Meet the 2024 Writers

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4:30 pm | Saturday, August 17

Lorna Crozier & Jess Housty

The Festival of the Written Arts’ annual poetry event features Lorna Crozier, one of Canada’s pre-eminent poets, and debut poet Jess Housty (‘Cúagilákv), a parent, writer and grassroots activist with Heiltsuk (Indigenous) and mixed settler ancestry.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Lorna Crozier has been acknowledged for her contributions to Canadian literature, her teaching and her mentoring with five honorary doctorates, most recently from McGill and Simon Fraser Universities. Her books have received numerous national awards, including the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry. The Globe and Mail declared The Book of Marvels: A Compendium of Everyday Things one of its Top 100 Books of the Year, and Amazon chose her memoir as one of the 100 books you should read in your lifetime. A Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria, Crozier has performed for Queen Elizabeth II and has read her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, on every continent except Antarctica. Her book, What the Soul Doesn’t Want, was nominated for the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. In 2018, Lorna Crozier received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Steven Price called Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats), her latest nonfiction book, “one of the great love stories of our time.” Her most recent poetry collection, After That, is a meditation of grief and loss.

Jess Housty (‘Cúagilákv) serves their community as an herbalist and land-based educator alongside broader work in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors. They are inspired and guided by relationships with the homelands, their extended family and their non-human kin, and they are committed to raising their children in a similar framework of kinship and land love. They reside and thrive in their unceded ancestral territory in the community of Bella Bella, BC. Their debut collection, Crushed Wild Mint, explores our shared humanity through sensory, textural poems. It is a finalist for both the 2024 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award and it has spent over thirty weeks on the BC Bestsellers list.

Book cover: After That by Lorna Crozier
Book cover: Crushed Wild Mint by Jess Housty
Lorna Crozier - photo by Kamil Bialous
Lorna Crozier – photo by Kamil Bialous
Jess Housty - photo by Rhon Wilson
Jess Housty - photo by Rhon Wilson