The Maynard
Fall 2017

Author Biographies

Dessa Bayrock

Dessa Bayrock used to be a journalist; now she unfolds paper for a living at Library and Archives Canada. Her poems have appeared in Raspberry Magazine, among others. She lives in Ottawa with two cats and two English degrees.

Jocko Benoit

Jocko Benoit is the author of two collections of poetry, An Anarchist Dream and Standoff Terrain. His poetry has previously appeared in The Malahat Review, Grain, EVENT, Queen’s Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, and many other journals.

Dominique Bernier-Cormier

Dominique Bernier-Cormier’s first chapbook, Englishing, was shortlisted for the Frog Hollow Press Chapbook Contest and was published in spring 2017. His first book of poetry, Correspondent, is forthcoming from icehouse poetry (an imprint of Goose Lane Editions).

Tara Borin

Tara Borin writes poems and wrangles three kids near Dawson City, Yukon, in traditional Trond'ek Hwech'in territory. Her work has been published in The Mom Egg Review, Petal Journal, The Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere. You can find her online at

James Cagney

James Cagney is a poet and writer from Oakland, California. He has appeared as a featured poet at venues in Sacramento, San Francisco, Vancouver, Chicago, and Mumbai. His work has been published online and in print via Eleven Eleven, Lime Hawk, and Print Oriented Bastards, among others. Visit his blog at

Conyer Clayton

Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa-based writer who aims to live with compassion, gratitude, and awe. Her current work is online and in print with Prairie Fire, In/Words, Bywords, and Transom, among others. She won Arc Poetry Magazine’s 2017 Diana Brebner Prize. For updated news on her poetic endeavours, go to

Natalie Crick

Natalie Crick's poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals, including Interpreters House, Ink in Thirds, The Penwood Review, Rust and Moth and The Chiron Review. This year her poem, “Sunday School” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Ben Gallagher

Ben Gallagher is a poet and essayist currently dividing his time between Toronto and Scotch Village, NS. His PhD research involves poetry, informal learning environments, and ecology. He likes to dance and cook.

Erin Kirsh

Erin Kirsh is a writer and performer living in Vancouver. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine, The Malahat Review, EVENT, Geist, and The Molotov Cocktail, where she won the 2017 Shadow Award. Erin was the Managing Director of the 2016 Verses Festival of Words.

Brian Jerrold Koester

Brian Jerrold Koester holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. He is a Best of the Net anthology nominee, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Agni, Right Hand Pointing, Poetry Pacific, Louisiana Literature Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.

leaf kotasek

leaf kotasek is a white, pansexual, nonbinary transgender person & their pronouns are "they/them/their." they live with their one true love in snuneymuxw territory, where they grow a lot of food & cultivate a dirt tan like the dirty queerpunk they truly are.

Savanna Scott Leslie

Savanna Scott Leslie writes fiction and poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Canadian and Scottish publications such as Canthius, The UC Review, The Quarterday Review, and Dangerous Women Project. She’s currently working on an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh.

Christopher Levenson

First editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, Christopher Levenson has published twelve books of poetry, most recently, A Tattered Coat Upon a Stick (Quattro, 2017). He has lived in Vancouver since 2007 and helps organize the Dead Poets Reading Series.

Sergio A. Ortiz

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal.

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik's poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.

Sara Shields

Sara Shields explores the complex narrative of “being” through her figurative and symbolic work. She is interested in anthropomorphic associations with the human condition, where image, self, and the subconscious reside and collide, and where abstraction and figuration constantly intertwine facilitating a narrative that is subjective, idiosyncratic, and coloured.

Jasmine Sky

Jasmine Sky is a writer living on unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada). She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of British Columbia. In 2016, she won the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Her writing has appeared online in

Dani Spinosa

Dani Spinosa is a writer, academic, and editor living in Toronto. She can be found online at

Jennifer van Alstyne

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet whose work has appeared this year in Citron Review, COG, ELKE, Stonecoast Review, and Sweet Tree Review. Critical articles and reviews can be found in Rain Taxi, Colorado Review, Appositions, and Midwest Quarterly. She was a fellow and earned an MFA at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Lynne Viti

Lynne Viti is the author of Baltimore Girls (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (forthcoming, 2018). Her work has appeared most recently in End of 83, I Come From the World, Tin Lunchbox, Little Patuxent Review, and Paterson Review. She blogs at

Andrew Warner

Andrew Warner is a stand-up poet and screenwriter hailing from North Vancouver. He is 2014’s provincial youth poetry champion and a member of the Vancouver team that won nationals the same year. A lover of pyjamas, rainy days, and 4:00 A.M. starts, he writes about travels, relationships, and activist lifestyles.

Emma Winsor Wood

Originally from New York City, Emma Winsor Wood has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Recent poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, The Journal, The Colorado Review, The Seattle Review, and BOAAT. She edits Stone Soup, the literary magazine for kids.

Elana Wolff

Elana Wolff is a Toronto-based writer, editor, translator, and designer/ facilitator of social art courses. Her fifth solo collection of poems, Everything Reminds You of Something Else, was released from Guernica Editions, spring 2017.

Elaine Woo

Elaine Woo’s poems appear in Grain, Arc Poetry Magazine, carte blanche, Loose Leaf, and West Coast Line. She is the author of Cycling with the Dragon, Nightwood Editions (2014).

Laura Yan

Laura Yan is a writer and sketcher from California. Her poetry has appeared in The Rusty Toque, Elastic Magazine, and Cleaver Magazine. Her essays and journalism have appeared in GQ, Pacific Standard, Longreads, The Awl, and elsewhere. She almost has an MFA from the University of British Columbia, and tweets @noirony.