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Gary Barwin

 is a writer, composer, and multidisciplinary artist and the author of 29 books including Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy which won the Canadian Jewish Literary Award and Bird Arsonist (with ­­Tom Prime). His national bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates won the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was long listed for Canada Reads and has been optioned for television by The Jim Henson Company. His latest book is a collaborative long poem (written with Lillian Nećakov) entitled Duck Eat Yeast, Explodes; Man Loses


Penelope Langedyk


is a writer of poetry and short fiction from the occupied territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Mississaugas (otherwise known as Hamilton, Ontario). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Concordia University. She has previously been published with the literary magazines Matrix and Pixie. She is currently at work on her debut poetry collection. 

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Susan Evans-Shaw

has been a member of the organizing committee for LiT LiVe for many years. As well she was a founding committee member of gritLIT, Hamilton's annual literary festival. She is also co-chair of Hamilton Arts Council’s Literary Arts Committee. Discovery of her grandfather’s letters, written home during World War I, inspired her book, Canadians at War: A Guide to the Battlefields of World War I and Canadians at War: A Guide to the Battlefields of World War II. Susan is a member of PEN Canada and The Writers’ Union of Canada. She lives and writes in a downtown Hamilton highrise with her two cats, Sam and Lotte.


Anuja Varghese (she/her)

is a QWOC Pushcart-nominated writer and editor based in Hamilton, ON. Her work appears in Hobart, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, and Plenitude Magazine, as well as the Best Women's Erotica Volume 6 and Queer Little Nightmares anthologies, among others. Her debut short story collection, titled Chrysalis (House of Anansi Press, 2023) explores South Asian diaspora experience through a feminist, speculative lens. Find Anuja on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok (@anuja_v) and


Elise Arsenault

is an Acadian songwriter, poet, and creative nonfiction writer owing much of her inspiration to living in Hamilton for nearly a decade. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction, two independently-released EPs, a cluster of awards and publications, and half the credit for starting Shaky Knees Club, a burgeoning and ragtag collective of local songwriters. Website:  


Jennifer Tan


has won the Short Works Prize for Poetry in 2016 and in 2020, and was long-listed for the Vallum Award for poetry in 2020. She has been published in the poetry anthologies of Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century, and The Beauty of Being Elsewhere: Poems of Journey and Sojourn, and on the website of The Wild Word. Her haikus have found their way to the Asahi Haikuist Network. She is a regular contributing poet and member of the Tower Poetry Society.

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Elizabeth Tessier

writes poetry informed by her thirty years of work at Hamilton museums and her current life with early onset Parkinson’s. She has previously published in Evenings on Paisley Avenue: Seven Hamilton Poets. She has a self-published book, The Words They Cannot Say, edited by her friend and mentor Marilyn Gear-Pilling. Her chapbook entitled Frozen Charlotte is published by Frog Hollow Press edited by Shane Neilson as part of their Dis/Ability series. She currently has work in RAVE and the Spring 2021 HA&L thanks to her friend, inspiration and editor Bernadette Rule.


Christine Miscione
(On hiatus)

work has appeared in various literary journals such as This Magazine, Lemon Hound, and The Puritan. Her story "Skin, Just" won first place in the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Editions CVC Short Fiction Contest. Her debut short story collection, Auxiliary Skins, won the ReLit Award for short fiction, and her debut novel, Carafola, was shortlisted for the Hamilton Literary Awards. More recently, Christine won third place in both PRISM International's inaugural prize for short fiction and Prairie Fire's annual short fiction competition for her stories "The Water" and "Tessa." Christine is currently at work on a novel and a short fiction collection.

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Brent van Staalduinen (he/him)

is an award-winning novelist and short story writer from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and the author of the novels Boy, Nothing But Life, and Saints, Unexpected, as well as the short story collection Cut Road. His literary thriller Unthinkable will be published in spring 2024. A former army medic, high school English/media teacher, tree planter, and itinerant wanderer, Brent now stays (mostly) closer to home, mentoring writers and teaching writing to university students. Follow on social media (@brentvans) and at

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Chris Pannell

has published six books of poetry. His collection A Nervous City won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year. From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop at Hamilton Artists Inc. and published two anthologies of work by that group. He is a former treasurer and board member for the gritLIT Writers Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He has been involved with the Lit Live reading series for more than ten years. His latest book of poetry – Love, Despite the Ache – won the 2017 Literary Award for Poetry, from the Hamilton Arts Council.

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