2024 Senior Online Qualifiers Judges

Alice Burdick

Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. She is the author of many chapbooks, pamphlets, folios and four full-length poetry collections. Deportment, a book of selected poetry, came out in 2018 from Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 

Alice's poetry has been described as playful, surreal and imagistic. She often writes about daily life as well as internal and external landscapes, and doesn't shy away from satire or the anti-sentimental lyric. Influences have included Emily Dickinson, Marina Tsvetayeva, Frank OHaraLorine NiedeckerTed Berrigan, and Anne Waldman.

Her work has also appeared in several anthologies including Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence and Locations of Grief: An Emotional Geography and she has authored three cookbooks. She co-founded the independent bookstore Lexicon Books, and is also a mentor and workshop leader.

Jason Camlot

Jason Camlot is a poet, songwriter and scholar who lives in Montreal.  He is the author of five collections of poetry, The Animal Library (DC Books 2000), Attention All Typewriters (DC Books 2005), The Debaucher (Insomniac Press 2010), What the World Said (Mansfield Press 2013), and Vlarf (McGill Queen’s 2021). His recent critical works include Phonopoetics: The Making of Early Literary Recordings (Stanford 2019), the co-edited collections, Collection Thinking (with Linda Morra and Martha Lanford, Routledge 2023), Unpacking the Personal Library (with Jeffrey Weingarten, WLUP 2022), CanLit Across Media (with Katherine Mcleod, MQUP 2019), and a recent triple-issue of English Studies in Canada on “New Sonic Approaches in Literary Studies” (with Katherine McLeod, 2023).  He is the director of The SpokenWeb research network <www.spokenweb.ca>, a SSHRC-funded partnership that focuses on the history of literary sound recordings and the digital preservation and presentation of collections of literary audio.  He is Professor of English and Research Chair in Literature and Sound Studies at Concordia University in Montreal.

Marilou Craft

Marilou Craft lives in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang/Montreal, where she was born to a Quebecois mother and a Haitian father. Her studies led her to a degree in theatre studies, between an attempt at creative writing and a foray into law. She now works to accompany and translate creation, both in the performing arts and in literature.

As an author, she first wrote articles, reviews and cultural columns, before turning her attention to her own stories. She now creates from the margins she inhabits and which inhabit her, seeking light and constantly expanding. Her artistic practice is undisciplined: poetic as much as performative, she probes the gray areas at the intersection of gender, identity, the intimate and the collective. 

Some of her short poems have appeared in the magazines Mœbius and Liberté, others in collections published by Triptyque (Troubles, nos ombres, 2023; Pauvreté, 2021; Corps, 2018), La Mèche (Cartographies II : Couronne Nord, 2017) and Ta Mère (Des nouvelles nouvelles de Ta Mère, 2016). Still others remain unpublished, shared only on stage or on the air, alone or accompanied. Her approach is also collaborative, leading her to create interdisciplinary performances as a duo with author Chloé Savoie-Bernard (À la racine, 2019; Repousses, 2019) and multi-instrumentalist Elyze Venne-Deshaies (Veiller le souffle, 2020), and as a group with a variety of musical improvisation artists. She is currently working on a larger poetic writing project, in the form of a literary performance.

To find out more about her activities: mariloucraft.com

Shazia Hafiz Ramji

Shazia Hafiz Ramji’s writing received a Critic's Desk Award from ARC Poetry magazine and was shortlisted for the 2023 Alberta Magazine Awards. Her fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review and her poetry has appeared in the 2022 Montreal International Poetry Prize anthology. She grew up in England, Kenya, the UAE, and in Coquitlam and East Vancouver, BC. Shazia is the author of Port of Being and is at work on a novel. 

Rayanne Haines

Rayanne Haines (she/her) is a pushcart nominated poet and an award-winning hybrid author as well as a cultural producer of intersectional films, stage shows, and panels. In addition to hosting the literary podcast, Crow Reads, she recently completed a year as the 2022 Writer in Residence for the Metro Edmonton Federation of Libraries. Rayanne is currently an Assistant Professor in the Arts and Cultural Management Program at MacEwan University and is the President for the League of Canadian Poets.

Rayanne has penned three poetry collections - The Stories in My Skin (2013), Stained with the Colours of Sunday Morning (Inanna, 2017), and Tell The Birds Your Body Is Not A Gun (Frontenac, 2021) which won the 2022 Stephan G. Stephansson, Alberta Literary Award for Poetry as well as being shortlisted for both the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry, and the National ReLit Award for Poetry. Her essay, This is Normal, published in Impact: Women Writing After Concussion (UofA Press), was shortlisted for the John Whyte Memorial Essay Alberta Literary Award. She is a 2019 Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award recipient. A new hybrid collection of poetry and creative non-fiction is forthcoming in 2024. 

​Rayanne Haines’s writing has appeared or will appear in The Globe and Mail, Grain Magazine, Minola Review, Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Impact: The Lives of Women After Concussion Anthology, Voicing Suicide Anthology, The Selkie Resiliency Anthology, Freefall, and Funicular among others.

​Rayanne was the Executive Director for the Edmonton Poetry Festival from 2012 to 2019 and in addition to Poetry in Voice has taught or mentored writers with the Writers Guild of Alberta, The Alexander Writers Centre, and the University of Alberta Extension. She was a previous WIR for Audreys Books.

​Rayanne holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management from Queen Margaret University.

Desiree Mckenzie

Desiree Mckenzie is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, poet, arts educator, and national poetry slam champion.  Her poetry and voice have been featured in works for CBC’s Poetic License series, When Sisters Speak, Clearco Financial, Button Poetry, Kids Help Phone and Home Depot. She facilitates community poetry programming for organizations like VIBE Arts, Unity Charity, Poetry in Voice, and Shakespeare in Action. Her debut spoken word EP, Wet Hair, is now available on streaming platforms. In December 2022, she opened for Rupi Kaur on her world tour stop at Massey Hall. She hopes her poetry can tap into the little things that make us, us and why we are the way we are. 

Amber O'Reilly

Amber O'Reilly is a multilingual poet, slam artist, playwright, screenwriter, researcher and event host. Her first poetry collection, Boussole franche, published by Éditions du Blé, won the Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault 2021 and was a finalist for the Prix Champlain 2022. Her poetry contemplates the construction of self, human relationships, the natural world, language and the resonance of place. Her favorite French-language poets include Brigitte Lavallée, Lisette Lombé and Daniel Leblanc-Poirier.


Annie et Tom du lundi au vendredi is her first full-length play, published by Éditions du Blé. In 2021, she produced the play with Winnipeg's Théâtre Cercle Molière as a cine-theater hybrid directed by Marie-Ève Fontaine. The play was read at the 10th Festival à haute voix 2021 at Théâtre l'Escaouette in Moncton and was selected for the 12th Congrès international des autrices dramatiques in Montreal 2022. Amber received the Prix Roland-Mahé 2021 from the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada for this project.


She completed an Independent Playwriting Residency at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal from September 2022 to May 23. Her poetry and critical texts have appeared in a number of magazines and journals, and she has performed on stages across Canada. She is also the author of several short plays and films. Passionate about languages, she is fluent in French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and English. Amber has served on the boards of the Festival international des écriv.e.s de Winnipeg, the Association des auteurs-e-s du Manitoba français, Cinémental Manitoba and the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française.


Her heritage is Ontario French-Canadian, Irish, Ukrainian, Norwegian and Algonquin. She grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where she lived full-time until the age of 16. She began scribbling poetry in her notebooks in high school and hasn't stopped since. Since then, she has continued to uproot herself, both physically and spiritually. She has always listened to the stories of others and told her own. Amber travels through space and others, excavating her artworks from her lived experiences.

Jonathan Roy

Jonathan Roy (Caraquet, NB) has been active in poetry for some fifteen years. He has been published in magazines and collectives, worked on artists' books, sometimes written songs, and often taken part in literary events that feature mediums outside the book (shows, video poems, exhibitions, performances). With Perce-Neige, he published mélamine méduse in spring 2023, the follow-up to Savèches à fragmentation (2019) and Apprendre à tomber (2012), both winners of the Prix littéraire Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie. In 2021, he took to the stage in Savèches, a theatrical adaptation of his book by Théâtre populaire d'Acadie. On the side, he directs the Festival acadien de poésie and is the co-editor of poetry at Éditions Perce-Neige.

Adam Sol

Born in New York, Adam Sol has lived in Toronto for 25 years. He has published five books of poetry, including Broken Dawn Blessings, his most recent collection, which won the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Poetry. His novel-in-verse Jeremiah, Ohio was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award for Poetry and his collection Crowd of Sounds won the award in 2004. He also is the author of How a Poem Moves: A Field Guide to Readers of Poetry, a series of essays that was published in book form by ECW in 2019. The blog continues at: https://howapoemmoves.wordpress.com. He teaches at the University of Toronto's Victoria College, where he holds the Blake C. Goldring Professorship and is Coordinator of the Creativity & Society program.

His poetic interests circle around the complications of being a person, how we are at once serious human beings with spiritual yearnings and socio-political frustrations, and also people who like to play stupid video games and eat beaver tails. How can poems reconcile these conflicting selves? He went to school for a long time and earned a bunch of degrees, but gets equal inspiration from the goofy as the esoteric, from Herman Melville to Bert & Ernie, from Talmudic stories to the Toronto Raptors.

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