How do multilingual speakers negotiate the space between two or more cultures in an increasingly multicultural and multilingual environment? How can multilingual writers expand the horizon for literature in our city, province, and country? With a strong passion for English and/or their heritage languages, six Canadian writers offer their inspiration and stories; raise questions about community, nation, and belonging; and explore new ways of addressing audiences in Canada as well as at home.
Panelists will include Mila Philipzig, Leilei Chen, Lisa Dublin, Luciana Erregue-Sacchi, Shimelis Gebremichael, and (Ja)nine Muster.
Hosted by Nisha Patel.
Presented by the Borderlines Writers Circle members of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
Mila Bongco-Philipzig is from the Philippines and came to Edmonton on a scholarship for graduate studies on Comparative Literature. After completing her MA at the University of Alberta, she moved to Germany on a scholarship towards a PhD on Cultural Studies. In Munich, she met her husband and they have one son. Mila is the author of Reading Comics: Language, Culture, and the Concept of Superhero in Comic Books (2000). In 2016, she published two bilingual children’s books, Sandy Beaches to Snow and Goodnight Philippines, Goodnight World – both reflecting her interests in family, travel, multiculturalism, and diversity.
Leilei Chen is the author of Re-orienting China: Travel Writing and Cross-cultural Understanding published by the University of Regina Press in 2016. She is working on the Chinese version of this book which will be published in East China Normal University Press, Shanghai, in 2019. She translated Steven Grosby’s Nationalism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford U
niversity Press) and published its Chinese version with Yilin Press, Nanjing, China, in 2017. She is a member of the Borderlines Writers Circle in 2017 and is working on a collection of travel writing/memoir pieces. Her memoir piece, “Cleaning Sarah’s Room,” is in the anthology titled Home: Stories Connecting Us All; “Life Begins at Forty” is forthcoming in another collection called Looking Back, Moving Forward which is published by Mawenzi Press. Her writing also appears in magazines and newspapers such as Literary Review of Canada, Fifty 3 Magazine, Women of China, and The Chinese Journal. She also blogs on her website. She teaches English literature, writing Studies, Chinese-English translation, and travel writing at the University of Alberta.
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 fiction.
Luciana Erregue-Sacchi is an Argentinian-Canadian art historian and poet from Edmonton, AB. She is a member of the WGA Borderlines Writers Circle 2017-2018 cohort. Her works has appeared in international and Canadian literary magazines. Luciana has performed at Edmonton Poetry Festival, Stroll of Poets, and at the University of Alberta (Canopy Project). Most recently Luciana guest-edited the Spring 2018 issue “Can Lit: Curating Our Canons,” of Canadian multilingual literary magazine The Polyglot. She is currently working on her first poetry manuscript.
Shimelis Gebremichael moved to Canada about five years ago. Shimelis is originally from Ethiopia where he practiced journalism; in both print and electronic mediums. He recently finished his Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT) from the University of Alberta. His capstone project was on Makerspace that enabled him well understand how makerspaces translate the values of public libraries with particular reference to Edmonton Public Libraries.
Shimelis also did his MA in Journalism and Communications and BA in Foreign Language and Literature (Majoring English) at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He is currently residing in Edmonton. Over the last five years, he volunteered for CJSR 88.5 FM, Center for Family Literacy, Catholic Social Service (CSS), Edmonton Immigrant Services Association (EISA) and his Church in Edmonton; St. Mary.
Shimelis is passionate about making a difference in the community through his literary works (poems, prose and other forms). He follows current local and global affairs and aspires to continue his journalism career blending more specifically with politics, peace and security issues.
Shimelis is blessed with two beautiful kids.
(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.