The Maynard
Spring 2016

Author Biographies

Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel is a Nisga'a writer from Vancouver, currently pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University where his research concentrates on Digital Humanities and Indigenous Literary Studies. Abel has published three poetry collections with Talon Books: Injun, Un/inhabited, and The Place of Scraps, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.

Juliana Arias-Ruiz

Juliana Arias-Ruiz is a visual artist and musician. Her artistic work mixes drawing and animation with music, searching for relationships between image and sound. A former artist-in-residence in Leighton Artists' Colony at Banff Centre, she is a violinist in a symphonic orchestra and lives in Medellín, Colombia.

Louise Bak

Louise Bak is the author of Syzygy (DC Books), and Tulpa and Gingko Kitchen, both from Coach House Books. She's the co-host of Sex City, Toronto's only radio show focused on intersections between sexuality and culture. She also curates/hosts a salon series called The Box, which encourages communication across literary and artistic borders.

Meghan Bell

Meghan Bell’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, The Impressment Gang, The Feathertale Review, The New Quarterly, and The Minola Review. She writes and illustrates a comic strip at She lives in Vancouver, where she is completing an MFA in creative writing at UBC and works for Room Magazine.

Manny Blacksher

Manny Blacksher is a freelance editor, copy writer, and researcher. He is poetry editor for Light: A Journal of Photography and Poetry. His poems have been published in Ireland, Great Britain, and the United States. Most recently, Mick Theebs’ Spiral Press produced a mini-chapbook of his poems, earthly Sharpness.


JCCortens is a poet and educator who lives and writes between the mountains and the sea in the heart of Vancouver. Dedicated to living an imaginative life, he is pleased to be working on his first manuscript of poems exploring questions of love, death, faith, hope, healing, and hotdogs.

Adam Day

Adam Day is the author of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books) and Badger, Apocrypha (Poetry Society of America). His work has appeared in the Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Lana Turner, APR and elsewhere. He directs the Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden, Scotland, and Blackacre Nature Preserve.

Adrienne Gruber

Adrienne Gruber is the author of Buoyancy Control (BookThug) and This is the Nightmare (Thistledown Press), and chapbooks, Mimic (Leaf Press, bpNichol Chapbook Award), Everything Water (Cactus Press), and Intertidal Zones (Jack Pine Press). Originally from Saskatoon, Adrienne lives in Vancouver with her partner Dennis and their daughters Quintana and Tamsin.

Kathleen M. Heideman

Kathleen M. Heideman is a writer, artist, and environmentalist working in Michigan's wild Upper Peninsula. A former artist-in-residence with the National Park Service, Heideman is president of Save the Wild U.P., a grassroots organization fighting sulfide mining projects and defending clean water, wild places, and treaty-protected resources. A curious woman.

Rachel Jansen

Rachel Jansen is completing her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Her work has been published in Nineteen Questions and is forthcoming in Hamilton Arts & Letters. She is originally from Mississauga, Ontario, but has spent the past six years in Vancouver.

leaf kotasek

leaf kotasek is a white, pansexual, nonbinary transgender person and their pronouns are “they/them/their.” they write poetry in the forest at midnight, they grow a lot of food, and they usually have a dirt tan.

Claire Matthews

Claire Matthews’ work, long-listed for the 2013 CBC Poetry Prize, has appeared in Arc, Joyland, Room Magazine, Loose Lips Magazine, and Plenitude Magazine. She’s currently working on a collection of essays titled, I Bet You Think This Book Is About You. In her spare time, she makes soap and drinks whisky.

Leena Niemela

Leena Niemela is a Finnish-Canadian writer and currently a MFA student in UBC’s Creative Writing program. Her writing is a mix of memories and wishful thinking, exploring her Finnish heritage, the coincidence of found poetry, and mysterious workings of language and the writing life.

Falcon oHara

As a poet, singer/songwriter, and performance artist, Falcon oHara takes part in poetry readings and writing events in Vancouver. He is currently working on a revision of A Summer’s Tale, his play, partly sung, as well as a solo show for the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September of 2017.

Arleen Paré

Arleen Paré is a Victoria, BC poet and novelist, whose books include Paper Trail, Leaving Now, Lake of Two Mountains, and He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car. She is the recipient of the Victoria Butler Book Prize, the CBC Bookie Prize, and the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.

Stuart A. Paterson

Stuart lives by the sea in Galloway, south-west Scotland. His 2015 collection Border Lines (Indigo Dreams) was awarded a Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet. A recipient of a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, he’s published Aye (Tapsalteerie Press), a collection written entirely in the Scots language in 2016.

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at

Cindy Pereira

Cindy Pereira is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Her poetry has been published by Polar Expressions Publishing in their anthologies The Warbler’s Song and Waking Dawn, as well as Confluence (published by MacEwan University).

Rachelle Pinnow

Rachelle Pinnow is a graduate of the Creative Writing program at the University of Calgary. She has published her work in The Globe & Mail, fillingStation, and Freefall, and has collaborated with derek beaulieu, Calgary’s former poet laureate, publishing her concrete poetry in Speechless (No Press).

Shaun Robinson

Shaun Robinson is a Métis writer living in Vancouver. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Fire, Poetry is Dead, and the anthology The City Series: Vancouver. He is the poetry editor of PRISM international.

Michael Russell

Michael Russell is a 26 year old queer poet who is working on his first collection. He lives in Toronto. In his spare time, he likes to read and write and participate in random nonsense. His work has appeared in cahoodaloodaling, The Quilliad, untethered, and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology.

James Valvis

James Valvis has published poems in Ploughshares, River Styx, Arts & Letters, Rattle, The Sun, and Verse Daily. In 2015, his poetry was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net; in 2016, his work is a finalist for the Asimov's Readers' Award. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.

Elana Wolff

Elana Wolff is a Toronto-based poet, editor, essayist, translator, and designer and facilitator of social art courses. Her essay, “Paging Kafka’s Elegist,” won The New Quarterly 2015 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. Her fifth collection of poems, Everything Reminds You of Something Else, is forthcoming with Guernica Editions.

Mormei Zanke

Mormei Zanke is a writer and illustrator living in Vancouver, BC. She is a current BFA student in creative writing and English literature at the University of British Columbia.