Yuan Changming grew up in rural China, began to learn English at nineteen, and published monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in The Best Canadian Poetry anthology, BestNewPoemsOnline.com, and The Threepenny Review.
Jim Derksen was born in 1947 in Morris, a small farming community in Manitoba. He was disabled during the polio epidemic in the 50s and has used a wheelchair for personal mobility since that time. He helped found the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and the Canadian Disability Rights Council and has been involved with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities, and Disabled Peoples’ International. He has also had several Privy Council and Ministerial appointments to advisory and regulatory offices. Jim is the past-Chair of the CCD’s Human Rights Committee. He lives in Winnipeg where he works as a consultant in Manitoba.
Diane Driedger is a Winnipeg poet and visual artist. Her latest book is Red with Living: Poems Art (Innana, May 2016). She has been involved in the disability-rights movement in Canada and internationally for thirty-five years. She is Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba.
Usually, when someone develops an allergy it’s an inconvenience, not a tragedy. Aganetha Dyck developed a life-threatening allergy to the fellow artists she worked with for twenty years; she became allergic to bees. Her collaborations with bees ask questions about the ramifications all living beings would experience should the earth lose the power of these small beings. Dyck has won the Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, and the Canada Council’s Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. She is currently looking for ways of working with bees from a distance.
Ruth Enns taught elementary school for eight years before turning to freelance writing for a rural weekly and other publications on topics ranging from elevators to education. Her book, A Voice Unheard: The Latimer Case and People with Disabilities, exposing the untold aspects of that case and its effects on people with disabilities, was published in 1999. She lives in Winnipeg.
Ralph Friesen is a near-retired Marriage and Family Therapist living in Nelson, BC. He has written a family history, Abraham S. Friesen: Steinbach Pioneer, as well as a history of his hometown, Between Earth & Sky: Steinbach, the First 50 Years, and numerous historical articles in Preservings magazine.
Jessica Goody writes for SunSations magazine and The Bluffton Sun. Her work has also appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Broad!, Spectrum, Barking Sycamores, and heART, She was awarded second place in the 2015 Reader’s Digest Poetry Contest.
Ian Kent wrote, produced, and directed the play Abattoir Morning for or; theatre (ortheatre.com). In India, he taught Shakespeare to Tibetan artists in exile and edited and contributed to Contact magazine. His poems have been published in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Prairie Journal, Scrivener Creative Review, and Contemporary Verse 2. His non-fiction has also appeared in Rhubarb.
Shannon Kernaghan has two published books—a collection of short stories, Like Minds (Broken Jaw, 1998), and a business/reference book, How to Sell Your Home Privately (Hounslow, 1994). Her stories appear in anthologies, journals, and magazines. For six years, she wrote a weekly column for the Red Deer Advocate.
Christopher Levenson, founding editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and the Harbinger Poetry Series of the now defunct Carleton University Press, has published eleven books of poetry. His most recent is Night Vision (Quattro, 2014), which was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award. He now lives in Vancouver and helps run the Dead Poets Reading Series.
Robert Martens grew up in the dis/comfort of a tight ethnic Mennonite community of refugees. The trauma and joy of his upbringing was never forgotten as he entered the chaotic world of Simon Fraser University during the years of student protest. Robert slipped into routine in the city of Abbotsford, B.C., where he has coedited and co-written historical works and literary anthologies. His poetry is an attempt to reimagine the dis/comfort of community.
Amy Beth Outland is a freelance writer and editor with social media experience, a BA in English, and teaching certification from Illinois State University. In the past, she has worked as a freelance writer and editor for both Writer.ly and Gather.com. Amy has had several poems published in the Chicago-based fine arts journals including Exact Change Only, Prevail N Prosper, and The Insomniac Propagandist. Her first novel, I’m Not Broken, is available now from Amazon.
Leona Dueck Penner is a long-time Red River Valley-born writer published mainly in Mennonite and ecumenical media. She has a BA in English and German literature from the University of Manitoba. She worked with MCC in Canada and several countries in southern Africa together with her husband, Peter, for more than two decades. In 1995, they returned to Canada from South Africa to care for their widowed, aging mothers, and Peter’s deaf sister. Her short story grew out of this experience. Recently, they moved from Winnipeg to Waterloo to live near their children and grandchildren.
Melanie Pierluigi is from Toronto and currently teaches English in Shanghai. Her poems have appeared in Descant, CV2, Canadian Literature, Qwerty, Freefall, Room, Other Voices, Misunderstandings Magazine, PRECIPICe, The Dalhousie Review, and elsewhere.
Erika Price spent five years completing a PhD in experimental psychology and then decided to switch streams and experiment with literature instead. Since then, Erika’s work has appeared in The Toast, The Rumpus, THEM, Literary Orphans, among others, and has earned a Pushcart Prize nomination as well as the furrowed brows of friends and family. When not writing or teaching undergraduates about the joy of statistics, Erika parents a chinchilla named Dump Truck.
Ron Riekki’s books include U.P. (Ghost Road, 2008), The Way North (Wayne State University, 2013), and Here (Michigan State University, 2015).
Angeline Schellenberg’s first poetry collection, Tell Them It Was Mozart, is forthcoming from Brick Books in September 2016. Her chapbook, Roads of Stone (The Alfred Gustav Press), launched in 2015. Angeline’s work won third place in the 2014 Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award Contest and was shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine’s 2015 Poem of the Year. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Fire, CV2, The New Quarterly, Room, Grain, Geez, Wordgathering, Lemon Hound, Society, and several anthologies. Angeline lives in Winnipeg with her husband, their two teenagers, and a German Shepherd/Corgi.
Mitchell Toews is a marketer, advertiser, and avid fiction writer. Painter, windsurfer, grandfather, husband, dad; he is an opinionated, loquacious, mildly annoying wise-apple. He has literally chipped a tooth on a sunflower seed and is said to own several pairs of flip-flops: one for every social occasion.
Murray Toews is a multidisciplinary artist; his creative work spans the mediums of drawing, video, computer animation, and audio art. Among his latest works is the National Screen Institute Online official selection “Thought, Camera, REEL ONE: Circus of Objects,” 2012. He is a former Art Editor of Rhubarb Magazine.
Celeste A. Wright is a Mennonite pastor between churches who is currently working for Christian Horizons, a company in Ontario and Saskatchewan that provides support for people with exceptional needs. She helps support adults who are developmentally delayed, physically challenged, and mentally ill.