Contributors

GHAZALEH ABASSALIAN was born in Tehran and raised in Amsterdam. Currently based in Montreal, she is a visual artist and writer. She holds a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and explores voice, words, tone, as well as the rhythms of language. Her writing examines human relationships, both good and bad.

LETÍCIA ALVAREZ UCHA was born in Porto Alegre and is a lawyer. She has participated in several anthologies published by Câmara Brasileira de Jovens Escritores (CBJE – Brazilian Chamber of Young Writers). Six of her stories were selected for the 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 annual editions of the CBJE’s Brazilian Literary Panorama – Best Stories.

MICHAEL ANDERSON is foremost a dancer who has recently been exploring other creative outlets such as writing. Originally from London, England.

CLAIRE AVISAR is a 4th year undergraduate student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Although she left an academic career in English Literature to study Anthropology and History, she has not yet escaped her passion for the English language, and has continued a penchant for creative writing. Throughout personal struggles with mental health, eating disorders, finding her womanhood, and other quintessentially millennial afflictions, poetry has become the lens through which she is able to process our complex world. Besides a means of personal expression, she is also an adamant advocate for the power of writing, in all its capacities, to empower individuals and communities to create change. Her work has appeared in on campus publications such as the McGill Daily and The Veg, and she is working towards curating a manuscript. She hopes, if nothing more, these poems bring a moment of peace or connection to those who read them.

STEFAN BANEA is an undergraduate student in English Literature at Concordia University. He enjoys the occasional challenge of writing and sipping London Fogs.

CRAIG BARRON short stories have appeared in Chelsea Station, Glitterwolf, The Church-Wellesley Review, Event, Lichen, Front&Centre, and the anthology The Air Between Us. He is a graduate of the UBC Creative Writing MFA Program.

ROBERT BERRY lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: ‘Smoke’ (2000), ‘Stone’ (2004), ‘Seamark’ (2005),’ Sky Writing’ (2006),’ Sun Music’ (2007),’Mudfishes’ (2008), ‘Moontide’ (2010), ‘Swamp Palace’ (2012) and ‘Toffee Apples’ (2014). His latest collection ‘Gorgeous’ is out from Sylph Editions, London, available on Amazon. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as ‘Stand’ (Leeds, UK), ‘Poetry Salzburg’ (Salzburg, Austria), ‘Westerly’ (Perth, AUS), ‘Rattapallax’ (NY, USA) and ‘Landfall’ (Dunedin, NZ). Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He is married with three sons.

DÉSIRÉ BETTY is a Mississauga, Ontario based artist that began her innovative journey at an early age.  Her passion for the arts, led her to pursue a career in Architecture; broadening her quest for constant creativity from the canvas to the built environment.  Although content in her profession, there is nothing more fulfilling than creating art, in all its forms.  In 2009, she vowed to complement her architecturally based career with her artistic pursuits. Désiré has since exhibited in several solo and group shows, had her art and poetry published in several magazines and sold pieces to art enthusiasts around the world.

VICTORIA BLANCO resides in Northern California where she writes for her blog, The Panty Junkyard. She has published a book of poetry entitled, Chocolate Mint Nite Drives.

ZANI BOILLAT is a writer and independant artist. You’ll find her drawing or taking photographs while listening to some good old Édith Piaf.

KELSEY NICHOLE BROOKS is just a writer. An individual who found herself through pen ink and countless sheets of writing paper. If its a biography you came for then you will have to continue to read her stories as they will tell you all you need to know about her. She is simply a writer.

SIMON BUD WAKE is a high school teacher who splits his time between Montreal and Inukjuak Quebec, which is a fly-in-only Inuit village. Simon is a graduate of Concordia’s creative writing program, and is currently doing his masters in education at McGill. He is working on his first book of poetry about fatherhood and his experience in the north.

ANEEK CHATTERJEE is an Indian poet, currently living in Kolkata. He has been published / accepted  in ‘Ann Arbor Review’, ‘The Stray Branch’, ‘Ariel Chart’, ‘Eskimo Pie’, ‘The Scryptic Magazine of Alternative Art and Literature’, ‘Chicago Record Magazine’, ‘The Pangolin Review’, ‘Taj Mahal Review’ and in eight anthologies. He is a college teacher with a Ph.D. in International Relations.

MEGAN CIGANA is currently studying at Marianopolis College. She hopes to later pursue a University education at Concordia in their Creative Writing program. She aspires to one day own an independent bookstore.

CHRISTOPHER W. DIX, after obtaining his BA degree, was first a journalist in South Wales. He later became a teacher, then a high school principal, and finally, a Secular Celebrant, before stopping work at age 65. He is now 71.

NIKKI DONADIO is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and holds degrees in English and Adult Education. She currently lives in Newmarket, Ontario and is a Master of Arts student at the University of Gloucestershire. Her short fiction has been featured in Plenitude and Gertrude; her poetry in Borealis, Her Heart Poetry, Typishly and Soliloques Anthology. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikki_donadio.

DANIELLE EYER is an emerging writer and playwright based in Montreal, with a fondness for musical theatre, big cities, and typewriters, although she’s never used one and doubts she would enjoy it. Roman Payne said that “all forms of madness, bizarre habits, awkwardness in society, general clumsiness, are justified in the person who creates good art.” Luckily, Danielle benefits from every one of these.

MICHAEL FORMATO is a science-fiction writer born and raised in Montreal Quebec. He is currently a student at McGill University in the faculty of Education. As a writer of fiction, he is obsessed with twisting and contorting what we as a society take for granted in life. Things like technology, family, relationships, the very idea of love, and bringing out the subconscious anxieties that reside just below the surface of our paranoid thoughts.

NATACHA GAGNÉ has always been fascinated with words and books, even as a child. When she got her old typewriter and some old books, it began to come together. The illustrations served as a catalyst that helped her words come to life. In a world where we can erase and photoshop everything, Natacha finds that the permanence of the typewriter ink helps to let go of the idea of perfection and embrace the little flaws of her work, the double letters, the spelling mistakes, as part of its DNA.

ANDRES GARZON is an illustrator and designer living in London, ON. A die hard lover of whimsical portraiture and dreamy landscapes, he naturally gravitate to good ol’ pencil, paper, and paint, as well as digital platforms that emulate that same hand-made feel and craftsmanship. Andres loves bright colour palettes, striking imagery, friendly and accessible design, and neat and original artwork. His work revolves around themes of femininity, relationships, and the world around us.

PETER GENDRON is a queer, nonbinary Montreal-based artist and writer, white settler, sometimes-radio personality, and total softie. As both an intellectual and a pseudo-intellectual, Gendron tries to create a space in poetry that would be familiar and welcoming to ardent intellectuals and people who fall into the cartoon-viewing demographic. He’s twentey-seven years young, bookish, and loves you thiiiiiiiiis much. If you like cute nerds and/or the piece of writing this bio accompanies, please write!

ANGELA HANNA GOULENE is a difficult to live with French, biracial intellectual with a love and adoration for children and cats, who hates pretty much everything else. She spends most of her time watching horror films and cartoons, as well as drawing, writing, singing, and just binge-watching anime.When she isn’t busy doing that, she loves to spend her budget on books that are thousands of pages long which she won’t have the time to read.The loves of her life are undoubtedly her Siamese cat Clea, storytelling, and traditional animation. She currently resides in Montreal where she spends most of her time writing or working on various show projects.

BRITTANY HENRIQUES is a passionate Journalism student at Concordia University minoring in human rights. A deep thinker, and lover of all art in its strangest forms, Brittany spends her time drinking large amounts of coffee, admiring dogs and working on her poetry book when she isn’t writing articles. Deeply inspired by Humans of New York, her biggest dream is to one day become a visual journalist and travel around the globe to give a voice to those who are silenced.

BINI ISRAEL is a seasoned writer. He has been writing for the local and international media, and recently worked for Cherry Africa Magazine. He is married with a son.

RORY JAY is a non-binary CEGEP student who writes poems, science-fiction, and contemporary fiction, often drawing on their experiences with gender, autism spectrum disorder, and mental illness. They love literature and storytelling of all kinds, from books, to television, to video games, to musicals, to anime. They are passionate about exploring new ideas, analyzing the world, and sharing their experiences.

HANNAH KAYA is a thinker, performer, and activist based in Montreal. Her work offers ludic, participatory, and performative methods of enacting radical imagination. She is the co-founder of Fishbowl Collective – a glitter-punk, feminist clown company promoting insurrectional and intimate dialogue, and the Togethering Lab – a participatory & interdisciplinary experiment that plays with ways of being together, and collaborates with the elephant’s collective. Sometimes, she writes poetry about the things that happen to her in her life.

LAURA KESTREL is a West-country girl at heart, the beautiful landscape and not-so-beautiful realities of growing up in Cornwall, England have always influenced Laura, as a way to express herself in a way that no other medium quite could. An empowering voice, she focuses on giving strength to the female presence in society. In 2016, she represented South-West England in the National Poetry Anthology.

MINAHIL KHAN, or ‘Mina’ for short, is a CEGEP student at Marianopolis College studying Arts & Sciences. When she isn’t studying, you can find her reading dystopian and mystery novels, or drawing people she knows.

KIMBERLY KING is an avid fan of dark fiction and poetry, has been a writer and artist for the past five years, and was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.

LAUREN KLEIDERMAN holds a technical diploma in Illustration and Design from Dawson College and a B.F.A. in the Specialization, Art Education – Visual Arts program at Concordia University. She continues to apply her creativity and technical skill to the general creative market as a Montreal-based freelance illustrator and is a strong supporter of promoting the arts for all through the domain of art education.

MIRANDA LALLA is a first-year liberal arts student at Dawson College. She has turned her tendency of run-on sentences into a lifestyle. Through writing, she hopes to bring attention to the value of the people and things that tend to get lost in the routine of everyday life.

RASHA LAMA is a poet/photographer infatuated with the juxtaposition of all things including light/dark, angles/curves, masculinity/femininity, and nature/humanity. Explore more of her work on her appropriately-named website: rashalama.tk.

VICTORIA LE PIANE is a Design student at Concordia University. Her preferred mediums are oil paint and graphic design.

JACQUELINE LEVITAN was born and raised in Toronto and is currently in her first year in a dual degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at Concordia University. Coming from a theatrical and musical background, she is excited to find different ways to fuse those two passions with her love of writing as she continues to develop her identity as an artist. Pennies is her foray into short fiction.

OLIVER LIM was born in the Philippines to a Filipina mother and a Fil-Chinese dad. He moved to Canada in 2004 as a teenager, and has not had any formal training in creative writing. He uses writing as a tool, very much like his art (painting), to be in my own little space. He views it as his safe place, his comfort zone, where his mind is free to do whatever it wants, using only words or colors or shapes.

ROSIE LONG DECTER is a musician and writer based in Montreal. She works as Marketing and Publicity Assistant at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry and performs regularly in local band Bodywash. She graduated from McGill University with Joint Honours in English and Political Science and was a 2017 recipient of the Lionel Shapiro Award for Creative Writing.

MARIJA LUKIC is an emerging writer and was born in Belgrade, Serbia. She came to Canada at the age of six and currently lives in Oakville, Ontario. In addition to short fiction, she is working on her first novel. When not writing, she acts in local theatre and collects degrees. So far she has three: a Bachelor of Arts in English, one in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, and a Masters in Global Business Management from France.

BRANDON MARLON is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 250+ publications in 28 countries. http://www.brandonmarlon.com

ROBYN MARTELLY is from magical Cape Breton Island. She grew up in the diverse community of Whitney Pier, a Canadian heritage site. She’s a contributing author, writes a monthly community column in the Cape Breton Post called Pier Dear and is a self-taught artist, with her skills ranging from painting to poetry. She has 15+ years’ experience creating beautiful art and writing children’s poetry. Robyn’s art is inspired by her culture, community and current events.

MATTHEW MARTINO was born and raised in Montreal, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Communication Studies at Concordia University.

ILONA MARTONFI is the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy (Coracle Press, 2009). Black Grass (Broken Rules Press, 2012) and The Snow Kimono (Inanna Publications, 2015). Forthcoming, Salt Bride (Inanna, 2019). The Tempest (Inanna 2020). Founder and Artistic Director of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings. QWF 2010 Community Award.

SHANNON MASTROMONICO was born and raised in Montreal. She has been writing poetry/creating art for over twenty years and is an alumni of the Dawson college photography program.

VICTORIA MASTROPIETRO is a librarian-in-training. In 2016 she received her bachelor’s in English Literature from Concordia University. She was then accepted into McGill’s Information Studies program and expects her Master’s Degree this June. To see more of her work, check out her creative writing blog: Four Hoofs and a Horn or her Instagram @fourhoofsandahorn.

STEVEN MAYOFF was born and raised in Montreal and moved to Prince Edward Island in 2001. His fiction and poetry have appeared in literary journals across Canada and the U.S. as well as in Ireland, Algeria, France, Wales. England and Croatia. His two books of fiction are the story collection Fatted Calf Blues (Turnstone Press, 2009) and the novel Our Lady Of Steerage (Bunim & Bannigan, 2015). Upcoming is a poetry chapbook Leonard’s Flat an ekphrastic cycle to be published by Grey Borders Books this year and a full-length poetry collection Swinging Between Water and Stone to be published by Guernica Editions in 2019.

ANGELINA MAZZA is pursuing a B.A. in English Literature at McGill University.

CRISTIANE MORPHINE is a Brazilian writer born in 1987. They graduated in Production of Electronic Music. Their award-winning work has been published in anthologies, magazines and collections. Their book of poetry Distorções was released in 2015.

MATTHEW MURPHY was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, and currently lives in Montreal. His debut novel A Beckoning War (Baraka Books, 2016) has been called “the product of an amazing new talent” by Quill & Quire, and “a creditable 1st novel” by Margaret Atwood (on Twitter.) Night Shades is an excerpt from his completed novel manuscript, a literary horror thriller entitled Fugitive Dreams.

PAT NADEAU has been living in Montreal ever since he graduated from film school three years ago. Pat currently works in the VFX film industry as a production coordinator. He loves writing short stories and screenplays, and has directed 2 shorts films. His favourite genres are horror, crime, and family dramas, which aren’t always mutually exclusive. He wishes to continue writing and directing in the future.

SHANNON NEELEY hails from Quebec’s beautiful Eastern Townships, and recently graduated from Bishop’s University. As a freelance writer she contributes to online music publications in her spare time. Shannon loves to surround herself with music, writing, fashion and art and stays busy by working on her creative projects. Her heart lies in all-day breakfast joints and she also happens to be mildly obsessed with pugs!

MICHAEL OCCHIONERO received a B.A. from Concordia University, and is currently completing an M.A. at Queen’s University. His first novel ‘Idle Hands’ was published in 2017. Michael resides in Montreal, Canada. For more information, and Michael on Instagram or Facebook.

ELENA OLVERA was born in Mexico. Currently based in Montreal, she is a full time graphic artist.

TRACY OSTERTAG is a writer, painter and academic who lives and works in Montréal.  She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh where she learned to love whisky, things that are haunted and things that are green.  This is her first attempt at writing poetry to an audience.

SOPHIE PANZER recently completed her BA at McGill University. She was a finalist for the 2017 Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Prize for Young Writers and her first chapbook, Survive July, is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gingerbread House, Fearsome Critters, Pulp Literature, the Claremont Review, Soliloquies Anthology, Blue Marble Review, and carte blanche.

LEANA PAPARELLA is a Communications student at Concordia University who specializes in photography and videography. She is particularly interested in analog media such as film photography because of its tangibility of a moment in time.

JEANNE PERREAULT is an Arts, Literature and Communications student at Marianopolis College. She is passionate about writing and literature, and plans to study English Literature in University.

VALERIE PLEASANT is an erotica writer, hoping to create erotica that anyone of any gender identity or sexuality can enjoy, without dysphoria or discomfort. Being a queer trans woman, she feels the need to reinforce that in everywhere. She tries her best, and has not yet been adequately rewarded with a Booker prize. This is tragic.

EDEN ROSENBLOOM is a writer currently studying Liberal Arts at Dawson College. She is in the midst of figuring out what art means to her and how she defines herself as an artist. Find her on Instagram: @earlgreyeden.

MICHAEL DOMINIC ROTONDO was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He received a B.A from Concordia University, completed a Bachelors in Primary & Junior Education from Ottawa University, and is currently enrolled in a Graduate program at McGill University. He currently works as a special education teacher for children with autism at the primary level. He has always had a fascination with poetry and has been writing since the age of 16 years old, primarily as a hobby.

LEA-MARAIKE SAMBALE is the winner of the nation wide literature competition of the Eckenroth Foundation, Germany (2006), and the young Literature-Forum Hesse/Thuringia, Germany (2008 and 2013). Her work has been featured in the anthology “Nagelprobe 25” and “Nagelprobe 30”. After moving to Montreal in June 2018, she started to write her poems and texts in English and experimented in combining them with selected sounds.

GREG SANTOS is the author of Blackbirds (Eyewear Publishing, 2018), Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014), and The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books, 2010). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He regularly works with at-risk communities and teaches at the Thomas More Institute. He is the poetry editor of carte blanche and lives in Montreal with his wife and two children.

KATIE MICHELLE SAULNIER is a queer and neurodivergent lawyer, academic, and music-lover. She completed a B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature at Mount Allison in 2010, and a B.C.L./LL.B. at the McGill Faculty of Law in 2014. She is very enthusiastic about penguins.

ABIGAIL SCHAFER recently graduated from Marianopolis College in the Arts, Literature and Communications program. She has a variety of artistic interests, primarily in writing and visual arts, and would like to pursue one, if not both of these fields in the future.

STEFANOS SINGELAKIS is a graduate student at Concordia University. He is interested in writing fiction and creative non-fiction. He is currently working on a novella.

DANICA SMITH is a writer based in upstate New York and Montreal, where she is studying political science and history at McGill University. She has been writing poetry for several years, as well as fiction.

GERVANNA STEPHENS is a Jamaican poet and proud Slytherin with congenital amputation living in Canada. Her work has appeared/forthcoming in Empty Mirror, The /tƐmz/, Bone & Ink, TERSE, & WusGood.black,. She hates public speaking, has two sisters who are better writers than her & thinks unicorns laugh when we say they aren’t real. Tweets @ gravitystephens.

STEVE’S POETRY studies agro-environmental biology and economics in his penultimate year at McGill, but writes poetry and explores other forms of art as hobbies in his free time. His themes mainly include love, loathing and lust, life, aging and death, self-love, self-discipline and self-awareness, while incorporating comparisons with nature. His work can be seen at the Instagram handle @stevespoetry.

ALEXIA THEOPOULOS is studying Secondary English Education at McGill University and cannot wait to transcend the self-expressive powers of creative writing onto others. Since 2015, she has hosted poetry night reading based on the themes of social justice to fundraise for various non-profit organizations. The publishing of this poem requires special thanks to Andrew Katz, her mentor when she was studying at Dawson College.

ELISE TIMM-BOTTOS is an artist/puppeteer who has travelled extensively in Italy, United Kingdom and the United States. She is currently studying Liberal Arts at Concordia University.

YEMOJA-OSUN TOMORI is an aspiring writer who recently moved to Montreal from Lagos. She is very dynamic and outspoken, and is always finding ways to express her creativity.

SEYDINA TOURÉ is a fan of animated works and comics, and is also a hobby artist. He typically reaches for the pencil to get his mental juices flowing again.

MARK TOWSE has only been writing short stories for two months now, but his passion and enthusiasm are unparalleled, and this has recently resulted in his first paid piece in the publication Books N Pieces along with imminent publication in four other prestigious magazines. Mark currently works in sales and is ready to sell his soul to the devil for a full-time career as an author. He resides in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two children.

CAROLYNE VAN DER MEER lives and writes in Montreal, Canada. Her first book, Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2014. Her poetry and prose have been published internationally, including in Ars Medica, Canadian Woman Studies, Colere, Crannóg, Poetry Bus, Skylight 47 and The Stony Thursday Book. A collection of poetry entitled Journeywoman was published by Toronto-based Inanna Publications in 2017.

ANTOINE VANDENBORRE was born in Paris, but his family is from Belgium. When he was an infant, he moved to Singapore, where his brother was born and where he grew up until he came to Montreal to attend university. He has introduced himself like that so many times that it’s begun to sound simplistic and jaded. But writing gives longevity to the things he’s experienced, from planting trees in Northern Ontario to, yes, being heartbroken. Writing bats away nostalgia and keeps memories honest. It’s also a chance to keep the banal and the all-too-common, beautiful. In his poetry, he’s found an aesthetic of his own, which he hopes begins to do this, and he’d like to share some with you.

EDA VITULLI worked as a wedding photographer and now enjoys capturing wonderful moments through her children. Photography allows her to tap into her creative side, and helps her drift into a magical world.

GEORGE WU TENG currently studies classical piano performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. He is often crying.

HARRISON YUE is currently a full time student at Marianopolis College. He intends to continue his studies at the University level in Creative Writing, and hopes to eventually pursue it professionally.

ANABELLE ZALUSKI was born in Toronto and moved to Montreal to pursue a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at Concordia University. She finds strength in fiction and playwriting but enjoys all forms of art, and aims to explore the world both literally and through writing.

 

Montréal Writes would like to thank the following for their endless support and financial contributions:

Simon Henault
Mitra Mirnezami
Forough Noohi
Maryam Hashemi
Christopher Dix
& all of our anonymous donors.