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WGA Podcast: Exploring the Relationship Between Canadian Literature and Canadian Identity

Sutina Chou traveled across Canada to collect ways that Canadian identity has impacted Canadian literature, and vice versa. Through interviews with authors, she hoped to contribute more first-hand data to the existing academic literature surrounding the link between literature and identity in a Canadian context. Discover what WGA members had to say in August 2016. This podcast was produced by Michael Maguire and Julie Robinson for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta. Part 1 & 2.

The contributors:

SUTINA CHOU is a fourth-year student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She is pursuing a Combined Honours degree in Arts and Science and Political Science. In 2016, Sutina was one of the recipients of the Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance – her project, entitled “From Coast to Coast,” explored the relationship between Canadian literature and Canadian identity.

Arthur Ellis Awards finalist and Whistler Independent Book Awards nominee, S.G. WONG writes the Lola Starke series and Crescent City short stories: hard-boiled detective tales set in an alternate-history 1930s-era “Chinese L.A.” replete with ghosts and magic. A member of Crime Writers of Canada and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, she is also currently President of Sisters in Crime—Canada West. As an acclaimed moderator and creator, she has presented on panels and workshops in venues ranging from the Calgary Comic Expo to LitFest Alberta. She is based in Edmonton where she can often be found staring out the window in between frenzied bouts of typing.

ALISON CLARKE is a writer/artist/spoken word artist. Alison is the author of The Sisterhood and Racine, both in The Sisterhood Series, published by Little Bird Publishing House in London, England. Both books incorporate themes of the power of friendship, teamwork, and love. Alison won the 2016 Writer of The Year award from Diversity magazine, for The Sisterhood. Before Alison entered mainstream publishing, she was indie published with two picture books: The Adventures of Eli The Elephant, and Eli Goes to The Moon. Alison is very involved in the community, participating in events such as Black Arts Matter, curated by Nasra Adem. In August, 2017, Alison will be part of Chapter.con, a book convention where she will meet fantasy authors from around the world. She will also be a panelist talking about the importance of diversity in young adult literature. For Alison, life is an interesting journey. Whether she is immersing herself in poetry, prose, or visual art, Alison is at home.

CANDAS JANE DORSEY is the internationally-known, award-winning author of novels Black Wine (originally Tor, re-released Five Rivers) and Paradigm of Earth (Tor); short story collections Machine Sex and other stories, Dark Earth Dreams, Vanilla and other stories and ICE and other stories; four poetry books; several anthologies edited/co-edited, and numerous published stories, poems, reviews, and critical essays. For fourteen years, she was editor/publisher of the literary press The Books Collective, including River Books and Tesseract Books. She teaches writing to adults and youth, communications at MacEwan University, and speaks widely on SF and other topics. She was founding president of SFCanada, and has been president of the Writers Guild of Alberta. In 2005 she was awarded the Province of Alberta Centennial Gold Medal for her artistic achievement and community work, and in 2017 the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts. She is also a community activist, advocate and leader.

 JIM FLATMAN is a retired Canada Lands Surveyor and member of APEGA, the Alberta Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists. Jim served on the Canadian Metric Commission and as APEGA’s representative on the Engineering and Science Faculties of the U of A. He was also a member and Chairman of the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary management board. Until recently his writing was technical, dealing with such topics as geo-coordinates, the use of GPS in utilities mapping, computer programing for structure alignment, etc. He recently completed his first fictional work, the novel “Maryanne”.

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