Participants of the 2013 Mentorship Program:
Vivian Hansen/Jordan Baylon:
Mentor – Vivian Hansen is a poet and freelance writer. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and journals with work that has encountered women’s issues, the western landscape, work and immigration. She is the co-founder of the Calgary Women’s Writing Project where she served as VP Publishing and Editor of Forum Magazine (a journal of the Calgary Women’s Writing Project).Vivian taught poetry and life writing workshops with the Alexandra Writers’ Centre in Calgary and facilitated workshops in poetry and life writing. She served as a judge and contest coordinator for the former Calgary Writers Association and has judged for the Hamilton Region Arts Council. Vivian is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta and served as a Member-at-Large 2002-2003, President 2003-2004, Past-President 2004-2005 and Chair, 2006 Alberta Book Awards Committee and is also a full member of the League of Canadian Poets, Calgary. 1999-2000 she was President of the Society of Poets, Bards and Storytellers. She was Associate Editor, A.S.H. (Arts, Science & Humanities Journal) Turtle Island Press, 1996-1997.
Apprentice – Jordan Baylon is a Community Investment Officer at Calgary Arts Development and an emerging poet. He has a BA (Honours) in English Literature from the University of Calgary, where he pursued an interest in literature of the Romantic period and Postcolonialism. Prior to joining CADA, he spent two years teaching English in the little mountain village in Japan. Jordan’s first published piece of poetry was to commemorate the appointment of Calgary’s first Poet Laureate and was included in the December 2011 edition of the Calgary Journal. Most of his other poetry can be found in his personal blog: openandclose and another project on tumblr—vidhidrama.tumblr.com which combines photography and poetry called typophotography. He’s also dabbled in other types of writing, namely film and art criticism but considers himself first and foremost a poet.
Margaret Macpherson/Shari Narine:
Mentor – Margaret Macpherson recently celebrating the publication of her (lucky number) seventh book Body Trade. Margaret’s been publishing in newspapers and journals and magazines for the last 30 years but it’s only been 11 years since she turned her hand to writing books. From general historic non-fiction on the fightin’ bandits of the Canadian West to a literary biography of spitfire feminist Nellie McClung, Margaret has recently moved away from non-fiction to settle down with her first love, adult novels of literary fiction. Besides a flare with script she’s acquired an MFA from UBC in creative writing and currently studies the mystical power of expressive arts in all their fantastic forms. Margaret is a teacher and mentor who believes in freedom, self expression, justice and the uncanny ability of the human spirit to connect intimately with others. She loves people and words and positive energy and her work speaks of her deep connection to humanity. She’s a Northern lass, a second generation feminist with three kids, a husband and a cat.
Apprentice – Shari Narine is an award-winning freelance journalist and editor who calls Edmonton home. She has worked 25 years in the newspaper and magazine business publishing locally, nationally and internationally. Recently she branched out to fiction writing and has had short stories published across Canada. She is now working on a novel. Shari’s passion for writing was sparked in Grade 2 when her teacher introduced her to poetry by Robert Louis Stevenson. Recently, Shari had the opportunity to travel to Scotland to see where Stevenson lived. Shari enjoys traveling as a non-tourist. She has ridden camels on four continents; walked through the stone churches in Ethiopia; snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef; bartered for goods in the street markets in Bangladesh; gone on safari in Kenya; and dogsledded in southern Alberta. Shari enjoys spending time with her two sons, walking her dog and drawing
Lori Hahnel/Debbie Bateman:
Mentor – Lori Hahnel was born in Regina and has lived in Calgary since age eleven. Love Minus Zero (Oberon, 2008), her first novel, is loosely based on her experience in Calgary’s first all-female rock band. Nothing Sacred (Thistledown, 2009), a collection of short fiction, shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. A new novel, After You’ve Gone, is forthcoming from Thistledown in 2014. Currently, her work is nominated for an Alberta Magazine Award. Her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review and many other journals and anthologies. Lori teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and The Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, where she will serve as writer-in-residence in 2013. She has also been writer-in-residence for Alberta branch Canadian Authors Association, and is a co-founder and participant in Calgary’s Writing in the Works reading series.
Apprentice – Debbie Bateman is a Calgary based writer and editor. She recently completed a novel and is currently working on a linked short story collection entitled Ovary Emotional. Set at SAIT, the stories explore the many changes, choices and upheavals that can happen in a woman’s life as she passes through the gateway that is menopause. Her personal essay, Amongst the Unseen and Unheard, will be included in the upcoming Shy anthology edited by Rona Altrows and Naomi Lewis
Glenn Dixon/Maraya Loza Koxahn:
Mentor – Glenn Dixon has published travel articles and cultural pieces in major publications such as National Geographic Magazine, the New York Post, the Walrus Magazine, the Globe and Mail and even Psychology Today. He has traveled through more than fifty-five countries now and worked on documentary films in Egypt, Tibet, Russia, Peru, Ecuador, Turkey and many others. Dixon also plays guitar in the electronica band Global Chilling (whose songs often include sound bites taken from his documentary films). Their first album, Climbing the Tower of Babel, is available on itunes and Amazon and they are currently recording their second album. Dixon has three degrees including a Masters degree in socio-linguistics and is now a ‘learning leader’ (a consultant) for languages for the Calgary Board of Education.‘Pilgrim in the Palace of Words” will be his first book.
Apprentice – Maraya Loza Koxahn is a Renaissance Woman – with a focus on the Arts. With two degrees from the University of Calgary and much subsequent education she became an Integral Therapist and is now incorporating Argentine Tango into her practice. Maraya has been writing for the better part of the past forty years. Her poetry and articles have been published in local, national, and international magazines and on the Internet. She has won local awards for her poetry. Her first book of poetry, Metamorphosis of a Narcissist, was published in 2005. Maraya has recently completed Reflections and Shadows – a chapbook of poetry, stories and photographs inspired by living in Argentina. While in Buenos Aires, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in Robert McKee’s world famous STORY seminar and she started a writers’ group that is still going strong long after her departure. Currently, Maraya is writing a memoir called Love, Death and Tango.
Jannie Edwards/Gayle Sacuta:
Mentor – Although born in South Africa, Jannie Edwards is strongly rooted in Edmonton and the prairies. She has published three books of poetry: ThePossibilities of Thirst (1997), Blood Opera: The Raven Tango Poems (2006), in collaboration with visual artist Paul Saturley, and Falling Blues (2010), a finalist for the Writers Guild of Alberta poetry prize. An Edmonton theatre group under the direction of Mark Henderson adapted Blood Opera for the stage as part of Workshop West’s 2010 Canoe Theatre Festival. In addition to writing and publishing poetry, creative non-fiction and short fiction, Jannie Edwards also has considerable editing experience in all genres. She taught creative writing, composition and literature for over 25 years at MacEwan University, where she coordinated the literary reading series and several multi-disciplinary student-faculty exhibitions. She continues to be active in the Edmonton arts community.
Apprentice – Gayle Irene Sacuta was born in 1966 and raised on a farm in East-Central Alberta near a large,shallow, ancient glacial swamp referred to as Gough Lake. This mysterious part of the prairie landscape provides backdrop and inspiration for Gayle’s writing about girlhood, landscape and culture. Gayle knew from an early age her task was to remember, and somehow use language to portray aspects of a unique upbringing, especially the influence of her Byelorussian speaking Grandmother. She now lives in Devon with her family. Gayle ’s current project, a memoir about family, the land, schooling and community in 1970’s Alberta, is told creatively through poetry and prose. When not writing, she plays fiddle and guitar, makes fibre art, cooks good food and heads out to the country on road trips. Gayle promotes literacy by bringing together groups of writers, readers and tellers and graduates soon with her Masters in Library and Information Studies.