Gary Barwin is a writer, musician and multimedia artist from Hamilton. His bestselling novel, Yiddish for Pirates won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and the Hamilton Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. His latest book is No TV for Woodpeckers. His latest collections are the visual works, Broken Light (Penteract Press, 2017) and Quantum Typography (Timglaset Editions, 2018.) He is currently Writer in Residence at McMaster University and the Hamilton Public Library. garybarwin.com
Chris Pannell has published six books of poetry. His collection A Nervous City (released in 2013) 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.
Jennifer Tan has poems and short stories published in Main Street, the Anthology of the McMaster Certificate in Writing Program, Hammered Out, Tower Poetry and the Asahi Haikuist Network. Her short story “Dirt on My Face” received an honourable mention in the literary contest of the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival in 2002. She was on the Hamilton Spectator Community Editorial Board from 2003 to 2005. In 2003 she was in a memorable writing workshop in Siena with Alistair MacLeod as her teacher. She is a committee member of LitLive the Reading Series and a member of Tower Poetry Society, where she has served on the editorial board since 2011. Jennifer hosts LitChat, Hamilton’s monthly literary salon. Her interests include running, dancing, gardening, painting, learning languages, travelling and eating well.
Showey Yazdanian has contributed as a journalist to Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Guelph Mercury, The Lawyer’s Weekly, and others. She is the author of the novella Loopholes, which won the 2015 Ken Klonsky Award; her work has also appeared in the story collection Footprints for Mothers and Daughters. Showey grew up in Toronto and holds a Ph.D. in the physical sciences. Read more at www.showey.net.
Christine Miscione's work has appeared in various literary journals such as This Magazine, Lemon Hound, and The Puritan. In 2012, her story "Skin, Just" won first place in the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Editions CVC Short Fiction Contest. In 2014, her debut short story collection, Auxiliary Skins, won the ReLit Award for short fiction. That same year 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", respectively. Christine is currently at work on both a novel and a short fiction collection. christinemiscione.com
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Other Committee Members (biographies not yet posted.)