Meet the 2017 Borderlines Writers Circle

Mila Philipzig was born in Manila, Philippines and arrived in Edmonton in 1984 with a grant for graduate studies at the University of Alberta. After completing her Master’s, she moved to Germany on a scholarship towards a PhD. In Munich, she met her husband and they have one son. Mila and family have lived in various places around the globe, preferring to be on the road experiencing various cultures and perspectives rather than being tied down with a mortgage. This changed in 2007 when they decided to call Edmonton home in order to provide a more predictable environment for their son, and to enable him to form long-term friendships. Mila works at Stantec and is active in the community. In 2016, she published two bi-lingual children’s books (Pilipino and English), both reflecting her interests in family, travel, multiculturalism, and diversity.

Mila is working on children’s fiction with Tololwa Mollel.



Leilei Chen is an academic, a writer, and a translator. She is the author of Re-Orienting China: Travel Writing and Cross-cultural Understanding, which was nominated for the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize and the Wilfrid Eggelston Award for Nonfiction in 2017. She translated Steven Grosby’s Nationalism: A Very Short Introduction and published its Chinese version with Yilin Press in China in 2017. She teaches English literature, Writing Studies, and Chinese-English translation at the University of Alberta, and is working on the Chinese version of Re-Orienting China to be published by East China Normal University Press in Shanghai in 2019.

Leilei is working on travel writing/memoir with Ruth Dyck Fehderau.




Lisa Dublin is from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. She moved to Edmonton with her family in 2013. She has always loved writing, poetry, and performance poetry and has won a few competitions along the way. She holds an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business, and most recently an MA in English from the University of Alberta. She has been a lecturer, a TV presenter/producer and business owner. She published her first chapbook called Sani Baat – A Voice Throwing, in 2012. She’s come to the conclusion that she doesn’t have very much to say about a lot of things, or it might be that she has things to say about just a few themes: faith, family, race, the human capacity to overcome, and people in the workplace.

Lisa is working on memoir with Myrl Coulter.


Luciana Erregue-Sacchi is a Canadian-Argentinian bilingual poet. She holds a Master’s in Art History from the University of Alberta (2016). Luciana’s areas of interest include the politics of canon formation, official portraiture of the Americas, the politics of museum display, and performances of spectatorship. Prior to her graduate work, Luciana studied Law in her native Argentina and was a bilingual art educator at the AGA between the years 2004-2005 and 2010-2012. Her published poems include My Prisons/Mis Prisiones (The Polyglot) and The Embroiderer from Harrods, Argentina/La bordadora de Harrods, Argentina (La Rabia del Axolotl). Her poetry addresses the connection between art and memory.

Luciana is working on a multidisciplinary poetry project with Anna Marie Sewell.




Shimelis Gebremichael moved to Canada about four years ago. Shimelis is originally from Ethiopia where he practiced journalism in both print and electronic mediums. He is currently a Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT) prospective graduate at the University of Alberta.  He also did his MA in Journalism and Communications and BA in Foreign Language and Literature (majoring in English) at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Over the last four years, he volunteered for CJSR, Centre for Family Literacy, and his church in Edmonton. He is passionate about making a difference in the community through his literary works (poems, prose and other forms). He also aspires to continue his journalism career in both English and Amharic languages.  Shimelis is married and blessed with two beautiful kids.

Shimelis is working on memoir with Jannie Edwards.



(Ja)nine Muster was the child who hid behind a book while the other kids were playing during lunch break at school. Although she has not yet become the next famous author, the Leipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), a daily print newspaper in Germany, was quite happy with her regular contributions on inspiring locals, concerts and theatre productions, reportages, and travelogues. Once she finally discovered the internet, she produced online content for Eisbär Media GmbH, a web developer in Leipzig. Being passionate about humans’ production of and interaction with their spaces, Nine (pronounced like Nina) moved to Edmonton and recently completed her Master of Arts degree in Sociology at the University of Alberta. Nine cares about language, gets excited when sentences flow smoothly into one another, and is passionate about the Oxford comma. Her biggest dream is to become an author Henry Miller would want to read.

Nine is working on fiction with Jasmina Odor.



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