Chris Laing is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in private business for twenty years before joining the Federal Public Service, where he served in the Department of the Secretary of State and National Museums of Canada until his retirement. In the past few years he has expanded his long-time interest in detective stories from that of avid reader to writing in this genre. His short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals. His first novel, A Private Man, was published by Seraphim Editions in 2012. He now lives in Kingston, Ontario with his wife, artist Michèle LaRose.
Kate Cayley’s first collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End, is published by Brick Books. Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various places, including Descant, CV2, The Fiddlehead, The Literary Review of Canada, The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire and The New Quarterly. She is the artistic director of Stranger Theatre, and has co-created, directed and written eight plays with the company. She is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre, and her play After Akmatova was produced there in 2011. Her first short story collection, How You Were Born, is forthcoming from Pedlar Press.
Farzana Doctor is a novelist and psychotherapist. Her most recent novel Six Metres of Pavement was named one of Now Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2011. Publishers Weekly described Six Metres of Pavement as “...a paean to second chances.” It also won the Lambda Literary and was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award. Farzana was named as one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now.” She is currently working on her third novel and co-curates the Brockton Writers Series. www.farzanadoctor.com
Lois Lorimer was born in Brockville, Ontario and now lives in Toronto. Her poetry chapbook Between the Houses (2010) was published in Edinburgh. Her poems have appeared in literary journals including: Arc, Literary Review of Canada, Hart House Review and in the anthologies: The Bright Well (Leaf Press:2012) and Connectivism (Variety Crossing Press: 2012). Her new book, Stripmall Subversive was published in 2013 by Variety Crossing Press. Molly Peacock has said, “In Lois Lorimer’s radiant debut volume, innocence gleams inside experience. The stripmall is all too real, but the subversion of Lorimer’s poetry is subtle, shining and sophisticated.”
John Terpstra has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, the most recent of which, Disarmament, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004. A retrospective of his work, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, was published in 2006. Terpstra has also published three prose projects: Falling Into Place, a creative investigation of a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors; The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, the story of his wife’s three brothers, who lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties; and Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, a frank reflection on faith and church in a secular era. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
The host for the evening, Stephen Near, is a playwright, performer and educator living in Hamilton. He is Co-Artistic Director of Reaching Symmetry Theatre and has worked with a number of theatre companies in Toronto as a playwright or dramaturge. He is currently the Operations Officer for the Hamilton Arts Council, a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwrights Unit and sits on the PGC's National Forum as the representative for the Ontario South caucus.