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January 24th, 2024, 12 – 1 PM MST, Online, Free

The ethics of writing on social issues can be a complicated topic of conversation for writers: What does it mean, really? Are certain issues off-limits for particular writers? What are the types of issues that fall under this very broad theme? How can we strive to write characters and narratives that feel meaningful, informed, and appropriate to the story we’re trying to tell? Join our group of panellists as they discuss the ethics of writing on social issues during our first Controversy @ Noon panel in 2024.

Please pre-register for the panel here.

About The Panellists

Dr. Jenna Butler (she/her)

Dr. Jenna Butler (she/her) is an award-winning poet, essayist, mentor, and editor.

She is the author of three books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, Wells, and Aphelion; a collection of ecological essays, A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail; and the Arctic travelogue Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard. Her book, Revery: A Year of Bees, essays about beekeeping, climate grief, and trauma recovery, was a finalist for the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award in Non-Fiction and a longlisted title for CBC Canada Reads 2023.

Butler teaches creative writing at the University of Saskatchewan and serves as the Environmental Writing Fellow for the Spring Creek Project and Oregon Wild. She teaches for Calgary’s Alexandra Writers’ Centre as their outgoing Writer in Residence, focusing on ecological writing. Her work has its roots in the off-grid organic farm she runs with her husband in northern Treaty 6, Alberta.

Natasha Deen

Recent works: The Spooky Sleuths series, Book three, Don’t Go Near the Water!

Guyanese-Canadian NATASHA DEEN is a best-selling author, with novels for kids, teens, and adults, and she’s a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. Her novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, won the Amy Mather Teen Book Award and her most recent YA title, The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad was a Globe & Mail‘s Top 100 Books for 2022. When she’s not writing, she teaches Introduction to Children’s Writing with the University of Toronto’s SCS and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house. 

Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike

Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike is the author of literary works such as there’s more (2023), Double Wahala, Double Trouble (2021), Wish Maker (2021), and a co-editor of Wreaths for a Wayfarer (2020).

Rayanne Haines (she/her)

Rayanne Haines is an award-winning author, educator, and cultural producer. She is the creator and host of the literary podcast Crow Reads, is the President of the League of Canadian Poets, and teaches at MacEwan University. Her hybrid poetry collection, Tell the Birds Your Body is Not a Gun won the 2022 Stephan G. Stephansson Alberta Literary Award and was shortlisted for both the Robert Kroetch Award and the ReLit Award. She’s been published in the Globe and Mail, Minola Review, Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire and others. A CNF poetry and essay collection exploring grief, identity, and gendered trauma is forthcoming from Frontenac House September 2024

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