2019 Senior Online Qualifiers Judges

Éric Charlebois


Éric Charlebois is the author of 11 poetry books. A number of them won or were shortlisted for prizes, including the Trillium Book Award, Le Droit, and the Ottawa Book Award, and some are included in university reading lists. Charlebois also co-directs the poetry list published by Neige-Galerie. In 2012, the Alliance culturelle de l’Ontario asked Charlebois to create a live hybrid art project with painter Benjamin Rodger, where they created spontaneous poetry that was broadcast and published. Charlebois seeks situations where he can create spontaneously, in the moment, and impulsively; what he calls “exploetry.” As part of a Masters in Translation, he focuses on the intersection between the translating subject and the creative subject. In 2017, his first translation was published: Sans pitié, from Imagine Mercy by David Groulx. 


Lynn Crosbie

Lynn Crosbie was born in Montreal and is a cultural critic. A PhD in English literature with a background in visual studies, she teaches at the University of Toronto and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She wrote a novel called Where Did You Sleep Last Night, which was nominated for the Trillium Award and which tells the story of a teenage girl who has a relationship with grunge rocker Kurt Cobain. She is a contributing editor at the Globe and Mail, and a National Magazine Award–winner who has written about sports, style, art, and music.


Salah El Khalfa Beddiari


Salah El Khalfa Beddiari has taught science and French as a second language before he founded the Montreal Canadian Language Exchange Center, the Journées du livre de la diaspora [Diaspora’s Books Days] and the publishing house Beroaf. Now president of the Writers’ Association of Arab and Berber Diaspora (association des auteurs de la diaspora arabe et berbère), Beddiari is also the author of numerous works, including poetry, novels, and non-fiction. His poetry contains verse and prose, and sometimes takes the form of aphorisms. Themes such as human dignity, the fight against racism and against poverty and precariousness — both in concrete and philosophical terms — run through Beddiari’s texts. The poet explores his own duality: between attachment to and detachment from origins, between belonging and renouncement to beliefs, between commitment and disengagement towards previously defended causes.


Tracy Hamon


Tracy Hamon was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. She holds an MA in English from the University of Regina. Her first book of poetry, This Is Not Eden, was released in April of 2005 and was a finalist for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. A portion of Interruptions in Glass won the 2005 City of Regina Writing Award and was shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards in 2010. Her third collection, Red Curls, won the Drs. Morris and Jacqui Shumiatcher Regina Book Award in 2015.


James Langer


Born in Kitchener, ON, but raised in Heart’s Desire, Trinity Bay, NL, James Langer is the author of Gun Dogs (Anansi), which won The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. In 2013, he co-edited The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry. He has written both formal and free verse and hybrids of the two. His primary influences have been Seamus Heaney and Les Murray though he cites many authors as influences: Robert FrostElizabeth Bishop, Derek Walcott, Carol Ann Duffy, and Alice Oswald, among others. He earned his master’s degree in English from the University of New Brunswick in 2006 and has taught creative writing at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He lives in St. John’s.


Émilie Turmel


Émilie Turmel was born in Montréal in 1988 and now lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, where she is the director of the Frye Festival. Both poet and performer, she has organized and presented in numerous literary events in Canada and internationally. A number of her poems have been translated into English and Spanish and published in Canada, Colombia, Spain, and France. She was shortlisted for the Prix Émile-Nelligan and won the Prix René-Leynaud (France) for her first book Casse-gueules (Poètes de brousse, 2018). Her second book, Vanités, was published in September 2020. 


Chimwemwe Undi


Chimwemwe Undi is a performance and page poet living and writing as a guest on Treaty One in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work has appeared on stages at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and in the pages of Room Magazine, Arc Poetry Magazine and Prairie Fire Magazine, among others. Her work explores themes related to social justice, belonging and identity, and is influenced by storytelling and spoken word traditions. Her debut chapbook, The Habitual Be, was published by University of Nebraska Press's African Poetry Book Fund in 2017.


Fred Wah


Fred Wah lives in Vancouver and in the West Kootenays. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction has received numerous literary awards. He was Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate 2011-2013 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013. Recent books include Sentenced to Light, his collaborations with visual artists and is a door, a series of poems about hybridity. High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese, An Interactive Poem is available online (http://highmuckamuck.ca/). His current project involves the Columbia River. Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962-1991 was published by Talonbooks in the fall of 2015.


Ian Williams


Ian Williams is a poet and fiction writer. He is the author of Reproduction, a novel; Personals, shortlisted for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone's Anything, winner of the 2011 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; and You Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry in 2010. He was named one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC. Williams holds a Ph.D. in English at the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. 

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