Meet the 2019 Writers

Ticket sales open Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 8 a.m.

Writers confirmed to date

Randy Boyagoda

Randy Boyagoda is a writer, critic and scholar. A regular voice on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, Boyagoda is the author of three novels. The latest, Original Prin, is “tightly paced” and “richly humorous” (Toronto Star) and “dazzling and funny” (Charles Foran).

Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is a Haudenosaunee writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The Malahat Review, Room, The New Quarterly, The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. Her collection of essays, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, will be published in March. “A fresh and revolutionary cultural critic alternately witty, vulnerable and piercing.” (Eden Robinson)

Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestsellers. He is a two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for The Best Laid Plans (2008) and No Relation (2015). His next bestseller, Albatross, will be published in August 2019. We forward to celebrating its launch at the Festival.

Chantal Gibson

Chantal Gibson is a Vancouver-based artist and educator who teaches writing and visual communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University. “How She Read is a collection of genre-blurring poems about the representation of Black women, their hearts, minds and bodies, across the Canadian cultural imagination.” (Caitlin Press)

Rachel Giese

Rachel Giese is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, editor-at-large at Chatelaine and the author of Boys: What it Means to Become a Man. “Deeply researched, but also deeply considered … A page-turner. This is a must-read for anyone who loves boys.” (Tabatha Southey)

Ian Hampton

Acclaimed cellist Ian Hampton is, among many outstanding achievements, a founding member of the Purcell String Quartet. He embarked upon writing his first book at the age of 73. Jan in 35 Pieces: A Memoir in Music was published 10 years later and is shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize.

Ian Hampton will be in conversation with author and poet Barbara Nickel, the editor of Jan in 35 Pieces.

Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay has written 10 books that have received a host of literary honours. Her most recent book, All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Memoir, won the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and was on the shortlist for the RBC Taylor Prize. “Page-after-page, this is a masterclass in observation­—a lesson in how meaning can emerge from grief.” (Jury citation, 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize)

Ann Hui

In 2016, Ann Hui drove from Vancouver Island to Fogo Island to visit and write about small-town Chinese restaurants and the families who run them. The result is Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Café and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants. It weaves her own family’s story about coming to Canada with the stories of Chinese restaurant owners from coast to coast.

Nazanine Hozar

Nazanine Hozar was born in Tehran and lives in Vancouver. A graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing MFA Program, her work has been published in The Vancouver Observer and Prairie Fire. Hozar’s debut novel, Aria, takes us inside the mounting dissent that resulted in the Iranian revolution, as witnessed by Aria, orphaned as an infant on the streets of Tehran.

Dr. Michael Klein

Dr. Michael Klein’s Dissident Doctor: Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo is a personal account of a life and career devoted to maternal, infant and family health. His convictions often compelled him to defy the medical establishment. At the heart of his practice is a dedication to his patients and his principles.

Dr. Klein will be in conversation with his son Seth Klein who recently stepped down from his role as BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight won the 2018 Vancouver Book Award for Dear Occupant, a creative nonfiction memoir about growing up in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Using a variety of literary forms, Knight reflects on her childhood through a series of letters addressed to the current occupants now living in the twenty different houses she moved in and out of with her mother and brother.

Keith Maillard

Keith Maillard is the author of 14 novels. He has won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and has been shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Commonwealth Literary Prize. Twin Studies was published in October 2018. “Maillard can deal with complexity at all levels and turn it into engaging story and moving lyrical beauty.”(Vancouver Sun)

Lee Maracle

A member of the Sto:lo Nation, Lee Maracle is a storyteller, poet, thinker, and, over the last four decades, has become one of the most prolific and respected Indigenous writers in Canada. Her latest book, My Conversations with Canadians, is a collection of essays in which she answers some of the “big” questions she has been asked over the years. Lee Maracle will deliver the Bruce Hutchison Memorial Lecture.

Darrel J. McLeod

Darrel J. McLeod’s memoir, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction and is shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize. “A fast-moving, intimate memoir of dreams and nightmares—lyrical and gritty, raw and vulnerable, told without pity, but with phoenix-like strength.” (Jury citation, Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction)

Katherine Penfold

Katherine Penfold is an accomplished and highly respected singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is well known to Sunshine Coast jazz fans. She has self-produced a number of albums and is currently at work on her latest that will be released later this year. Storytelling is the passion that drives the Nova Scotia-born BC-based artist and we are thrilled that Katherine Penfold will close the 2019 Festival of the Written Arts on Sunday, August 18.

Adam Pottle

Adam Pottle is the author of the novella The Bus; Ultrasound, a full-length play, and the novel Mantis Dreams: The Journal of Dr. Dexter Ripley. His work explores the discomforting and liberating aspects of Deafness and disability. Voice: Adam Pottle on Writing with Deafness will be published in the spring of 2019.

Eden Robinson

Eden Robinson is an award-winning and beloved Haisla and Heiltsuk author. She has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, twice for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for Monkey Beach. Her latest book, Trickster Drift, is the second in a trilogy.

Peter Robinson

We’re delighted to welcome Peter Robinson back to the Festival with Careless Love, the 25th Inspector Banks crime fiction novel, a Canadian bestseller. Robinson has received six Arthur Ellis Awards along with many international awards. His books have been published in translation all around the world.

Yasuko Thanh

Yasuko Thanh is the author of a short story collection, Floating Like the Dead. Her debut novel, Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction and the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Her forthcoming memoir, Mistakes to Run With, peels back the layers of a turbulent life to reveal how circumstances dictate the people we become.

Rhea Tregebov

Rhea Tregebov is the author of poetry, fiction and children’s picture books, and the editor of a number of anthologies. She has received numerous awards and honours and taught for many years in the Creative Writing department at the University of British Columbia. The Knife Sharpener’s Bell was one of the Globe & Mail’s Top 100 books in 2010. Her latest novel, Rue de Rosiers, will be published in April 2019.

Richard Van Camp

Richard Van Camp is the author of 24 books including novels, short stories, comics, board books for babies and picture books for young children. Van Camp, a member of Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation of Fort Smith, NWT is a gifted and internationally-renowned storyteller.He is also a tireless promoter of Indigenous writing and writers in Canada. His collection of short stories, Moccasin Square Gardens, will be published in April.

Ian Williams

Ian Williams has written two collections of poetry: Personals, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, and You Know Who You Are, shortlisted for the ReLit poetry prize. His collection of short fiction, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His debut novel, Reproduction, has just been published. Williams is an Assistant Professor of Poetry in UBC’s Department of Creative Writing.

Lindsay Wong

Lindsay Wong’s The Woo-Woo is a finalist for the 2019 Canada Reads and was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. That’s an auspicious debut! The Woo-Woo is a memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional family who blame their woes on ghosts and demons. “She is caustic, observant, relentless, and, in my opinion, the future of Asian Canadian writing.” – Kevin Chong