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2016 WordsWorth Instructors & Courses

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  We are proud to announce this year's instructors and classes for WordsWorth 2016. More names and course descriptions will be added as they are confirmed!    
Colin Matty

Colin Matty

    Colin Matty (Camp Director) is a playwright, poet, performer, and enthusiast of wordplay in all its forms. He first began his journey with WordsWorth and the Writers' Guild in 2011, and has since come to appreciate the incredible passion and power of the community of young writers it brings together. While not scheming ways to make the experiences at camp even more magical, Colin runs his best ideas through a typewriter and gives them to strangers on the street. This is his second year as camp Director, and he hopes this year's WordsWorth will be the freshest yet! (Photo Credit: Cory Johnn Photography)        
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derek beaulieu

Dr. Derek Beaulieu is the author of the collections of poetry with wax, fractal economies, chains, silence, kern, frogments from the frag pool (co-written with Gary Barwin) and Please no more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Ed. Kit Dobson). He has also written 3 collections of conceptual fiction: flatland, Local Colour and How To Write (Nominated for the W.O. Mitchell Award). He is the author of two collections of essays: Seen of the Crime and The Unbearable Contact with Poets. Beaulieu co-edited bill bissett’s RUSH: what fuckan theory (with Gregory Betts), Writing Surfaces: fiction of John Riddell (with Lori Emerson) and Shift & Switch (with angela rawlings and Jason Christie). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and is an award-winning instructor at the Alberta College of Art + Design. Derek Beaulieu was the 2014–2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada.    
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Isaac Bond

      Isaac Bond is a writer and performer from Saskatoon. He has shared his work far and wide across Canada while spearheading several grassroots initiatives in his hometown. Between workshops in schools, features at spoken word events, and hip hop shows, he keeps himself busy, motivated and inspired. He believes words are worth it, and loves working with wordsmiths who feel the same. (Photo Credit: Derek Ford)        
 
Lyndsie Bourgon

Lyndsie Bourgon

  This is Lyndsie Bourgon's third year of teaching at WordsWorth. A former student herself, Lyndsie went on to study journalism at the University of King's College and has had her work published in the GuardianThe Walrus, the Globe and Mail and Maisonneuve. She's also lived all over the world--from Halifax to Scotland, Italy, Botswana and Haida Gwaii. Now she lives in Calgary and works as a writer and editor.      
Marcello Di Cintio

Marcello Di Cintio

  Instructor Marcello Di Cintio is the author of three books of creative nonfiction including Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. Marcello also writes for magazines such as SwerveCanadian GeographicThe International New York Times, and Afar. He is a former writer-in-residence with the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the Palestine Writing Workshop, and a featured instructor at the Iceland Writers Retreat. Marcello used to be a wrestler, but his wrestling skills don’t make him any better at Death Polo.        
Kim Firmston

Kim Firmston

  Kim Firmston is a real life mutant and cyborg – though one without any cool powers. When she is not cursing obvious villain mistakes, she writes teen novels about punk rock, cosplay, and computer hacking (among other things), stage plays - some of which have been produced as far away as Egypt and the Philippines, and dabbles in poetry, stop motion animation, and film making. Kim has six published novels, created three sweet websites, and one super awesome writing/art club called Reality Is Optional Creative Kids Programming. Kim encourages play and hands on learning in all her classes. She has also been known to build diabolical devices out of cardboard and old chip bags with prominent DO NOT PUSH buttons. Find Kim at: kimfirmston.comboiledcat.comrealityisoptional.com      
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Samantha Jeffery

  Samantha Jeffery is an Edmonton-based actor, fighter, and creator, amongst other things. She graduated from the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and has since spent her time throwing herself into as much weird experimental theatre/fight/dance/performance art as possible. Sam works professionally as an actor & fight choreographer in Alberta, and improvises with Rapid Fire Theatre. She has also had the pleasure of teaching theatre to youth all over Alberta. When it comes to the wham-bam part: she is a certified Intermediate Actor Combatant with Fight Directors Canada and has trained with fighters from all over the world.      
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Richard Kemick

  Richard Kemick has been recently published or has work forthcoming in The WalrusMaisonneuve, The Globe and Mail, and Tin House. His work has won national awards and has been accepted into Canadian and British anthologies. He lives in Calgary with his dog and muse, Maisy.          
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Ahmed Knowmadic

  Multi award winning poet Ahmed Ali also known as ‘Knowmadic’, is a Somali born full-time poet, writer, actor, comedian, public speaker and youth worker. Ahmed's poetry focuses on Identity and positive perspectives. His style of poetry is noted as humorous, witty and full of wordplay.        
jani krulc

Jani Krulc

    Jani Krulc writes fiction and practices and teaches yoga. Her first collection of short stories, The Jesus Year, was published in 2013. This is Jani's third summer at WordsWorth, and she is thrilled to return. She lives in Calgary with a pomeranian, a cat, and her partner, and is at work on her second book.            
johnny macrae

Johnny MacRae

  Johnny MacRae is a mouthy poet with a barefoot beard. A veteran of the Canadian poetry slam movement, MacRae has been a regional and national slam champion, as well as having been one of the directors of the 2014 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Victoria. Named the 2013 Victoria Spoken Word Festival Poet of Honour, he has established himself as one of Canada's most exciting young spoken word performers. Since attending the Banff Centre Spoken Word program in 2010, MacRae has toured widely across North America, both solo and as a member of "talk rock" duo 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac. As a member of 2 Dope Boys, he has helped write and produce two 60 minute spoken word shows - The Anthropocalypse, a psychedelic talk opera and (The) Love (Opposite) Your (of) Weird (Beige) - as well as two short form shows - The Book of Gamp and Maimyards of the Pacific. Currently, he is working on his first EP, his first full-length book, and a full-length solo show blending an oral history of Vancouver with a satirical look at property development gone mad, entitled Unfutre presents... Millenium City. For the past seven years, MacRae has been facilitating workshops in schools around British Columbia, as a member of Vancouver Poetry House's WordPlay program. In 2013, he founded Raising Voices, an education outreach program that serves schools around Victoria and the Vancouver Island region, and became WordPlay's director. Find Johnny at: johnnymacrae.com  
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Colin Martin

Colin Martin is a writer and writing instructor from Calgary. His fiction, poetry, and critical work has appeared in a number of venues including Open Letterfilling Station MagazinedANDelion Magazine, and the 2006 Tightrope Books anthology of supernatural fiction, In The Dark.         
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Tim Mikula

  Tim Mikula is an artist living in Edmonton, Alberta. He has written shows, read poetry, and painted paintings in bars, theatres (movie), theatres (real), forests, art galleries, and plywood robot heads in public parks. His work draws on over a decade of experience as an improviser of theatre and comedy and is a harrowing experiment of endless failure and success.            
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Cathy Ostlere

Cathy Ostlere is an award-winning writer of creative nonfiction and young adult fiction. Her first book, the memoir Lost, was shortlisted for the 2009 Edna Staebler Creative Non-fiction Award. She is a 2012 Governor General Award finalist for her play, Lost: A Memoir. Her second book, Karma, a YA novel-in-verse, has won or been shortlisted for many awards including a 2012 Alberta Literary Award, the 2012 City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, 2013 White Pine Award, 2012 Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award, and others. She is the past-president of the Creative Nonfiction Collective, a national organization of CNF writers. Cathy lives in Calgary and takes great pleasure in writing in many genres – fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, theatre and film. This is her fifth summer teaching at Wordsworth and is delighted to be back.          
 
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Mary Pinkoski

Mary Pinkoski, 5th Poet Laureate of the City of Edmonton (2013-2015), is an internationally recognized, published spoken word artist. She has performed on stages across North America and at the 2015 Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. She is the 2011 Canadian National Spoken Word Champion and a winner of the 2008 CBC National Poetry Face-off. In 2015, Mary was recognized as an Edmonton Top 40 Under 40 and also awarded a University of Alberta Alumni Horizon Award for her poetry work. When she is not performing, Mary facilitates workshops for writers of all ages.            
 
Simon Rose

Simon Rose

  Simon Rose is a Calgary author of ten novels and more than 80 nonfiction books for children and young adults. Simon offers programs for schools, covering the writing process, editing and revision, where ideas come from, character development, historical fiction, story structure, and the publishing world. He is an instructor for adults with the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Chinook Learning Services and offers online workshops and courses for both children and adults. Simon also provides services for writers, including manuscript evaluation, editing, and coaching, plus copywriting services for the business community. Learn more at simon-rose.com.    
 
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Emily Ursuliak

Emily Ursuliak is the host and producer of Writer's Block for CJSW 90.9fm, a radio show that features interviews with local, national, and international writers; tours of people's private book collections; panel discussions about the world of writing and books; and writers reading their work. She also writes both fiction and poetry and has a masters of arts in English from the University of Calgary. An avid lover and producer of radio and podcasts, Emily is thrilled to return to WordsWorth to teach others to tinker with telling stories through sound.
     
 
David Wilson

David Wilson

  David Wilson (B.Mus, M.Mus) is a Singer, Conductor, Voice Teacher, Yoga Instructor, Breath Therapist, and soon-to-be-author. He is recognized across Canada as a leading authority on the use of yoga and breath therapy to aid proper singing technique. He has most recently conducted Mikado and RENT, and sung in Into the Woods. David currently enjoys teaching voice for Grant MacEwan Theatre Arts, Edmonton Musical Theatre and the University of Alberta.  At his Edmonton teaching studio David offers Professional Voice Lessons, Functional Vocal Transformation, Empowerment & Confidence Training, Performance Tuning, Creative Flow Work and Body, Breath & Voice Integrative Therapy. He tours regularly, offering workshops to singers, actors, teachers and professionals on vocal power and respiratory health. David is THRILLED to be returning to Wordsworth! He is currently working on a book/DVD entitled The Wilson Technique of Singing, has been hooked into Magic the Gathering by Wordsworthians (thanks a lot) and has just seen the greatest band in the world, Nightwish two times in three nights. His website is body-breath-voice.com.  
 
paul zits

Paul Zits

Paul Zits received his MA in English from the University of Calgary in 2010. His first book, Massacre Street (University of Alberta Press, 2014), won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry at the 2014 Alberta Literary Awards, and was also shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award and the IndieFab Award for Poetry. His most recent manuscript, “Leap-seconds,” was recently shortlisted for the 2016 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. He has work forthcoming in Touch the Donkey and in an anthology of Calgary writing from Chaudiere Books. Zits served two terms as Writer-in-the-Schools at Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary, teaching creative writing to students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program, and for the past three years has taught at the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s WordsWorth Camp at Kamp Kiwanis. Zits is the former Managing Editor of the Calgary-based, experimental literary and arts magazine, filling Station and in addition to working as an Educational Assistant with the Edmonton Public School Board, he is currently an instructor with the Edmonton Poetry Festival’s Verse Project.
Check out these courses, being offered during Week One of WordsWorth! (July 10-15, Ages 12-14) Kim Firmston - Word Magic: Wizards! Wield wild words. Learn all the spells! Make time stop, rewind, slow down, speed up, and skip ahead. Cause scenes to turn monochrome, two-tone, black and white, and psychedelic. Deplete the senses with blindness, deafness, pas touche, tastelessness, and olfactory negation. Cast the duck in the oven spell and say nothing while saying everything! Mirror scenes with NO MIRROR! Learn these and other word spells that you can cast to the amazement of your friends, family, and editor. (The ministry of literature is not responsible for any magical mayhem which may result from this course. Regular unicorn restrictions apply). Enjoy it now – Word Magic! Coming to a classroom near you! Sam Jeffery - Studies in Conflict: Conflict is everywhere in media these days. Well, it's time to find out exactly what it is that makes fighting (be it physical or not) so compelling. Using media examples, stage combat, and our ideas, we'll dig right in. Strap in for a wild ride through the nitty gritty of why humans fight as we explore conflict with our words and our bodies. Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to move! Students are encouraged to bring examples of conflict (verbal, physical, or implied) they find compelling. Johnny MacRae - Adventures in Poetry LandThis course will take students from first steps into the land of spoken word (or slam) poetry to the point of having at least one fully-realized spoken word poem of their own. Beginning with an introductory workshop to introduce fundamental principles of spoken word writing and performance, this series of workshops will take participants through devices (ie. personification, extended metaphor) and structures (ie. beat poems, persona writing) that are useful in the composition of an effective spoken word poem, culminating in at least one fully realized spoken word piece. Tim Mikula - Impulse Cathy Ostlere - Fractured FairytalesWho doesn’t love a good gory fairy tale where the main character fights true evil? Fairytales offer timeless themes for writers to explore. In this class we will examine some classic fairy tales and then put a spin on them in our own stories. Some fairy tale ideas: Jack the Giant Killer; Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; Clever Hans; The Green Knight; Hansel and Gretal; Iron John; Vasilissa the Beautiful; The Princess Who Never Smiled; The Red Shoes; Sinbad the Sailor; The Tailor Who Sold his Soul to the Devil.  Examples to read ahead: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (Little Red Riding Hood); A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Beauty and the Beast); A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas (Sleeping Beauty); Winter by Marissa Meyer (Snow White). Mary Pinkoski - You Do Not Live in This World Alone: As writers, we are inspired by the other art that exists around us. We write surrounded by music, art, and dance. In this class, we will explore and honor the art that shapes our writing. We will experiment to see how other art forms shift and challenge and shape our creative voice. Come to this class prepared and open to explore, dabble and be innovative with your own creative voice. Paul Zits - Constraint Based WritingPalindromes (nurses run), lipograms (awkward grammar), & boule de neige (see above) are all examples of constraints, techniques that trigger ideas and inspiration by placing limits on writing! For constraint-based writers, these limits can actually help take writing in entirely unexpected directions. This course will have students explore the fundamental techniques of the craft of poetry and experiment with a variety of constraints along the way. We’ll look at novels written entirely without the letter ‘e,’ works that make use of only a single vowel letter, and poems that read the same backward or forward, and together explore the tremendous freedom that awaits when we build ourselves boundaries to inside.
Here are the courses being offered in Week Two! (July 17-22, Ages 15-19) Derek Beaulieu - Poetry on the Edges of Meaning: Join derek beaulieu as we explore the edges of poetic composition: cut-up, collage, writing through, visual poetry and small press publishing will all be explored in a playful, open conversation on what poetry can do when no one is watching! Lyndsie Bourgon - The One Week Magazine: Not for the faint of heart! Over the course of six days we'll make a magazine from scratch. From title to art direction, editing to writing, you'll learn everything there is to know about making a magazine that you'd actually want to read. At the end, we'll show your parents "The Wall," where all magazines live until they find their home on sweet, sweet printed paper. Kim Firmston - Word MagicWizards! Wield wild words. Learn all the spells! Make time stop, rewind, slow down, speed up, and skip ahead. Cause scenes to turn monochrome, two-tone, black and white, and psychedelic. Deplete the senses with blindness, deafness, pas touche, tastelessness, and olfactory negation. Cast the duck in the oven spell and say nothing while saying everything! Mirror scenes with NO MIRROR! Learn these and other word spells that you can cast to the amazement of your friends, family, and editor. (The ministry of literature is not responsible for any magical mayhem which may result from this course. Regular unicorn restrictions apply). Enjoy it now – Word Magic! Coming to a classroom near you! Sam JefferyStudies in Conflict: Conflict is everywhere in media these days. Well, it's time to find out exactly what it is that makes fighting (be it physical or not) so compelling. Using media examples, stage combat, and our ideas, we'll dig right in. Strap in for a wild ride through the nitty gritty of why humans fight as we explore conflict with our words and our bodies. Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to move! Students are encouraged to bring examples of conflict (verbal, physical, or implied) they find compelling. Richard KemickCreative NonfictionDuring your week at Wordsworth you will take a creative nonfiction piece from pitch to publishable. Whether you’re inspired by David Sedaris or David Foster Wallace, Ian Brown or Bill Bryson, this workshop will help you take the mundane and turn it into the miraculous. By the end of the week, participants will have written a feature-length article that the magazines of the world will be clambering to see. Ahmed Knowmadic - Word Play and Authenticity In Spoken WordEveryone has a story, but not everyone is a story teller. Learn how to use spoken word to tell your story through wordplay and your own authentic style. Tim Mikula - Impulse David WilsonCreative Flow and The Writer's Voice: How we feel about ourselves informs our writing, and how we breathe inspires our writing. In this class we will explore artistic, empowering and fun disciplines, and then observe where these activities take us. Movement, breathing, meditation, drama games, yoga and vocal exploration all lead toward our goals of increased confidence, awareness and creativity. Paul ZitsConstraint Based WritingPalindromes (nurses run), lipograms (awkward grammar), & boule de neige (see above) are all examples of constraints, techniques that trigger ideas and inspiration by placing limits on writing! For constraint-based writers, these limits can actually help take writing in entirely unexpected directions. This course will have students explore the fundamental techniques of the craft of poetry and experiment with a variety of constraints along the way. We’ll look at novels written entirely without the letter ‘e,’ works that make use of only a single vowel letter, and poems that read the same backward or forward, and together explore the tremendous freedom that awaits when we build ourselves boundaries to inside.
Here are the courses being offered in Week Three! (July 24-29, Ages 14-19) Isaac Bond - Spoken Word Poetry Lyndsie Bourgon - The One Week Magazine or A Writer's Best Friend Marcello Di CintioA Sense of the World: In this creative nonfiction course, we will use our senses to seek out the stories in our everyday lives, and to translate the world around us into art on the page. Our eyes, nose, fingers, tongue and ears will guide us to the narratives that surround us. After all, our worlds are full of characters, scenes and stories. Let's use our senses to find them. Jani Krulc - The Short Form: Narratives that are nuanced, complex, engaging, and short. In this class, we'll explore brevity and excise the verbose. We will focus on form: notes, texts, postcards, scraps of paper, erasures; and we will cut content, revealing a lot while saying little. Colin Martin - What if DRAGONS?Speculative Fiction typically starts with a question, "What if...?" Different genres ask different variations on the question; for instance, What if robots had feelings? What if DRAGONS? What if my cat found a body? In our class, we will ask "What if?' Then, we'll create and explore the worlds where answers to that question appear. Cathy OstlereOn the Road – The Imaginary Road TripThe Road Trip is a classic narrative structure that can be used by aspiring writers to expand the imagination. In this class we’ll head out onto the imaginary road, see things we’ve never imagined, have adventures, meet quirky, strange people and we’ll write it all down – and maybe even on a scroll like Kerouac. Examples to read ahead:  On the Road by Jack Kerouac;  Mosquitoland by David Arnold; No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss; I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios; The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill. Simon RoseTime Travel Tales: In these workshops participants create a time machine, learn how to make the idea believable, examine the importance of research, write an outline for their adventure, the dramatic opening chapter, and an attention-grabbing paragraph for the back cover of a book. Emily UrsuliakPodcast Playground: Radio has experienced a renaissance with the reemergence of the podcast. This is a medium with all kinds of exciting storytelling potential. In this workshop we’ll be listening to samples of popular podcasts and radio shows to study what makes them compelling. We’ll discuss the issues that surround creating a narrative for broadcast: finding and crafting a compelling story, script-writing, using ambient noise and soundtracks effectively, and recording and editing content. Working by yourself, or a group, by the end of the week you will create a short podcast episode of your very own. David Wilson - Creative Flow and The Writer's Voice:  How we feel about ourselves informs our writing, and how we breathe inspires our writing. In this class we will explore artistic, empowering and fun disciplines, and then observe where these activities take us. Movement, breathing, meditation, drama games, yoga and vocal exploration all lead toward our goals of increased confidence, awareness and creativity.
 

Julia Seymour

Julia Seymour (Team Lead) began her involvement as part of the WordsWorth Creative Team back in the summer of 2010. Way back when the world was a very different place — a world that had not yet invented Candy Crush, or added ‘bae’ to the oxford dictionary; a world where Twilight was still a thing, and a Game of Thrones tv show was nothing but a distant dream. And now, after a brief WordsWorth hiatus in 2014, Julia is excited to be back again for her 5th summer as part of the WordsWorth team. She is a graduate of Grant MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts Program and a lover of Death Polo. After spending a couple of years in Vancouver working as a tour guide and pursuing further studies in Canadian History she moved back to her homeland of Edmonton in September. Since that time, she has had the great fortune to work at Fort Edmonton Park in the education department where she spends most of her days somewhere between the year 1846 and 1905. She is a theatre artist, playwright, and television nerd and is excited to be entering into her first year of a French Immersion Education Degree at the Campus St. Jean in September. Among other things, she is the winner of the 2012 Edmonton Fringe’s 24 Hour Playwriting Competition for her play, Passing and her work has been featured as part of North Vancouver’s Sacred Space Festival. Her favorite writing procrastination activities include: watching theme songs from 90s cartoon series, and practicing writing in the third person.    

Jamie Lewis

Jamie Lewis was born and raised in Central Alberta, spent a couple of years in Edmonton, and is now living in Lethbridge. She attended WordsWorth from 2005 to 2014, was published multiple times in Grip Magazine, and has participated in National Novel Writing Month since 2006. While novel writing is her greatest passion, she also enjoys creating visual art, traveling, singing, and songwriting. She is currently working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Lethbridge, where she majors in Anthropology and minors in Religious Studies. Being a creative team member at WordsWorth has been a dream of hers since she was eleven years old, so she is thrilled to be joining the team this July.        

Marc Herman Lynch

  Marc Herman Lynch is a fiction writer and poet. He’s the Vice President of filling Station magazine and co-runs the flywheel reading series in Calgary, AB. He’s published in numerous journals and received his Master’s of Arts in English at the University of Calgary.          
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This is not Gabriel Richardson

Gabriel Richardson's bio and photo are coming soon! Can't wait, really. I'm sure it's going to be the best bio ever created when it does appear. Best. Bio. Ever. Coming Soon!        
 

Sebastien Ringuette

Sebastien Ringuette is a British/French-Canadian crossbreed that successfully reached maturity in the harsh (although friendly) climate of Western Canada. He is a cartoonist, author, artist-in-residence at Calgary schools and takes every chance he can get to teach those very practices to kids and teens in lieu of useful skills like farming or pipe fitting. He is trying really hard to be funny pretty much all the time and considers making people smile the second best thing ever, right after oxygen. Find Sebastien at srrscribe.com      

Jessie Tollestrup

Jessie Tollestrup is a musician and spoken word artist from Milk River, Alberta. They are in the second year of their Jazz and Contemporary Piano Diploma at Vancouver Community College. As a solo act, they perform experimental folk, incorporating guitar, harmonica, and a looping pedal. In August of 2014, Jess teamed up with spoken word artist Sebastien Wen, touring from Calgary, AB to Sherbrooke, QC. Jess is a member of the 5 piece rock-a-billy/surf/country/doo-wop group The Speakerphones, who will be releasing their debut album in September. Jess’ poetry has been published in Grip, Capilano University’s ‘The Liar’, and Lethbridge Fourth Wave Freaks. Jess was a camper at WordsWorth for many years, and is thrilled to be returning as a Creative Team Member for the third time.    
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