Adrian De Leon is a writer and educator from Manila by way of Scarborough. He is the author of two poetry collections: Rouge (Mawenzi House, 2018), and barangay: an offshore poem (Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn, 2021). He lives in Los Angeles, where he is an ethnic studies professor at the University of Southern California.
Anand Mahadevan was born and raised in India. He came to Canada in 1996 and has been educated in the United States, Germany and Canada. He lives, writes and teaches in Toronto.
Archna Sahni was born in India and made Toronto her home in 1992. She is the author of two collections of poems, First Fire (Yeti, 2005) and Another Nirvana (Mawenzi House, 2018). She is the recipient of the Agha Shahid Ali Prize and received Honourable Mention for the E J Pratt Poetry Prize. She holds an MEd and PhD in English.
Arnold Harrrichand Itwaru is the author of the modern classic Shanti and eleven other books. He was born in Guyana and resides in Toronto. A visual artist as well, he writes compellingly on a wide range of subjects. In Guyana he received two national awards for his poetry. he is currently a lecturer at the University of Toronto. Home and Back is his thirteenth book and forth book of fiction.
Arun Prabha Mukherjee came to Canada from India in 1971 as a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Toronto. An Associate Professor of English at York University in Toronto, she is the author of The Gospel of Wealth in the American Novel: The Rhetoric of Dreiser and His Contemporaries (1987), Towards an Aesthetic of Opposition: Essays on Literature, Criticism and Cultural Imperialism (1988), and numerous books and articles on postcolonial literatures, women’s writing and critical theory. She has edited an anthology of writings by women of colour and aboriginal women entitled, Sharing Our Experience (1993), and contributed entries on several South Asian women writers to A Feminist Companion to Literature in English (1990).
Nedra Rodrigo was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada during the civil war. She is a translator, poet, workshop organizer at the York Centre for Asian Research, and arts educator for youth in the York Region District School Board. She is also the founder of the Tamil Studies Symposium at York University. She is the founder and current host of the bilingual, inclusive literary event, the Tam Fam Lit Jam.
Nedra’s poetry and essays have been published in various anthologies. Her translation credits include the poetry of R Cheran, Puthuvai Ratnathurai, and V I S Jayapalan in the collection Human Rights and the Arts in Global Asia; the memoir In the Shadow of a Sword, published by SAGE YODA Press, India (2020); Kuna Kaviyazhakan’s “Forest That Took Poison,” shortlisted for the inaugural Global Humanities Translation Prize; and the Prison of Dreams quintet. She lives in Toronto.
Ava Homa was teaching at a university in Iran when she decided to move to Canada to study in an Ontario university. Currently she lives in Toronto, where she continues teaching and writing.
Ayaz Pirani was born in Musoma, Tanzania. He grew up in Canada, where he studied Humanities in Toronto and Montreal, and studied Fine Arts at Vermont College. He spends time between Canada and California. His first book is Happy You Are Here.
Balwant Bhaneja was born in Lahore and left India in 1965 for Canada. The author of five books, he has written widely on politics, science and arts. His recent works include a collaboration with Indian playwright Vijay Tendulkar, entitled Two Plays: The Cyclist and His Fifth Woman (2006) published by Oxford University Press (India), and Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey(2011) published by the Center of Global Nonkilling, Honolulu, Hawaii. Bhaneja’s short fiction has appeared in South Asian periodicals and his plays have been produced by the BBC World Service and Toronto’s Maya Theatre at Harbourfront. He lives in Ottawa.
Basdeo Mangru, the first M A graduate of the University of Guyana and former lecturer there, received his PhD in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the author of Benevolent Neutrality: Indian Government Policy Towards Labour Migration to British Guiana, 1854-1884 (London, 1987), and he has published extensively in journals and in anthologies. Dr Mangru has won several awards and distinctions, including the Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship in the United Kingdom (1978-1981) and the Rockefeller Residency Fellowship in the Humanities, at the Asian American Center, City University of New York (1990-1991). He currently lives and teaches in New York.
Belén Martín-Lucas is Associate Professor at the University of Vigo Spain) where she teaches Postcolonial Literatures in English and Diasporic Film and Literatures. Her publications focus on the politics of resistance in contemporary postcolonial feminist fiction, looking at the diverse strategies employed in literary works, such as tropes and genres. She has co-edited the volumes Global Neo-imperialism and National Resistance: Approaches from Postcolonial Studies (2004), Challenging Cultural Practices in Contemporary Post-Colonial Societies (2001), and Reading Multiculturalism: Contemporary Postcolonial Literatures (2000), published by the U. of Vigo P, and a Special Issue of The Atlantic Literary Review on National Literatures in English and the Global Market (New Delhi 2001).
Bethlehem Terrefe Gebreyohannes was born in Addis Ababa, a direct descendent of Emperor S Menelik II and Haile Selassie. After her family’s escape and arrival in Canada in 1981, they settled first in Lethbridge, Alberta, where she finished high school. She lives in Toronto with her family.
Blessing Musariri has published four children’s titles, two of which have won national awards. She writes poems and short stories, which have been published in various international anthologies and online magazines. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The eldest of five children, C Fong Hsiung was born to Hakka Chinese parents in Kolkata, India. At the age of 18 she immigrated to Canada where she married and raised three sons. Her first novel, Picture Bride (Mawenzi House), was published in 2014. She lives in Markham, Ontario.
Carmelinda Scian emigrated to Canada from Portugal as a teenager in the late 1960s with her parents. After marriage and two children, she obtained a BA and an English MA from the University of Toronto on a part time basis while operating a hair salon. Her works have appeared in several literary magazines across Canada, the USA, and Britain and have won several prizes, including the Malahat Review’s Open Season Short Fiction Writing Contest, and the Toronto Star Short Story Contest. The story “Yellow Watch” was nominated for Canada’s Journey Prize, and the story “River Crossing” has been selected for the 2022 edition of Best Canadian Stories. She lives in Toronto.
Carmen Cáliz-Montoro was born in Barcelona, Spain. She arrived in Canada in 1988 thanks to a Government of Canada Award, and completed her PhD on poetry at the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. She has taught courses on Spanish and English literature and in Women’s Studies both in Canada and in Spain, and has done translations and published her own poetry in both these countries as well as in the United States.
Caroline van Rooyen was born in Britain and grew up in South Africa. She attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, after which she taught high schools, including a wealthy Johannesburg all-boys private school and an inner-city Pretoria government school. In 1998 she moved to Canada and began her writing career. In 2003 her short story “Heart Space” was short-listed for the CBC Literary Awards, and in 2006, another story, “Across the Edge,” reached the Top Ten of the Lichen Arts and Letters Preview, International Fiction Contest. She lives in Beaumont, Alberta.
charles c smith is a poet, playwright and performer. He studied poetry and drama at New York City University and Herbert Berghof Studios, and drama at the Frank Silvera’s Writers’ Workshop in Harlem. His play Last Days for the Desperate won an award from Black Theatre Canada. He has published four books of poetry, including Travelogue of the Bereaved (Mawenzi House), has edited several collections of poetry (including the works of Dionne Brand, Marlene Nourbese Phillips, Claire Harris, Cyril Dabydeen, Lillian Allen, George Elliott Clarke, Clifton Joseph), and his writings have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, Quill & Quire, Descant, Dandelion, Fiddlehead, Anti-Racism in Education: Missing in Action (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), Amethyst Review, Bywords, Canadian Ethnic Studies and others. He lives in Toronto.
Chelva Kanaganayakam was a professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto and the Director for the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. His major publications include Moveable Margins: The Shifting Spaces of Canadian Literature (2005), Counterrealism and Indo Anglian Fiction (2002), Lutesong and Lament: Tamil Writing from Sri Lanka (2001), Dark Antonyms and Paradise: The Poetry of Rienzi Crusz (1997), Configurations of Exile: South Asian Writers and Their World (1995), and Structures of Negation: The Writings of Zulfikar Ghose (1993).
Cyril Dabydeen previously edited A Shapely Fire: Changing the Literary Landscape (Mosaic Press) and Another Way to Dance: Contemporary Asian Poetry in Canada and the United States (TSAR Publications). His work has appeared in the Oxford, Penguin and Heinemann Books of Caribbean Verse, and in over 60 literary magazines world-wide. A former Poet Laureate of Ottawa, his last novel Drums of My Flesh won the Guyana Prize for Best Book of Fiction and was nominated for the prestigious IMPAC/Dublin Literary Prize. He is the recipient of the 2010 Guyana Lifetime Achievement Award. He teaches at the University of Ottawa.
Dannabang Kuwabong is a Ghanaian Canadian born in Nanville in the Upper West Region of Ghana. He was educated in Ghana, Scotland, and Canada, and teaches Caribbean literature at the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan. His publications include Konga and other Dagaaba Folktales; Visions of Venom; Caribbean Blues & Love’s Genealogy; Echoes from Dusty Rivers; and Voices from Kibuli Country. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
Dawn Promislow was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She left South Africa with her family in 1977 and lived in London, England, before returning to study English and French literature at the University of Cape Town. She has lived in Toronto since 1987, where she works in magazine journalism.
Devakanthan (Bala Kumarasamy) was exiled by the war in Sri Lanka in the early 1980s and lived in India before moving to Canada. He lives in Toronto and is an active member of the Canadian Tamil literary scene as author and arts critic. He is a reader of Sanskrit and ancient Tamil, and has drawn from those influences in some of his works, such as Lankapuram and Kathakalam, being reimaginings of the Ramayana and Mahabarata.
His Sacred Army, the first volume of the quintet, won the Government of Tamil Nadu Novel of the Year Award (1998), and the quintet as a whole received the Tamil Literary Garden’s Best Novel Award (2014).
Didier Leclair is a three-time finalist for the Prix Trillium and the recipient of both the Trillium and the Christine Dumitriu van Saanen book prizes. His second novel, Ce pays qui est le mien, was shortlisted for the 2004 Governor General’s Award for French-language fiction. Its English translation, This Country of Mine (2018) was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards. Didier Leclair was born in Montreal to Rwandan parents. He grew up in different African countries—Gabon, Benin, Togo, The Republic of Congo—and returned to Canada in the late 1980s. Since that time, he has been living and writing in Toronto.
Edem Awumey was born in Lomé, Togo. He is the author of four previous novels. Descent into Night, the English translation of Explication de la nuit, won the prestigious Governor-General’s Award for Translation in 2018. The other novels are Port-Melo (2006), which won the Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire; Les pieds sales (2009), which was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt in France; and Rose déluge (2011). The English translation of Les pieds sales, Dirty Feet (2011), was selected for the Dublin Impac Award. Edem Awumey lives in Gatineau, Quebec.
Ehab Lotayef was born in Cairo and moved to Montreal in 1989. He writes in English, classical Arabic and colloquial Egyptian Arabic. Besides writing poetry, he is also a photographer, Juno Award-nominated songwriter, and playwright. His play Crossing Gibraltar was produced in 2005 by CBC Radio. A fervent activist for the end of conflict in Gaza and the Middle East, Ehab makes frequent trips to Palestine, and recently organized the Gaza Freedom March in Montreal. Ehab works as an Information Engineer at McGill University.
Elizabeth Allua Vaah hails from Bakanta, a small village on the western coast of Ghana, West Africa. She was the first in her family to attend high school and one of the first few girls in her village to go to university. Maame is Allua’s first work of fiction.
Allua is an advocate for better maternal health through her foundation, the Vaah Junior Foundation. She is a strong advocate for girl child education, never failing to use her own life story as an example of how girls’ education impacts generations. Allua lives in Canada with her family and works as a Risk Manager at a major bank in the Greater Toronto Area.
Born in Guyana, Frank Birbalsingh is a professor of English at York University in Toronto. He is a pioneering scholar of Indo-Caribbean studies and edited the ground-breaking collections of studies Indenture and Exile and Indo-Caribbean Resistance.
Fareh Malik, from Hamilton, Ontario, is also a spoken-word artist. He is the winner of the 2022 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award, Hamilton Art’s Shirley Elford Prize, and Muslim Hands Canada’s 2020 Poetry Contest. In 2023, Streams that Lead Somewhere won the Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry, and was longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Fareh was a Best of the Net finalist in 2021, and that same year a Garden Project recipient. His individual works have been published by literary magazines such as Waccamaw Journal, 86 Logic, Lucky Jefferson, Chitro, and Twyckenham Notes. In 2020 some of his work was on exhibit in the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. Fareh tells the stories of his struggle and of the community around him in the hope that others can find inspiration and companionship in it.
Gavin Barrett was born in Bombay and lived in Hong Kong for several years before immigrating to Canada with his wife and daughters. His poetry has been published in India and Canada. He lives in Toronto.
Gugu Hlongwane was born and raised in South Africa. She went to university in South Africa, the US, and Canada (Guelph and York), where she did her PhD, and she now teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Electric Fences is her first work of fiction.
H Nigel Thomas is the author of six novels, three collections of short stories, and a previous collection of poems, in addition to dozens of essays. His novels Spirits in the Dark and No Safeguards were nominated for the Hugh MacLennan Fiction Award, and Des vies cassées, the French translation of Lives: Whole and Otherwise, was shortlisted for Le prix Carbet des lycéens. He holds the 2000 Professional of the Year Jackie Robinson Award, the 2013 Université Laval’s Hommage aux créateurs, the 2020 Black Theatre Workshop’s Martin Luther King, Jr Achievement Award, and is the 2022 winner of the Canada Council John Molson Prize for the Arts. In 2024, he was named a laureate for Black History Month in Montreal. He is also the founder and English-language coordinator of Lectures Logos Readings. A Vincentian Canadian, he has lived in the province of Quebec since 1968 and is a retired professor of United States literature.
Hassan Ghedi Santur emigrated from Somalia to Canada at age thirteen. He has a BA in English Literature and an MFA from York University, and an MA from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He has worked as a radio journalist for CBC radio and his print journalism work has appeared in the New York Times, Yahoo News, and The Walrus, among others. In 2010, he published his debut novel Something Remains, followed by Maps of Exile, an exploration of the plight of African migrants in Europe. He is currently working on his third novel, Other Worlds, Other Lives.
Indran Amirthanayagam writes poetry and essays in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. His works include The Splintered Face, Ceylon RIP, El Infierno de Los Pájaros, El Hombre que Recoge Nidos, Sol Camuflado, La Pelota del Pulpo and The Elephants Of Reckoning, which won the 1994 Paterson Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and journals throughout the world. He has also published translations of Mexican poets Manuel Ulacia and Jose Eugenio Sanchez. He is a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service. He writes a blog on poetry at indranamirthanayagam.blogspot.com
Irene Marques holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, a Masters in French Literature, a Masters in Comparative Literature and a Bachelor of Social Work. She is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and Lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University where she teaches literature, literary theory and creative writing. She has taught at various other universities in Toronto including University of Toronto, York University, and OCAD University. Before devoting herself entirely to academia and writing, she worked in various social services fields for over fourteen years. Her published works of fiction include Wearing Glasses of Water (poetry, 2007), Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo (short stories, 2009), The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (poetry, 2012), The Circular Incantation (poetry, 2013), My House is a Mansion (novel, 2015), Daria (novel, 2021) and Uma Casa no Mundo (novel, 2021), which won Prémio Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro in Portugal. She has also published the academic manuscript Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender and Cultural Identity (Purdue University Press, 2011) and numerous articles in international journals or scholarly collectives.
Ismith Khan was born in Trinidad in 1925 and has lived in the United States for the past three decades. He is the author of two other novels, The Jumbie Bird and The Crucifixion, and a collection of short stories, A Day in the Country and Other Stories. He lives in New York City.
James Yékú is a Nigerian-Canadian writer who lived in Saskatoon for six years before moving to Lawrence, Kansas, where he is an Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and leads the African Digital Humanities at the University of Kansas. Yékú is the author of Cultural Netizenship.
Jennifer Rahim was the author of three volumes of poetry, Mothers Are Not the Only Linguists (1992), Between the Fence and the Forest (2002), and Approaching Sabbaths (2009), and a collection of short stories, Songster and Other Stories (2007). Approaching Sabbaths was awarded the 2010 Casa de las Américas Prize for best book in the category Caribbean Literature in English or Creole. Rahim was a senior lecturer in literature at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
John Stewart was born in Trinidad and educated at California State University, Stanford University, and the University of California in Los Angeles. His short stories have appeared in, among other places, The Faber Book of Contemporary Caribbean Short Stories (1990) and Best West Indian Short Stories (London: Nelson, 1981). He is a recipient of a Royal Society of Literature Award for Last Cool Days. Currently he is professor and director of African American and African Studies, University of California, Davis.
Joseph A Dandurand is a Kwantlen Aboriginal from Kwantlen First Nation in British Columbia. He is a poet, playwright, and archaeologist. Dandurand received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He has previously published I Want (2015), Hear and Foretell (2015), and The Rumour (2018).
Joséphine Bacon is an aboriginal person from Betsiamites. Director of film documentaries, she is equal parts poet and songwriter. Her songs, which include Mishapan Nitassinan, are performed by Chloé Sainte-Marie. She has recently published a series of poems in Aimititau! Parlons-nous! In 2014 she was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and in May 2010, she was awarded the Prix des lecteurs du Marché de la Poésie de Montréal for her poem “Dessine-moi l’arbre,” from her book Message Sticks/ Tshissinuatshitakana. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Montréal as well as a Companion of the Order of Arts and Letters of Quebec. She was the subject of a 2020 documentary, Call Me Human (Je m’appelle humain). She lives in Montreal.
Julia Lin was born in Taiwan and lived there and in Vietnam before her family immigrated to Canada when she was nine. Since then, Julia has lived in Vancouver and its environs, Toronto, and northern British Columbia. She holds a graduate degree in Immunology (MSc, University of Toronto) and a post-graduate degree in computing education (University of British Columbia) and has taught high school math, science, and computing science in British Columbia for a number of years. Julia lives in Vancouver.
Kagiso Lesego Molope was born and educated in South Africa. Her first novel, Dancing in the Dust (Mawenzi House) was on the IBBY Honour List for 2006. Her second novel, The Mending Season, was chosen to be on the school curriculum in South Africa. This Book Betrays My Brother was awarded the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize by the English Academy of Southern Africa, where it was first published. Her latest novel, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, was released in 2018. She lives in Ottawa.
Keith Garebian (son of an Armenian father and Anglo-Indian mother) was born in Bombay, India, and immigrated to Canada in 1961. Following his PhD in Canadian and Commonwealth Literature from Queen’s University, he began his freelance career as literary and theatre critic, producing over two dozen books, two chapbooks, and hundreds of articles, features, interviews, and reviews. A resident of Mississauga, he has won numerous nominations and awards, including the William Saroyan Medal (Armenia) and four Mississauga Arts Awards.
Kwai-Yun Li’s Hakka parents emigrated from Moi-yen, China to Calcutta, India, where Kwai was born. She grew up in Chattawalla Gully, in the old part of the city, and came to Canada through an arranged marriage. She is a co-author of A Kiss Beside the Monkey Bars, a collection of short stories.
Lamees Al Ethari immigrated to Canada with her husband and two boys in 2008. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching creative and academic writing since 2015. Her writing and research focus on Iraqi North American women’s life narratives of trauma and migration. She is also a Consulting Editor with The New Quarterly and co-coordinator of The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop for Immigrant Women in Kitchener-Waterloo. She is the author of a poetry collection titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris (Baseline Press, 2018) and her poems have appeared in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, and the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario.
Laila Re (b. Kabul, Afghanistan) is a poet based in Markham, Ontario. She escaped Kabul as a toddler with her family to Islamabad, Pakistan, before emigrating two years later to Canada in 1992 when she was five. She attended York University in Toronto. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Pieces to Peace, Soul Led, and Beauty and Love. Her personal essay “Kabul Dreams” was published in the anthology The Muslimah Who Fell to Earth (Mawenzi, 2016).
Latha Viswanathan has worked as a journalist, copywriter, editor and teacher in India, London, Manila, Montreal, Toronto and the United States. These stories have appeared in major American literary magazines and won awards. Her work received a grant from the Texas Commission of the Arts in Fiction, was published in Best New Stories from the South and broadcast on National Public Radio. She currently lives and writes in Houston.
Winner of the 2012 Lambda Literary Award, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer, teacher and performer of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan, Roma and Irish ascent. The author of Bodymap, Love Cake and Consensual Genocide and the co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities, her writing has been widely anthologized. She is the co-founder of the queer people of colour arts incubator Mangos With Chili, a lead artist with Sins Invalid and co-founder of Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ 40 Feminists Under 40 Shaping the Future. Her first memoir, Dirty River, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in fall 2015.
Born and raised in Montreal, Leslie is a lawyer who worked for the United Nations for 10 years. She is currently based in Ottawa, where she works for the Parliament of Canada.
Lien Chao is the author of Beyond Silence: Chinese Canadian Literature in English (1997), winner of the Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Criticism. Her other publications include Tiger Girl: Hu Nü (2001), a creative memoir about growing up in Mao’s China; Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Fiction (2003), edited with Jim Wong-Chu; The Chinese Knot and Other Stories (2008); and three collections of bilingual poetry, Maples and the Stream (1999), More Than Skin Deep (2004), and Salt in My Life (2019). She has also published several bilingual books on Chinese Brush Painting. She is an inter-arts artist.
Linda Zhang is a licensed architect, artist and educator. She is an assistant professor at Waterloo University School of Architecture and a principal at Studio Pararaum. Her research areas include memory, cultural heritage, and identity as they are indexically embodied through matter, material processes and reproduction technologies.
Loren Edizel was born in Izmir, Turkey. Her other works include the novel The Ghosts of Smyrna (Mawenzi, 2013) and several stories, including “The Conch,” which appeared in Turkish translation in the anthology Izmir in Women’s Stories (Kadın Öykülerinde Izmir). She lives in Toronto.
Manahil Bandukwala (she/her), right, is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of MONUMENT, and many chapbooks. She enjoys working collaboratively, and in addition to Reth aur Reghistan, frequently collaborates with other writers, musicians, and artists in Canada. She holds an MA in English from the University of Waterloo and in 2023, was selected as a Writer’s Trust Rising Star by Shani Mootoo. manahilbandukwala.com.
Mansa Trotman is a writer whose work is known to grip her audience and readership in the gut, wring it and then move on to elicit laughter, all in the same heartbeat. She has moved from spoken word forums to video renditions, and her work has appeared in several anthologies. She has previously published a chap book of her poetry.
Mariam Pirbhai is the author of the short story collection Outside People and Other Stories, winner of the 2018 IPPY Gold Medal for Multicultural Fiction and the 2019 American BookFest Award for the Short Story. It also ranked among CBC’s top ten “must read” books of 2017. Isolated Incident is her first novel. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Pirbhai is Professor of English at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she teaches and specializes in postcolonial studies and creative writing.
Martin Genetsch has studied German, English, and Media Studies in Germany, England, and Canada. His research interests include cultural theory, postcolonial literature, Shakespeare, and poetry. Currently he teaches Shakespeare at the University of Trier, and English and German to highly gifted children at a secondary school in Germany. He has published papers on postcolonial literatures, cultural theory, popular culture, and didactic issues in foreign language teaching.
Mayank Bhatt immigrated to Toronto in 2008 from Mumbai (Bombay), where he worked as a journalist. His short stories have been published in TOK 5: Writing the New Toronto and Canadian Voices II. In Canada he worked as a security guard, an administrator, and an arts festival organizer.
Meena Alexander was born in India and raised there and in North Africa. Her work has appeared widely in journals in the United States, Canada, England, and India and has also been translated into several languages, including Italian and German. She published several volumes of poetry, including Night Scene, the Garden. Her novel Nampally Road (1991) was aVLS Editor’s Choice and her memoir Fault Lines was published in 1993.
Michelle Muir is a fourth grade teacher with the Peel District School Board as well as a professional storyteller and a poet. She won the national title of CBC Poetry Face Off champion in both 2006 and 2007. Dubbed an ambassador for literacy, Michelle Muir has performed her spoken-word poetry for audiences across Canada and the United States. She rose to national attention when she was named CBC Radio’s Poet Laureate in 2006. She was the CBC Radio Poetry Face Off champion in both 2006 and 2007. Her award-winning poems, “My Fantastic Voyage to Planet Irresistible” and “I Hope They Ask the Things I Didn’t” are included in this collection.
Mohamed M. Keshavjee is a second generation South African of Indian origin. He is a graduate of Queen’s University in Canada and attained his LLM and PhD degrees at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn, London. After leaving South Africa in 1962, Keshavjee lived in Kenya where he went to school and later practised law. For the past 30 years, he has lived in France working with the Aga Khan Development Network. He is a specialist in Alternative Dispute Resolution in cross-cultural contexts with a special emphasis on diasporic communities. He is a member of the EU team of International Family Mediators and has travelled extensively throughout the world. At present, he lives in Britain where he lectures at various universities.
Mohineet Kaur Boparai has been published widely internationally, in magazines such as Phantom Drift, Zymbol, Lindenwood Review, Pilgrimage, Boschcombe Revolution, South Asian Ensemble and Nether Magazine. She has published two previous volumes of poetry, Poems That Never Were (Writers Workshop, Kolkata 2007), and The Wind in a Seashell (After the Pause Press, USA 2016) and two chapbooks, Windows to the Ocean, and Lives of My Love (MiddleIsland Press, 2012). Zymbol also published an interview with her under the title “India’s Rising Star,” and she has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has been an assistant professor at DAV University, Jalandhar, Punjab. She lives in Brampton, Ontario.
Monia Mazigh was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991. She speaks Arabic, French, and English fluently and holds a doctorate in finance. Monia was catapulted onto the public stage in 2002 when her husband, Maher Arar, was deported to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year. She campaigned vigorously for her husband’s release and later fought to re-establish his reputation and sought reparations. Her book, Hope and Despair, details the account of the family’s ordeal. She is also the author of two novels, Mirrors and Mirages, and Hope Has Two Daughters. Another novel, Farida, is forthcoming. She lives in Ottawa.
Munira Premji was born in Moshi, Tanzania, at the foot of Kilimanjaro. After finishing high school in Tanzania, she immigrated to Canada in 1979, where she attended York University in Toronto and met her husband Nagib. She is a human resources practitioner and executive coach, consulting on organizational effectiveness and leadership development. She has two children and lives with her husband in Toronto. Choosing Hope is her first book.
Murray Hogben was born in Toronto in 1935 and grew up in Ottawa. In 1957 he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and then a journalism degree at Carleton University. There he met an Indian Muslim student, Alia Rauf, duly became a Muslim in 1956, and they married in 1959. Working for the CBC in Toronto, he became secretary in 1960 of the new Muslim Society of Toronto for years. Also, starting in 1965, he began to earn a doctorate in history from the University of Toronto, graduating in 1973. He then taught at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston and then at le College militaire royal de Saint-Jean, in Quebec. Murray then joined the Kingston Whig-Standard in 1979 as a reporter and columnist until 2000. Meanwhile, he had also become secretary of the Islamic Society of Kingston, a volunteer Muslim chaplain at several prisons, secretary of the Kingston Police race relations advisory committee, and for decades canoeing instructor and arts and crafts director at a camp for Muslim girls and boys. Murray and Alia live on their hobby farm near Kingston, close to their children and grandchildren.
Natasha Bakht is an assistant professor of law at the University of Ottawa. She was called to the bar of Ontario in 2003 and served as a law clerk to Justice Louis Arbour at the Supreme court of Canada. Her research interests are generally in the area of law, culture, and minority rights and specifically in the intersecting area of religious freedom and women’s equality. Natasha has written extensively on the issue of religious arbitration in family law. her probono work includes active membership in the law Program Committee for the women’s Legal Education and Action fund (LEAF). Natasha is also an Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer. She is the 2008 co-recipient of the KM Hunter Artists Award.
Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, born in 1991, is a slam poet, visual artist and Indigenous rights activist. Innu of Pessamit community of the North Shore, she spent most of her life in urban areas, as did many other Aboriginal youth of her generation. Noticed first in Rimouski where she was studying, and at events in Montreal in spring 2012, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine is prominent on the provincial slam scene–she’s been dubbed the territorial slammer. She figures on Radio-Canada’s Plus on est de fou, plus on lit! list of ten young writers to watch. With an enduring commitment to the Idle No More movement, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine is part of the new generation of a people rising from the ashes, and who intends to take the place she deserves. She lives in Montreal.
Natasha Ramoutar is an Indo-Guyanese writer by way of Scarborough (Ganatsekwyagon) at the east side of Toronto. She is the Social Media Assistant at the Festival of Literary Diversity. Her poetry collection, Bittersweet, was published by Mawenzi House in 2020. She is the fiction editor of Feel Ways, an anthology of Scarborough writing, published in 2021. She lives in Scarborough, Ontario.
Nimra Bandukwala (she/her), left, is a visual artist and maker of crafts using foraged and found materials. More recently, she has been integrating earth pigments and natural dyes into her practice while exploring the stories and histories behind these materials. She is a recipient of arts grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Nimra has facilitated community-engaged workshops with folks of all ages and abilities in schools and community-based settings. nimrabandukwala.com; Instagram @nimrabandukwala.art
Nur Abdi grew up in the territory now known as Somaliland. In the 1980s, when a civil war was raging in Somalia, he sought refuge in Canada and became a citizen in 1994. Opposing the repressive government ruling Somalia at the time, Abdi wrote articles in newspapers and magazines. He lives in Toronto. The Somali Camel Boy is his first novel.
Nurjehan Aziz is the editor of Her Mother’s Ashes: Stories by South Asian Women in Canada and the United States, The Relevance of Islamic Identity in Canada, and more recently Confluences 1 and Confluences 2. She is the publisher at Mawenzi House. In 2024, she was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Olive Senior is one of Canada’s most internationally recognized and acclaimed writers. Among her many awards and honours she has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and F.G. Bressani Literary Prize, was nominated for a Governor-General’s Literary Award, and was runner up for the Casa de Las Americas Prize and the Pat Lowther Award. In 2003, she received the Norman Washington Manley Foundation Award for Excellence (preservation of cultural heritage – Jamaica). Her body of published work includes four books of poetry, three collections of short stories and several award-winning non-fiction works on Caribbean culture.
Pamela Mordecai writes poetry, fiction and plays. Her collections of poetry are Journey Poem, de Man: a performance poem, Certifiable, The True Blue of Islands, Subversive Sonnets, de book of Mary: a performance poem, Up Tropic, and A Fierce Green Place: new and selected poems. Her first collection of short fiction, Pink Icing and Other Stories, appeared to enthusiastic reviews in 2006, and her first novel, Red Jacket, was published in 2015 and shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Award. Her writing for children is widely collected and well known internationally. El Numero Uno, a play for young people, had its world premiere at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in Toronto in 2010 and its Caribbean premiere at the Edna Manley School for the Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2016. She lives in Toronto.
Considered the “Jewish Byron” by many, Peretz Markish (1895-1852) was born in Volhynia, Ukraine, and went on to write forty works in Yiddish, twenty of which were translated into Russian. In 1921, in Warsaw, he formed the group called The Gang, which struggled against realism in literature, and he co-edited the expressionist Khaliastre Almanakh, which contained illustrations by Marc Chagall. His own poems expressed Jewish sorrow and hope. In 1926 he returned to the Soviet Union where he produced his best-known works, including those expressing Soviet patriotism and his grief at the extermination of the Jews. He was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1939, and executed in 1952, accused of Jewish nationalism.
Perparim Kapllani was born in Elbasan, Albania. He joined military school before going on to study literature at the University of Tirana. In Albania he wrote drama and worked as a journalist, before coming to Canada in 2000 and began to put to paper his many untold stories. He lives in Toronto, where he operates a pizza parlour and writes.
Pilar Cuder-Domínguez is Associate Professor at the University of Huelva (Spain), where she teaches British and English-Canadian Literature and Feminist Theory. Her research interests are the intersections of gender, genre, nation, and race. She is the author of Margaret Atwood: A Beginner’s Guide (2003), and the co-editor of five collections of essays (La mujer del texto al contexto, 1996; Exilios femeninos,2000; Sederi XI, 2002; Espacios de Género, 2005; and The Female Wits, 2006). She has been visiting scholar at universities in Canada, the US, and the UK. Her latest publications have discussed the works of writers of Black and Asian ancestry in the UK and Canada.
Rahul Varma is a playwright and artistic director of Teesri Duniya Theatre in Montreal, which he co-founded in 1981. In 1998 he co-founded the quarterly alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage, where many of his articles have appeared. He writes both in Hindi and English. Some of his recent plays are Land Where the Trees Talk, No Man’s Land, Trading Injuries, Bhopal, and State of Denial. His plays have been translated into French, Italian, Hindi and Punjabi. He is a recipient of Special Juror’s Award from the Quebec Drama Federation.
Rana Bose’s first novel, Recovering Rude was published by Vehicule Press in 2000 to critical acclaim. He has also been a well-known playwright in Canada and has had ten of his plays published by Seagull, Prestige, and The Canadian Theatre Review. All of these plays have been performed in Canada, US, and India and perhaps elsewhere. He has been an engineer, mentor, consultant, performance poet, playwright, and resides in Montreal and sometimes in Kolkata. He is also one of the editors of the webzine Montreal Serai.
R Cheran is currently an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at the University of Windsor. His publications include History and Imagination: Tamil Culture in the Global Context (2007), New Demarcations: Essays in Tamil Studies (2009), Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka (2010), and Empowering Diasporas: Dynamics of Post War Tamil Transnational Politics (2011).
Richard Stevenson retired from a thirty-year gig teaching English and Creative Writing for Lethbridge College in 2015. During that time, he published thirty books, most recently a long poem sequence on the Clifford Olson serial murders case, Rock, Scissors, Paper (2016) and a collection of haikai poetry, A Gaggle of Geese (2017).
Rienzi Crusz was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada in 1965. Educated at the Universities of Ceylon, London (England), Toronto, and Waterloo. He has widely published in magazines in Canada and the United States, and is the author of ten previous collections of poetry.
Born in Montreal, Rima Elkouri is a journalist and columnist for La Presse. Winner of the Jules-Fournier Prize of the Superior Council of the French Language, she published Pas envie d’être arabe (Somme toute, 2014). Manam is her first novel. She lives in Montreal.
Rocio Davis was born in Manila, Philippines and has degrees from the Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) and the University of Navarre (Spain). She is currently Associate Professor of American and Postcolonial Literature at the University of Navarre. Her main research interests are the fiction of the Asian diaspora, postcolonial literature, narratology, and children’s literature.
Rozena Maart was born in District Six, the former slave quarter of the Cape. Her family along with thousands were forcibly removed in 1973 due to the Groups Areas Act. In 1986, at the age of 24, Rozena was nominated to the “Woman of the Year,” award in South Africa for her work in the area of gender-based violence, and for starting with four women the first Black feminist organisation in South Africa: Women Against Repression [W.A.R.]. In October 1992, three weeks after the birth of her daughter, she won, “Best Short Fiction in Canada,” for a story, “No Rosa, No District Six”. Professor Maart has published several books, journal articles and book chapters, and recently edited, Decoloniality and Decolonial Education: South Africa and the World. Rozena has been recognised with two lifetime achievement awards in philosophy and literature, respectively, from Philosophy Born of Struggle (2016) and the Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to literature and Philosophy by the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Prof Maart is also an International Research Ambassador to the University of Bremen in Germany, and a Mercator Fellow to the first Contradiction Studies programme, also hosted at the same University.
Sadhu Binning was born in India and immigrated to Canada in 1967. He has published more than fifteen books including one novel, two short story and four poetry collections. He edited a literary monthly Watno Dur from 1977 to 1982 and currently co edits Watan, a Punjabi quarterly. Sadhu is the founding member of the Vancouver Sath and Ankur collective. He has co-authored and produced a number of plays about the South Asian Community. A retired UBC language instructor, Sadhu lives in Burnaby, BC.
Safia Fazlul, of Bangladeshi origin, lived in Oslo, Norway, before coming to Canada at the age of eleven. Her first novel, The Harem, was published soon after she completed her BA at the University of Toronto. Recently retired from the financial industry, Safia continues to write while enjoying her new motherhood. She lives in Toronto.
Saima S Hussain earned an Honours BA in English and History followed by an MA in South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. She is author of the award-winning children’s book The Arab World Thought of It: Inventions, Innovations and Amazing Facts. She lives in Mississauga.
Sam Selvon (1923 – 1994) was born in Trinidad and moved to Britain in 1950. His first novel, A Brighter Sun, was published in 1952, bringing him instant recognition. He spent more than twenty years in the UK where he wrote most of his major works. The Lonely Londoners, his novel about West Indian immigrants in postwar London, is considered a modern classic. His other novels include Moses Ascending and Moses Migrating. He left the UK in 1978 for Canada where he settled with his family in Calgary, Alberta.
Sanjay Talreja is a Toronto-based filmmaker whose drama and documentary work has appeared on television and theatrical screens in Canada, the US, and India. He has written a collection of short stories and a novella, and is completing a detective novel. He has won several awards for his films.
Sasenarine Persaud is a Guyana-born Canadian American author of Indian ancestry and originator of the term “Yogic Realism.” He has published essays in Critical Practice (New Delhi), World Literature Today (Oklahoma), and Brick (Toronto) on this subject. His lifelong engagement with Indian philosophies, art, and languages and an awareness of his community’s 184 years domicile in the Americas, clearly distinguishes his craft.
Persaud is the author of 15 books of prose and poetry, including Canada Geese and Apple Chatney (stories), the title story of which is anthologized on both sides of the Atlantic and included in The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, An Anthology of Colonial and Postcolonial Short Fiction, and the Journey Prize Anthology: Short Fiction from the Best of Canada’s New Writers; two ground-breaking novels, Dear Death and The Ghost of Bellow’s Man, and his signature, raga-infused poetry collection, A Surf of Sparrows’ Songs, which alternates between Miami, Toronto, Guyana’s Atlantic coast and India. His poetry has appeared in several anthologies including The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse.
Shaukat Ajmeri is the author of the novel Keepers of the Faith. Born and educated in India, he now lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
Sheema Khan writes a monthly column for The Globe and Mail on issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims. She holds a PhD from Harvard University in chemical physics, along with numerous patents on drug delivery technology. She has served on the Board of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and is the founder and former chair of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN). She has testified as an expert witness on Muslims in Canada and has appeared before a number of parliamentary committees. She is currently a patent agent in Ottawa.
Shenaaz Nanji’s Child of Dandelions, a novel about the expulsion of Uganda’s Asians, was shortlisted for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. Her other books include Indian Tales, An Alien in my House!, and Treasures for Lunch. She holds an MFA from Vermont College and lives in Calgary.
Sheniz Janmohamed (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, artist educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi and the Aga Khan Museum.
Sheniz is also the author of three collections of poetry: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010), Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014), and Reminders on the Path (Mawenzi House, 2021). Her writing has been published in a variety of publications, including Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press, 2019).
Sheniz visits dozens of schools and organizations each year to teach, perform, and inspire creativity in her students. In 2015, she was awarded the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship, and holds an Artist Educator Mentor certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto).
Sohan S Koonar has lived on four continents: Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. A physiotherapist by training, a founder of a multi-clinic company, and a renowned inventor with international patents, Sohan’s hobby of story-telling has won him the Judges’ Choice Award in the Toronto Star Short Story Contest, and the first Burlington Library Literary Excellence Award.
Sonia Saikaley was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. She grew up in a traditional Lebanese household and much of her writing is influenced by her rich Middle Eastern heritage. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Still Point Arts Quarterly, Things Japanese: A Collection of Short Stories, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, and the anthology Lavandería – A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Word. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and the University of Ottawa. Her first book, The Lebanese Dishwasher (Quattro Books, 2012), was co-winner of the 2012 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest.
Sonia Villegas-López is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Huelva, Spain. She has done research on gender studies and contemporary British and Canadian fiction, and has published essays and articles on Asian North American women’s writing (2003, 2004). She is the author of a monograph on anglophone women’s fiction of the late 20th century (Mujer y religión en la narrativa anglófona contemporánea, 1999), and of An Introduction to Feminist Theology (El sexo olvidado, 2005). She has presented papers on postcolonial literature both in national and international conferences about writers such as Amy Tan, Larissa Lai, Arlene Chai, or Evelyn Lau.
Sophia Mustafa was a writer and political activist. She was one of Tanzania’s first women members of parliament. Of South Asian origin, she grew up and lived in East Africa, where she was active in developing literacy, libraries and newspapers in rural areas. In 1989 she migrated to Canada, where she become a novelist, publishing In the Shadow of Kirinyaga and Broken Reed.
Born in Congo-Kinshasa, Téa Mutonji’s work focuses primarily on friendship, womanhood, race and sexuality. Her debut collection of short stories, Shut Up You’re Pretty was shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (2019), a finalist for Canada Reads in 2024, and won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award (2020) and the Trillium Book Award (2020).
Tehmina Khan was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and holds degrees from Kinnaird College, Lahore, and Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis. She has her home in Toronto, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a dog, Luna, and is currently working on a novel.
Thorsten Nesch is an award-winning author for young adults. He is the author of twelve books, including Derailed, for which he wrote and directed a feature film. He lives in Lethbridge, Alberta, with his wife and children. His website is www.thorstennesch.com.
Terry Watada has published three novels, five collections of poetry, and a book of short stories. His fourth novel, Hiroshima Bomb Money (NeWest Press) is set for release in 2024. His new play, Sakura: The Last Cherry Blossom Festival, will premiere in the summer of 2024 during the Lighthouse Summer Theatre Festival, Port Dover, Ontario. He lives in Toronto.
Trish Salah lives and writes in Tkaronto and is associate professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University, which is located on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory. She is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning poetry collection, Wanting in Arabic (Mawenzi House), and of Lyric Sexology, Vol. 1 (Metonymy Press). She is a Pushcart nominated poet and has work in recent issues of Mizna and Tripwire, and in We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. She is editor of the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, and co-editor of special issues of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, on cultural production, and of Arc Poetry Magazine, featuring poetry by trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary writers.
Uma Menon was born in Winter Park, Florida, where she attended Winter Park High school. She is the 2019–2020 Youth Fellow of the International Human Rights Art Festival. Hands for Language is her first published book and was shortlisted for the 2019 International Erbacce Prize. In the fall of 2020, she will begin attending Princeton University.
Yaya Yao was born and raised in Toronto’s Parkdale and Little Portugal neighbourhoods with a lot of languages around her: Cantonese, Mandarin Hokkien, Shanghainese and French and English. Yaya’s poems have been published in several journals, including TOK7, Contemporary Verse 2, and the Toronto Review of Books. Her short play, Tongued, received staged readings through playwrights’ units with Nightwood and fu-GEN Theatre companies, and she is co-author, with Helen Anderson, of the Educator’s Equity Companion Guide.
Yvonne Vera (1964-2005) was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and later attended York University in Toronto, gaining her doctorate in English Literature in 1995. Her fiction has won a number of international awards, including the Tucholsky Prize from Swedish PEN (2004) and the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa (2002). Her novel Nehanda was short-listed for the Commonwealth Prize (Africa, 1995), which she won two years later for Under the Tongue (1997).
Zul Premji was born in Iringa, Tanzania, and attended school in two towns before obtaining his medical degree from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam. He later took an MSc in Medical Parasitology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians in London, and a doctorate in Infectious Diseases from Karolinska, Sweden. His specialization included clinical trials, antimalarial drug resistance and malaria case management. Over a career of more than forty years, he has held numerous academic positions in Tanzania, and has been an advisor to National Malaria Control. He now lives in Calgary, Alberta.