Some of the writers and artists at this years' Festival. More to come!

Bert Almon

Bert Almon was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1943 during a hurricane. He completed a B.A. at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1965 and a Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico in 1971 having written the first dissertation on the Beat poet, Gary Snyder. He came to Canada to teach at the University of Alberta in 1968 and has become a Canadian citizen. He began writing poetry in 1967. He teaches creative writing, modern literature and autobiography. More than thirty of his poetry students have gone on to publish books. He won the Writers' Guild of Alberta Award for poetry in 1998 for Earth Prime (Brick Books).

George Bowering

George Bowering is a prolific Canadian novelist, poet, historian, and biographer. He was born in Penticton, British Columbia, and raised in the nearby town of Oliver, where his father was a high-school chemistry teacher. Bowering is author of more than 90 books. Bowering lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and is Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, where he worked for 30 years. In 2002, Bowering was appointed the first ever Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate. That same year, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2004. He played various infield positions for the York Street Tigers (Montreal), the Granville Grange Zephyrs, the Zunks, and finally for the Paperbacks (Vancouver), from which he retired only a few years ago

Kristi Bridgeman

Kristi Bridgeman is both an exhibiting visual artist and an illustrator of books for children, including the popular picture books The Sock Fairy, The Knot Fairy and the recent book with P.K Page There Once Was a Camel. Born and raised on the West Coast of Canada, she attended Emily Carr College of Art and now resides in Victoria, British Columbia. Actively involved with the environment, children and the arts, she is vice president of the Island Illustrator’s Society. Samples of Kristi Bridgeman’s work can be found at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Sooke Harbour House Gallery as well as the website:

Trevor Carolan

Born in Yorkshire, Trevor Carolan emigrated as a boy to British Columbia and was raised in the family building trade in New Westminster. He began writing for the city newspaper at age 17. After travelling Europe and India for three years he completed a M.A. in English at Humboldt State in California. He later worked in Alberta with the 15th Olympic Winter Games. He has published 13 books of poetry, fiction, translation, memoir, and anthologies. Active in Pacific Coast watershed issues, aboriginal land claims, and Asia-Pacific human rights campaigns, he served three years as elected municipal councillor for North Vancouver, then as a political columnist. He earned an interdisciplinary PhD from Bond University in Queensland, Australia in 2007, and now teaches English at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C. beneath Kul-Shan, Mount Baker.

Jim Christy

Jim Christy is a writer, artist and tireless traveller. The author of twenty books, including poetry, short stories, novels, travel and biography, his travels have taken him from the Yukon to the Amazon, Greenland to Cambodia. He has covered wars and exhibited his art internationally. Raised in inner-city Philadelphia, he moved to Toronto when he was twenty-three years old and became a Canadian citizen at the first opportunity. His most recent novel is Nine O’Clock Gun (2008), part of the Gene Castle, Private Eye series set in Vancouver. A resident of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast for many years, he currently resides in Toronto.

Olga Costopoulos

Poet Olga Costopoulos teaches Creative Writing at the University of Alberta. Her first book, Muskox and Goat Songs was published by Ekstasis Editions in 1995. Since that time she has been honing her craft and publishing in magazines, notably the Australian Arts magazine Quadrant. Olga Costopoulos writes, cooks and gardens at her home in Edmonton, Alberta. Her most recent book is The Tiger Side of Night.

Brad Cran

Brad Cran is a poet, essayist and photographer. He has twice curated the widely successful Poetry Bash at the Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival. His collection of poetry, The Good Life (Nightwood Editions), was hailed by the Vancouver Sun in 2002 as the one book of poetry people should read that year. In 2004, Cran received the Writing and Publishing commission at the Vancouver Arts Awards, and, in 2009, Cran and his wife Gillian Jerome were nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize at the B.C. Book Prizes for their book Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Arsenal Pulp Press), which also won the 2009 City of Vancouver Book Award and raised over $30,000 for the people of the Downtown Eastside. He is the current poet laureate of Vancouver.

Mike Doyle

Mike Doyle has written numerous books of poetry, as well as books on William Carlos Williams and James T. Baxter, a biography of Richard Aldington, plus critical essays on Williams, Wallace Stevens, H.D. and others. In Paper Trombones Doyle shares musings on poetry – his own and others’ – drawn from informal journal notes of the past thirty years. Born in London of Irish descent, Doyle lived in New Zealand before moving to Victoria, BC. As a poet and academic on three continents, Doyle recalls fascinating encounters with prominent literary figures – from Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath to Basil Bunting, Anne Sexton, Robert Creeley, James Wright, Robert Bly, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, George Woodcock and various Canadian poets. His Collected Poems will be published in November, 2010.

Carla Funk

Carla Funk was born and raised in Vanderhoof, the geographical centre of B.C. and one of the earliest Mennonite settlements in the province. Having grown up in a world of logging trucks, storytellers, ladies’ sewing circles, and rural realism, she turned to poetry as a place to set down the images of her upbringing.
Her newest collection is entitled Apologetic, published by Turnstone Press. She now lives with her husband and daughter in Victoria, where she served as the City’s inaugural poet laureate from 2006-2008. She teaches in the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing.

Miles Lowry

Miles Lowry lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada where he is Artistic Co-Director for Suddenly Dance Theatre. Lowry’s cinematic poem Opium, based on French poet Jean Cocteau, was produced for Canadian television and selected for the 2007 Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. A short film, Aisling - We Saw a Vision, was recently produced for Bravo!fact. Author of five previous books of poetry, he is also known as a painter, sculptor, photographer and theatrical designer. His work is seen in a wide variety of exhibitions, performances and publications.

Al Maclachlan

Journalist, documentary writer/director and music video director Al MacLachlan has written for the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun and the Georgia Strait. After studies at Concordia University (Fine Arts) and Seneca (Film and Television) and wide travels in Europe and Mexico, Al MacLachlan now resides in Gibsons, BC. After the Funeral, his first novel, was published in 2006. A new novel, Murmurs of the Dead, will be published in November, 2010 by Ekstasis Editions.


Manolis was born in the small village Kolibari west of Chania on the Greek island of Crete in 1947. He emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he attended Simon Fraser University for a year, taking English Literature in a non-degree program. He has written three novels and a many collections of poetry. After working as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver, and stock broker, he now lives in White Rock where he spends his time writing, gardening, and traveling. Towards the end of 2006 he founded Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company in Surrey BC with the goal of publishing literary books. His recent books include Triptych (Ekstasis Editions) and Opera Bufa (Libros Libertad).

George McWhirter

George McWhirter was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is a writer, translator, editor, teacher and was Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate.
In 1957 he began a “combined scholarship” studying English and Spanish at Queen’s University, Belfast, and education at Stranmillis College, Belfast. At Queen’s he was a classmate with the future literary critic Robert Dunbar and the poets Seamus Heaney and Seamus Deane. After graduating, McWhirter taught in Kilkeel and Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, and in Barcelona, Spain, before moving to Port Alberni, B.C. Canada. He received his M.A. from the University of British Columbia, where he studied under Michael Bullock and J. Michael Yates. His first book of poetry, Catalan Poems, was a joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize with Chinua Achebe’s Beware, Soul Brother. In March 2007, he was named Vancouver’s inaugural Poet Laureate for a two-year term. He currently writes full–time and lives in Vancouver with his wife. They have two children.

Robert Priest

Robert Priest is the author of fifteen books of poetry. His most recent book is Reading the Bible Backwards. He won the Acorn People’s Poetry Award for his now classic Mad Hand (1988). In his alias as Dr. Poetry he wrote and performed thirteen segments for CBC radio’s spoken-word show Wordbeat. As a songwriter, he co-wrote the number one hit, "Song Instead of a Kiss," for Alannah Myles. His Aphorisms have already appeared in The Farmer’s Almanac, and Colombo’s Canadian Quotations. His musical play Minibugs and Microchips received a $25,000.00 Chalmer’s Award. Both of his books of poems for children, Daysongs Nightsongs and The Secret Invasion of Bananas are on the CBC’s recommended reading list. As a teacher/workshop leader he has been described as “Ontario’s most popular poet in the schools” by Today’s Parent Magazine. He is also a highly respected journalist for Toronto’s weekly Now magazine.

Duncan Regehr

Duncan Regehr works in the literary, visual and performing arts. Among his published works, The Dragon’s Eye, Corvus Rex, Chrysalid and Scarecrow combine prose, poetry and visual imagery. His paintings are found in collections and galleries worldwide. Also a classically trained actor, he performs and directs for stage, film, radio and television.
He is a Royal Canadian Artist, a recipient of the American Vision Award of Distinction in the Arts, and holds a Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa from the University of Victoria.

D.C. Reid

D.C. Reid’s Love And Other Things That Hurt, and The Hunger were shortlisted, in their separate years, for the Dorothy Livesay Award, BC’s highest prize for a book of poetry. Among his many other awards, Reid has taken silver twice in the Bliss Carmen award. His work has been translated into Hindi and Spanish. His most recent book of poetry is What It Means To Be Human.

Linda Rogers

Canadian People’s Poet for the year 2000, Linda Rogers is currently the Poet Laureate for Victoria. The grandmother of four writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her latest novel is The Third Day Book, second in The Empress Trilogy.

Stephen Scobie

Stephen Scobie is a Canadian poet, critic, and scholar. Born in Carnoustie, Scotland, Scobie relocated to Canada in 1965. He earned a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver after which he taught at the University of Alberta and at the University of Victoria, from which he recently retired. Scobie is a founding editor of Longspoon Press, an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada, and the recipient of the 1980 Governor General’s Award for McAlmon’s Chinese Opera (1980) and the 1986 Prix Gabrielle Roy for Canadian Criticism.

George Stanley

Born and raised in San Francisco, Stanley was part of the San Francisco Renaissance in the 1960s, which also included Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan and Robin Blaser. He received his bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University in 1969, and a master's degree in 1971. In the 1970s, Stanley moved to British Columbia, first living in Vancouver for five years, then Terrace in northern British Columbia, where he worked as an instructor in the English department at Northwest Community College. In Vancouver in the early 1970s Stanley became associated with New Star Books, and The Grape, an alternative newspaper. He has published several books of poetry, including A Tall Serious Girl (his selected works) and Vancouver: A Poem. In 2006 he won the Shelley Memorial Award. He is retired and again lives in Vancouver.

Charles Tidler

Charles Tidler's stage plays have had productions throughout Canada, across the United States, at the Edinburgh Festival, and in London's West End. Achievements include two National Radio Awards, a Chalmers Outstanding PlayAward, Canada Council and B.C. Arts Council awards, and a Governor General's Award nomination in drama. He is also an award-winning poet and a spoken jazz artist. His first novel, Going to New Orleans, was published in 2004. The father of two sons, Charles makes his home in Victoria. A collection of poetry, Straw Things: Selected Poetry and Song, 1963-2007, was published in 2008.

Ilya Tourtidis

Ilya Tourtidis was born in Greece in 1949. He moved to Australia when he was four years old and to Canada when he was fifteen. Educated at the University of Victoria, he worked as a teacher and later as a School Counselor in the Comox Valley where he now resides. He was Co-winner of the Gerald Lampert Award in 1994 for his first book of poems, Mad Magellan's Tale. A subsequent collection of his poetry, The Spell of Memory was published in 2004. This was followed by a further collection, Path of Descent and Devotion, published in 2009. In addition to poetry, Ilya Tourtidis also writes screenplays, novels, and children's stories.

Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott, a poet whom the Times of London called “one of the best in the world” is recognized as seminal voice in world literature, known for his exploration of Caribbean culture. Born in Saint Lucia, in the Lesser Antilles, educated in Jamaica and now residing in Trinidad and New York, Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 for his “poetic oeuvre of great luminosity” and “historical vision.” As a poet and playwright Walcott examines the Carribean’s fusion of Indigenous, African, Asian and European streams in books such as Omeros, a loose reworking of Homer, and his most recent volume, White Egrets, a celebration of the life and language of the West Indies.

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