Her first novel, Breathing Water, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Award (Canada) and the Books in Canada First Novel Award in 1989. She is a recipient of the Bliss Carman Award for Poetry and her last book of poetry, SubUrban Legends, was awarded Book of the Year by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. She lives with her family in Calgary.
Carol Daniels is a journalist who became Canada’s first Aboriginal woman to anchor a national newscast. Her work has since earned several awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Her writing has been included in several anthologies and her first novel, Bearskin Diary, was shortlisted for three Saskatchewan book awards.
Farzana Doctor is the author of Stealing Nasreen and Six Metres of Pavement, which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. Farzana is one of CBC Books’ Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now and the recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Grant.
NORMAN DOIDGE, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and New York Times bestselling author. He is on the research faculty at Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York City and on the faculty of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry as well. He lives in Toronto.
The Brain’s Way of Healing
Robin Esrock’s stories have been published in over a dozen major newspapers worldwide. He is also the creator and co-host of the forty-part television series Word Travels, seen on OLN and CityTV in Canada, on National Geographic International, and on Travel Channel in one hundred countries and twenty-one languages.
The Great Canadian Prairies Bucket List
Jeffrey John Eyamie is a Winnipeg screenwriter and novelist who worked in the writers’ room of Less Than Kind (HBO Canada). His comedy pilot Split Level was accepted by the National Screen Institute’s Totally Television program. Jeff spent his formative years catching gophers in Virden, Manitoba.
No Escape from Greatness
Maureen Fergus is an award-winning author of books for kids of all ages. Her novels include The Gypsy King trilogy and Ortega; her picture books include And What If I Won’t? and The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten. She currently lives in Winnipeg with her husband, three kids and a dog.
Buddy and Earl Go Exploring
Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby
FRANK FERRAGINE reaches over one million Canadians each week as the gardening expert and weather specialist for BT Toronto, CityLine and City TV News, and he also writes for the Toronto Sun, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent. His family business, Bradford Greenhouses, is one of Canada’s largest combined greenhouse/garden businesses.
Food to Grow: a simple, no-fail guide to growing your own fruits and vegetables and herbs
JOE FRIESEN is a reporter at the Globe and Mail. He began his career in the Toronto newsroom covering crime and went on to write a series on the Jane-Finch area called The Neighbourhood. In 2006 he was named Prairie bureau chief based in Winnipeg, and since 2010 has reported on Canada’s changing population as the paper’s demographics reporter. In between, he also covered the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of terrorist attacks in London, and natural disasters in the US. Born in Winnipeg, he is a graduate of McGill University, Goldsmiths College London, and Ryerson University.
The Ballad of Danny Wolfe: Life of a Modern Outlaw
Beth Goobie is the award-winning author of over twenty novels, mainly for young adults, including The Lottery and the CLA award-winning Before Wings. Her first adult novel was The First Principles of Dreaming. Beth makes her home in Saskatoon.
The Pain Eater
Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto. Her first novel, The Secret Daughter, was published in 2010 and became an international bestseller, selling over one million copies worldwide. Shilpi Gowda holds an MBA from Standford University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.
The Golden Son
Kathleen Grissom is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Kitchen House. A native of Saskatchewan, she is happily rooted in Southside, Virginia, where she continues to write. Kathleen has always loved books. If she could eat them, she would. She loves their scent and often puts her nose in to inhale their aroma.
Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House
Melissa Hartfiel is the co-founder and Managing Editor of Food Bloggers of Canada, a membership organization of over 2200 Canadian food bloggers that has been working to promote and support Canadian food blogging talent around the globe since 2011. A graphic designer and writer by trade, she also publishes her own blog, Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach, where she writes about food, photography and creativity. She currently lives on the west coast, just outside of Vancouver, with a big yellow dog and too many mystery novels. You can find her on twitter, Instagram and snapchat as @mhchipmunk.
JACKIE KAISER (Westwood Creative Artists) is a literary agent whose prizewinning clients have topped bestseller lists and been published around the world. A former executive editor for Penguin, she has spoken about publishing at George Brown College, Humber College, WLU, Concordia, UPEI, and the Adelaide Festival of Writers. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their daughter Ella, an aspiring illustrator.
Denyse’s paintings are featured in hotels, resorts, and international galleries. She has sculpted Disney Characters, illustrated children’s books and created characters for a Canadian television project where her sense of humour and whimsical style blossomed. Her colourful images can be seen on several licensed decor products and now a colouring book. “
Fairies in Dreamland
Myrna Kostash is an acclaimed writer of creative nonfiction who makes her home in Edmonton. She is a recipient of the Golden Pen Award for lifetime achievement and an inductee into the City of Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. Myrna Kostash’s newest book is The Seven Oaks Reader.
The Seven Oaks Reader
Bestselling author Alice Kuipers has published four award-winning YA novels internationally, most recently, The Death of Us, a CLA shortlisted title. Her second picture book, Violet and Victor Write The Most Fabulous Fairy Tale, was selected as a Winter Indie 2015 Selection. Her website is full of writing tips: www.alicekuipers.com.
Violet and Victor Write The Most Fabulous Fairy Tale
Never Mind is Katherine Lawrence’s third collection of poetry. The manuscript won the 2015 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award and the 2014 City of Regina Writing Award. Katherine chairs Access Copyright Foundation, and is a former president of the Sage Hill Writing Experience board of directors. She lives in Saskatoon.
Sylvia Legris’ latest poetry collection is The Hideous Hidden (New Directions, 2016). Her collection Nerve Squall won both the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2006 Pat Lowther Award. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, Poetry, and Conjunctions. She lives in Saskatoon.
The Hideous Hidden
UK-born Joanna Lilley is the author of the short story collection, The Birthday Books (Hagios Press), and the poetry collection, The Fleece Era (Brick Books), which was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her second poetry collection, If There Were Roads, is forthcoming from Turnstone Press.
The Birthday Books
Ernie Louttit spent his entire 26 year police career on the west side of Saskatoon, where he became known as Indian Ernie. Since retiring in October 2013, Ernie has had a career in motivational and public speaking, and writing. While not as dangerous as policing, he finds these just as exciting.
Jeanette Lynes’ seventh book of poetry, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems won the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. Lynes is also the author of the Giller-nominated novel The Factory Voice (Coteau 2009). She directs the MFA in Writing at The University of Saskachewan and lives in Saskatoon.
Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems
Super bloggers, Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison created WellPreserved.ca in 2008. The site has more than 1,800 articles and 700 recipes on preserving, local food, small farming, food security, sustainability, food politics, hunting and more. Dana, a graphic designer, focuses on the look and feel of the project. Joel, a lifelong home cook, writes and speaks on their shared passions. Batch is their first cookbook.
Batch: Over 200 Recipes, Tips and Techniques for a Well Preserved Kitchen
YANN MARTEL is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller published in 58 territories that has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, won the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes), spent more than a year on Canadian and international bestseller lists, and was adapted to the screen in an Oscar-winning film by Ang Lee. He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (which won the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and a book of recommended reading: 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. He lives in Saskatoon with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children.
The High Mountains of Portugal
Marion Mutala has a master’s degree in education administration and taught for 30 years. With a mad passion for the arts she loves to write, sing, folkdance, play guitar, garden, travel, and read. She is the author of the national bestselling and award-winning children’s book trilogy, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Christmas, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Easter, and Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Wedding. Her fourth book, Grateful was published in 2014 and her peace chapbook, The Time for Peace is Now -2015 by Happy Leopard chapbook was sold as a fundraising book for Nashi. Two more children’s book, forthcoming are More Babas Please, November,2016 and Kohkum’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian/Metis Tale is forthcoming in March,2017. Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance is her debut poetry collection.
Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance
Jane O’Connor has always had a secret fondness for froufrou. An editor at a major publishing house, she has written juvenile novels, beginning readers, nonfiction, an adult novel, the “Here Come The Brownies” series and the “Fancy Nancy” series. Fancy Nancy is a 2005 children’s picture book written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The book spent nearly 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, launching a series that now numbers more than 70 books, selling 29 million volumes.
Fancy Nancy: Saturday Night Sleepover
Robin Preiss Glasser, a former professional ballet dancer, has illustrated more than fifty children’s picture books, including the New York Times bestselling Fancy Nancy series, written by Jane O’Connor. Robin lives in San Juan Capistrano, California, with her husband, Bob. She has two grown children, Sasha and Ben.
Fancy Nancy: Saturday Night Sleepover
Dennis Prescott is a musician turned food writer, photographer, recipe developer, stylist, and a proud Atlantic Canadian. He is a regular contributor to Food & Wine Magazine, a recipe developer working with brands like Frigidaire, Reynold’s, Pulse Canada, and Hunger Free, the author of dennistheprescott.com and the author the upcoming cookbook, “Eat Delicious (2017)”.
Rolli is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist, and the author of a number of poems and stories for children. His work appears regularly in Highlights, Ladybug and Spider, and his cartoons are featured in major outlets such as Reader’s Digest.
Joe Rosenblatt is an accomplished author and artist who, over the course of a five-decade career, has produced over twenty books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and visual art. His work has received the Governor General’s Award for poetry (Top Soil, 1976), and the B.C. Book Prize (Poetry Hotel, 1986).
The Bird in the Stillness
Allan Safarik is a poetry yahoo living just off the Louis Riel Trail. He is the author of Famous Roadkill and sixteen other volumes of poetry. In addition, he writes non-fiction books and novels and teaches Imaginary Writing at St Peter’s College in Humboldt. “Where he is there’s energy. You begin with that. Energy and quickness. He does not move or think or ever, I suspect, dream slowly. This is a mind and an imagination that flashes.” – Patrick Friesen, Border Crossings
Robert J. Sawyer is “the dean of Canadian science fiction,” according to the Ottawa Citizen. His 23 best selling novels include Hugo Award-winner Hominids, Nebula Award-winner The Terminal Experiment, and Aurora Award-winner FlashForward, which was the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name.
ADAM SHOALTS, called “Canada’s Indiana Jones” by the Toronto Star, has proven that the age of exploration is far from over. His expeditions into Canada’s wilderness have generated new geographic knowledge and garnered international headlines. Shoalts is currently completing a Ph.D. at McMaster University.
Alone Against the North
Arthur Slade was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. He is the author of eighteen novels for young readers including The Hunchback Assignments, which won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada. Visit him online at www.arthurslade.com.
Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the CBC science and natural history television series The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It’s a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. In 1990 he co-founded with Dr. Tara Cullis, The David Suzuki Foundation to “collaborate with Canadians from all walks of life including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work.” His written work includes more than 55 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife and family in Vancouver, B.C.
Letters to My Grandchildren
There's a Barnyard in My Bedroom
DREW HAYDEN TAYLOR is an Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario and an award-winning playwright, journalist, short-story writer, novelist, commentator, scriptwriter and documentarian. As a creator, he strives to educate and inform about issues that interfere with, reflect on and celebrate the lives of Canada’s First Nations. In Take Us to Your Chief Taylor turns his attention to another genre: Science Fiction.
Take Us to Your Chief
GUY VANDERHAEGHE’s previous fiction includes A Good Man, The Last Crossing, The Englishman’s Boy. Among the many awards he has received are the Governor General’s Awards (twice); and, for his body of work, The Pierre Elliot Trudeau Fellowship, the Writers’ Trust Timothy Findley Award, and the Harbourfront Literary Prize.
Daddy Lenin and Other Stories
BILL WAISER is a specialist in western and Northern Canadian history, recently retired from the University of Saskatchewan, where he was Department head from 1995—1998. He has received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the University’s Distinguished Researcher Award, the Saskatchewan Book Award, and has been elected a follow of the Royal Society of Canada. Bill Waiser is the author of 15 books.
A World We Have Lost: Saskatchewan Before 1905
Between Shadows is Kathleen Cook Waldron’s tenth children’s book. Her work history includes time as a teacher, treeplanter, waitress, lifeguard, and cone picker. Kathleen’s passions include family, writing, reading, swimming, paddling, gardening, traveling, snowshoeing, and hiking. Her two grown children have flown the nest, leaving her on the shores of Horse Lake, BC, with her husband Mark and many migratory birds.
Martin West was born in Victoria and spent his youth drifting throughout BC, the Yukon, and Alberta. His stories have been published in magazines across the nation, and twice included in the Journey Prize Anthology. He currently calls Calgary home.
Cretacea & Other Stories from the Badlands
Established in 2001, Wide Open Children’s Theatre offers a season of family entertainment each year at the Refinery Arts and Spirit Center in Saskatoon. We perform with our handmade Muppet-style puppets and present hilarious adaptations of Robert Munsch stories and our own written works. Wide Open also performs at birthday parties, corporate functions, festivals, and tours to schools across Saskatchewan and Alberta. In our presentation of Little Red Riding Hood you will find all sorts of adventure in this fairy tale classic. When Pete sends Red Riding Hood on a simple errand to Grandmother’s house, she has no idea of what’s in store for her! Help her outsmart Wilfred the singing wolf, and save the day in this hilarious escapade!
Edward Willett of Regina is the award-winning author of more than 50 books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for young adults and adults, including the five-book Shards of Excalibur YA fantasy series (Coteau). Other recent titles: The Flames of Nevyana (Rebelight), and The Masks of Aygrima trilogy (DAW Books, as E.C. Blake).
Door into Faerie
Mark L. Winston is that rare individual, a scientist who can speak eloquently to the public. Recognized as one of the world’s leading expert on bees and pollination, Mark has had an illustrious career researching, teaching, writing and commenting on bees and agriculture, environmental issues and science policy. Mark L. Winston is Academic Director of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University, and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive