Swoon Spring 2017–the Swoon Finale–happened on May 13, 2017. It featured performances by authors Christina Myers, Curtis LeBlanc, Chelsea Rooney, D. S. Stymeist, & Rob Taylor.

Myers2Christina Myers is a former newspaper journalist turned freelancer, and a narrative non-fiction writer who occasionally veers off into the wilds of fiction. Her work has appeared in the anthology Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016), as well as Skirt Quarterly online, Voices of Motherhood, CBC Radio, Emerge 15, Word on the Lake, and elsewhere. She is a recent graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU Vancouver and returned to the Studio as an apprentice mentor in 2016. Christina lives with her husband and children in the lower mainland of BC.


Curtis 3 webres (1) (1)Curtis LeBlanc’s poetry has won the Reader’s Choice Award in Arc’s Poem of the Year Competition and been shortlisted for The Walrus Poetry Prize as well as CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize. Good for Nothing (Anstruther Press, 2017) is his first chapbook. His first book-length collection, Little Wild, is forthcoming from Nightwood Editions (2018).




Chelsea_10281299Chelsea Rooney is the author of Pedal, a debut novel nominated for the 2015 Amazon First Novel Award and the 2016 ReLit award. She is one of four hosts of The Storytelling Show on Vancouver Co-op Radio.



Bone Weir DS1D.S. Stymeist’s poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, Dalhousie Review, and The Fiddlehead. His work was featured as the Parliamentary Poet Laureate’s Poem of the Month (February 2015) and was short-listed for Vallum’s 2015 poetry prize. He teaches poetics, Renaissance drama, and aboriginal literature at Carleton University. He grew up as a resident of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, is the editor and founder of the micro-press, Textualis, and is the current vice-president of VERSeFest.

Rob Taylor HeadshotRob Taylor is the author of the poetry collections The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant Books, 2011) and The News (Gaspereau Press, 2016), which was a finalist for the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Prize. In 2014 he was named one of the inaugural writers-in-residence at the Al Purdy A-frame, and in 2015 he received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for the Literary Arts, as an emerging artist. He lives in Vancouver with his family, where he teaches Creative Writing at the University of the Fraser Valley and coordinates the Dead Poets Reading Series.

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Swoon Fall 2016 happened on November 5, 2016.  It featured performances by Adrienne Gruber, Kamile Kapel, Chelene Knight, Claire Matthews, & Laura Yan.

adrienne-gruber-author-photo-colourAdrienne Gruber is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Buoyancy Control (BookThug) and This is the Nightmare (Thistledown Press), and three chapbooks, Mimic (Leaf Press), Everything Water (Cactus Press) and Intertidal Zones (Jack Pine Press). She has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards in poetry, Descant’s Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem Contest and twice for ARC’s Poem of the Year Contest. Her poem “Gestational Trail” was awarded first prize in The Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest in 2015 and she won the bpNichol Chapbook Award for Mimic in 2012. Originally from Saskatoon, Adrienne lives in Vancouver with her partner Dennis and their daughters Quintana and Tamsin.

running-in-forestKamile Kapel is a writer, improvising diva and filmmaker. She has released a CD of original music called Kiss the Ground, written a one woman show, Give me that Map and she’s currently working on her first book at the SFU Writer’s Studio. Her writing is erotic, funny and conversation-starting. She often finds her audiences challenged to get through her stories without telling a few of their own.


Chelene Knight Author PhotoChelene Knight was born in Vancouver and is the Managing Editor at Room Magazine. Chelene is a 2013 graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU, and was the 2016 Poetry Section Editor for their emerge Anthology. She has been published in various Canadian and American literary magazines. Braided Skin, her first book (Mother Tongue Publishing, March 2015), has given birth to numerous writing projects. Chelene’s second book, Dear Current Occupant, is a cross-genre, memoir-ish sonnet-esque story built in the form of letters (forthcoming with BookThug 2018). Chelene is now working on a novel that takes place in the Black community of Vancouver’s Strathcona in the 1950’s, with fiction mentor, Jen Sookfong Lee.

claireClaire Matthews is working on her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in Loose Lips MagazineJoylandRoomArc Poetry, and Plenitude Magazine. Her poetry was long-listed for the 2013 CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize and has recently appeared in The Maynard. In her spare time, she makes soap and drinks whisky.




laura-yanLaura Yan is a writer, wanderer, and New Yorker. Her essays  and journalism have appeared (or is upcoming) in GQ, Pacific Standard, Victory Journal, GOOD, Penthouse, Longreads, Jezebel, Thrillist, Hopes & Fears, The Hairpin, and elsewhere. Her fiction and poetry have appeared (/is upcoming) in Foundling Review, Elastic Magazine, The Rusty Toque, Newer York, and Lonewolf Magazine. She’s a MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia and at work on a novel.


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Swoon Spring 2016 happened on March 12, 2016. Check out the swoony details on the authors below.

Dina and Daniel

Dina Del Bucchia is the author of Coping with Emotions and Otters and Blind Items. Daniel Zomparelli is the Editor-In-Chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine and author of Davie Street Translations. Together, they make up the duo behind the podcast Can’t Lit, and the poetry collection Rom Com (Talonbooks), out now.

Evans Bio Photo bus

Christopher Evans is a writer and student, originally from Victoria, BC. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in magazines and anthologies in Canada, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, the UK, and the USA. His play Drifting was produced for the 2014 Brave New Play Rites Festival, and his text-based art installation project Places of Refuge is currently installed at UBC’s Point Grey campus. He currently lives in Vancouver, where he is the Prose Editor at PRISM international magazine.


Processed with VSCOcam with 6 presetJim Johnstone is a Canadian poet, editor, and critic. He’s the author of four books of poetry: Dog Ear (Véhicule Press, 2014), Sunday, the locusts (Tightrope Books, 2011), Patternicity (Nightwood Editions, 2010) and The Velocity of Escape (Guernica Editions, 2008), and the subject of the critical monograph Proofs & Equational Love: The Poetry of Jim Johnstone by Shane Neilson and Jason Guriel. He’s the winner of several awards including a CBC Literary Award,The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, Matrix Magazine’s LitPop Award and This Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt. Johnstone is the poetry editor at Palimpsest Press, and an associate editor at Representative Poetry Online. He lives in Toronto.


Laura Trethewey lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where she’s writing a collection of non-fiction essays about why people are on the ocean. Her writing has been published in The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, and The Globe & Mail and been nominated for a National Magazine Award. Find her online at and on Twitter @ltrethew.


Daniel Scott Tysdal

Daniel Scott Tysdal is the author of three books of poetry, Fauxccasional Poems (icehouse 2015), The Mourner’s Book of Albums (Tightrope 2010), and Predicting the Next Big Advertising Breakthrough Using a Potentially Dangerous Method (Coteau 2006), and the poetry textbook The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems (Oxford University Press 2014). His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope 2011) and Best Canadian Essays (Tightrope 2014), and has earned him the ReLit Award for Poetry (2007), the Matrix Lit Pop Award (2010), and honourable mention at the National Magazine Awards (2003). He is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

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Swoon Fall 2015’s event happened on November 14, 2015 and featured performances by Francine Cunningham, Elise Marcella Godfrey, Josh Massey, Maureen Medved, and Laura Ritland. Read on for more!

Francine Cunningham - author photo

Francine Cunningham is an Aboriginal writer, artist and educator originally from Calgary, Alberta but who currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. Francine is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia. Francine was a participant in the 2014 Indigenous Writing Studio at the Banff Arts Centre and placed second in the 2014 Our Story: Aboriginal Arts and Stories contest. You can find her work in Hamilton Arts and Letters, Echolocation Magazine, The Puritan, The Quilliad, Kimiwan’zine and Francine’s short story “Slips” is appearing as part of the 2015 choose your own adventure Vancouver Active Fiction Project for the months of November and December on the streets of east Vancouver. For more information you can find her at

Elise Godfrey - author photo

Elise Marcella Godfrey‘s poetry can be found in Room, Ryga, Filling Station, Grain, PRISM, and CV2. Her suite of poems entitled “Influenza” won subTerrain‘s 13th Annual Lush Triumphant Literary Awards. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Saskatchewan, where her work was funded by SSHRC and received a thesis award.


Josh Massey’s fiction and poetry have appeared in journals across Canada and abroad in Italy, the U.K. and the U.S. He is the author of the novels We Will All Be Trees (Conundrum, 2009) andThe Plotline Bomber of Innisfree (BookThug, 2015) and has won a Canadian Community Newspaper Award for his journalism. His literary film work has been screened at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the Arts Wells Festival in B.C. and other events. Originally from Ottawa, Massey has lived in northern B.C. for the last seven years. He can be connected with @Northwestism.

Maureen Medved - author photo

Maureen Medved‘s writing has been published in literary journals and magazines and on the stage in both Canada and internationally. Bruce McDonald directed Maureen’s screen adaptation of her novel The Tracey Fragments, which opened the Panorama program of the 57th annual Berlin International Film Festival and won the Manfred Salzgeber Prize. The film has gone on to feature at a number of international film festivals and has also garnered other nominations and awards, including a Genie Award nomination for Adapted Screenplay. Maureen is currently completing her second novel as well as other projects for film and new media. In 2009, she received the Artistic Achievement Award from Women in Film and Television (Vancouver).  She is a film reviewer for the magazine HERIZONS, and an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia.

Laura Ritland - Swoon photo

Laura Ritland completed her B.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature at UBC, and is a recent graduate of the Masters in Creative Writing program at the University of Toronto. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines across Canada including The Maynard, The Hart House Review, CV2, The Malahat Review, Maisonneuve, and Arc Poetry Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2014 Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Poetry and the former Editor-in-Chief of Toronto’s echolocation magazine.

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Swoon Spring 2015’s event on April 25, 2015 and featured performances by Rhett Davis, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Matthew Walsh, Sheryda Warrener, Emily Wight, and Tara Wohlberg. Read on to learn more about our fantastic authors!

Rhett DavisRhett Davis is a writer from Geelong, Australia. His writing has appeared in places like The Big IssueThe Sleepers AlmanacPage SeventeenVerandah, and The Dalhousie Review. He is a recent graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing at UBC and currently lives on Vancouver Island with his partner and a border collie who herds people instead of sheep. 

Jane Eaton HamiltonJane Eaton Hamilton is the author of seven books of fiction and poetry. Her book July Nights was shortlisted for a BC Book Prize and her book Hunger was shortlisted for the Ferro-Grumley Award. Body Rain, her first book of poetry, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award, and her chapbook, Going Santa Fe, won the League of Canadian Poets Poetry Chapbook Award. A pseudonymous memoir was on the Guardian’s Best of the Year list and was a Sunday Timesbestseller. She has been included in the Journey Prize anthology and Best Canadian Short Stories, and has been cited in Best American Short Stories. She has won many prizes for her short fiction, including, twice, the Prism International short fiction contest, and first prize in the CBC Literary Awards. She has been published in the New York TimesSeventeen magazine, Salon,Numero CinqMacleans, the Globe and Mail, the Missouri Review, the Alaska Quarterly Review and many other places.

Matthew WalshMatthew Walsh is a writer from Nova Scotia. His work has or will appear in 11th Dimension Press’s Rock is Not Dead anthology, Arc Poetry Magazine, Hoax Mag, Matrix and Descant. His long poem “Cloud Grape” won the York University President’s Prize for poetry. He is also the recipient of the 2014 John Newlove Award for poetry.


Sheryda WarrenerSheryda Warrener poems have appeared in Event, The Fiddlehead, Grain, Hazlitt, The Believer, and in the anthology Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013. Her work has been shortlisted for Lemon Hound’s inaugural poetry contest, the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the Arc Magazine Poem of the Year, and the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize. She received her M.F.A in Creative Writing from UBC, and has been a resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators. Her first book is Hard Feelings (Snare/Invisible). A new collection, Floating is Everything, is forthcoming Fall 2015 from Nightwood Editions.

EmilyWight_creditTraceyKusiewicz2014Emily Wight is a writer, editor and author of the new Well Fed Flat Broke cookbook, based on her blog of the same name. By day she works in communications, primarily writing stories about science. By night, she blogs about food stuff
at and mom stuff on websites around the Internet.


Tara WohlbergTara Wohlberg is a poet, lyricist and music educator.  Her poetry and lyrics have been published by E.C. Schirmer, Boston, and Oxford University Press.  As a freelance music journalist her work has been published in the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and NUVO magazine.  Her work has been short-listed for the Malahat Review Open Season award and recently appeared in CV2 and Quills. Her chapbook Cold Surely Takes the Wood was published by Alfred Gustav Press in Spring 2013. She is launching a new poetry journal Cede Poetry in Spring 2015.  Her accountant advises this won’t diversify her income stream.

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Swoon’s third event happened on November 15, 2014 and featured performances by andrea bennett, Lucas Crawford, Shannon Rayne, Andrea Routley, Ellie Sawatzky, Mallory Tater, and Janine Alyson Young. Read on to find out more about these sweethearts!

andrea bennettandrea bennett’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in literary journals and magazines across North America, including The Atlantic, Maisonneuve, Adbusters and Geist; her poetry has been anthologized in books from McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Ooligan Press. In 2013, she received a National Magazine Awards honourable mention in the Politics and Public Interest category. She is a contributing editor at Geist, and a former editor at Adbusters, This magazine and PRISM international. Originally from Hamilton, andrea now lives in Vancouver with her partner, Will. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s MFA program in Creative Writing.

Crawford pic copyLucas Crawford is a rural NS-raised poet and performer who teaches Gender Studies at SFU. Find his poetry in Room, Rattle, PRISMThe Antigonish ReviewOther Voices,The Nashwaak ReviewRampikeLost In Thought, and Chelsea Stations’ New Gay Poetry. His scholarly book, Transgender Architectonics, is forthcoming with Ashgate.

Shannon RayneShannon Rayne is a writer and health researcher from Winnipeg who currently lives in Vancouver, where she teaches creative writing in detox recovery centers, and is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. Shannon loves the stage and artistic collaborations. She has collaborated with dancers, visual artists, musicians and composers..  Her poems have appeared in Filling Station, Poetry is Dead, and in Alive From the Center, an anthology featuring West Coast poetry.  Shannon is currently completing two manuscripts of poetry, Coffee Stained and Dirty.

andrea routleyAndrea Routley’s work has appeared in literary magazines including the Malahat Review and Room Magazine, and in 2008, she was shortlisted for the Rona Murray Prize for Literature. She is the founder and editor of Plenitude Magazine, Canada’s queer literary magazine. She edited Walk Myself Home: An Anthology to End Violence Against Women(Caitlin Press, 2010) and in 2012 completed a degree in writing from the University of Victoria. Her debut short story collection, Jane and the Whales, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, an international English-language award for LGBT literature.

Ellie SawatskyEllie Sawatzky grew up in Northwestern Ontario, and now lives in Vancouver. Her poetry was longlisted for this year’s CBC Canada Writes Poetry Contest, and is forthcoming in EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine and Best New Poets 2014. Her work has also appeared in Fugue Magazine and The Ubyssey. She is a graduate of the BFA Creative Writing program at UBC, and is currently an MFA student, working on a collection of short stories for her thesis.

MalloryMallory Tater is from Ottawa and it is her first year in the MFA program at UBC. Her poetry and fiction have been published in Bywords JournalIsland Writer MagazineThe Danforth Review, and PRISM International. She has work slated to be published in both Descant and CV2 this year. CNF is a newer genre for her. She is enjoying writing the truth for a change.

Janine-2Janine Alyson Young’s debut short-story collection Hideout Hotel was published by Caitlin Press in Spring 2014. She is a freelance writer and lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and son. She recently earned her MFA from UBC’s Creative Writing program, and wrote a lot of Hideout Hotel on BC Ferries or with her baby in her lap.


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Swoon’s second event was held on April 4, 2014, featuring performances by Joelle Barron, Taylor Basso, Nicole Boyce, Sierra Skye Gemma, Sugar le Fae, Garth Martens, Rachel Sawatzky, and Jennifer Zilm. Read on to find out more about these awesome authors!

Joelle BarronJoelle Barron  is a queer writer, currently living and working in northwestern Ontario. She received her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2014. She is a recent winner of the Malahat Review’s Open Season Award for Poetry.


Taylor BassoTaylor Basso is originally from Surrey, but now resides in Vancouver. His plays have been staged across the city and his fiction can be read in Joyland. 



Nicole BoyceNicole Boyce’s nonfiction has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet TendencyNineteen Questions, and in NoD Magazine. Originally from Calgary, she’s now an MFA student at UBC, where she’s studying nonfiction, fiction and comics. She is the Prose Editor for Prism International. 


Sierra Skye Gemma 1Sierra Skye Gemma was a reader at Swoon Spring 2014, when she delighted the Swoon audience with her fantastic writing and hilarious and heartwarming performance. In Fall 2014, Sierra agreed to join Ruth as Swoon’s permanent co-host.  Learn more about Sierra and her fellow Swooners over here.


Sugar le FaeSugar le Fae (aka Zach Matteson) is a prize-winning poet, translator, teacher, photographer, songwriter, and Radical Faerie. His poems, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and the U.S., most recently in Plenitude and Bear Review. Sugar has an MFA in Creative Writing (UBC) and is currently pursuing his PhD at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice (UBC).

Garth MartensGarth Martens won the 2011 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. His writing is published in Poetry Ireland Review, Hazlitt, This Magazine, Vallum, Prism, Grain, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, and The Times Colonist. For nine years he has worked in large-scale commercial construction. Prologue for the Age of Consequence is his first book, and is a 2014 Finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. For six years he has studied flamenco cante and baile with Alma de España. He wrote the libretto for Pasaje, an international flamenco production that delighted audience members  at The Royal Theatre in Victoria on July 12, 2014.

Rachel SawatzkyRachel Sawatzky is a chocolatier, educator, and writer living and working in Vancouver, BC. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.Sc. from the University of Manitoba. She writes about chocolate for and about everything else on her blog:


Jennifer ZilnJennifer Zilm is the author of the chapbook The Whole and Broken Yellows and the manuscript Waiting Room, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her poems have also been published in Vallum, FreeFall, Room, The Antigonish Review, Prism and have twice been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest.

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Swoon’s first event was held on March 20, 2013. It was so much fun and a huge success thanks to the wonderful writing and performances by these featured readers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Jordan Hall‘s first full-length play, Kayak, won Samuel French’s 2010 Canadian Playwrights Competition, and has been produced to critical acclaim across Canada. An Associate at Playwrights Theatre from 2010-2013, she is currently Playwright-in-Residence at Pi Theatre, with support from the BCAC to develop her upcoming play, How to Survive an Apocalypse. As a screenwriter, Jordan was recently a finalist in both the LA Comedy Fest and Beverly Hills Screenplay Competitions for her short script, The Second Last Man on Earth.

Naomi SmedbolNaomi Smedbol, when she’s not talking to cats, writes and eats cheese in her East Van basement suite.



Ben Gehrels 2Ben Gehrels describes himself as a “shy rapper with a Master’s in English.” He currently teaches a fifth grade class in Surrey. His essays, hip hop, and poetry explore youth, education, love, and other contemporary concerns. Several of his hip hop tracks are available for listening on his SoundCloud page.


Jane CampbellJane Campbell grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and has a BA from Reed College and an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has previously been the Prose Editor of PRISM international, the oldest literary magazine in Western Canada. Her work has appeared in Magnolia: A Journal of Women’s Socially Engaged Literature and Grain.

Erin FleggErin Flegg is a freelance writer and editor, whose writing or photos appear at DeSmogblog and Desmog CanadaThe ToastThis MagazineVancouver ObserverThe BarnstormerXtra West and others.


Jeffrey RickerJeffrey Ricker was a reader at the first-ever Swoon event, where he delighted the audience with his lovely fiction about the sexiness of bread pudding (!). Swoon was very lucky to have Jeffrey onboard as the series’s co-host for our second event. He’s currently Swoon’s delightful graphic designer. Learn more about him and the other Swoon hosts over here.

Elizabeth Hand is a writer and reader of fiction who lives in a high rise apartment in Vancouver. She lives with her wonderful partner and two bonsai trees and writes poetry about all three. Her short fiction has appeared in various local publications. She is currently working on a novel of speculative fiction that she hopes everyone will like.


Kayla Czaga 2 Kayla Czaga (co-host for Swoon: March 20, 2013) grew up in Kitimat BC, and currently lives in Vancouver. She won The Malahat Review‘s Far Horizons Award for Poetry and The Fiddlehead‘s Ralph Gustafson poetry prize. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in The Walrus, Event, The Literary Review of Canada and TNQ, among others. She is a current MFA student at the University of British Columbia. Her first collection of poems, For Your Safety Please Hold On, was released in fall 2014 with Nightwood Editions.


6 Responses to Readers

  1. Pingback: Swoon Spring 2014 – Author Announcement! | Swoon

  2. Pingback: Ready for Swoon Fall 2014 and chocolate cheesecake! | Swoon

  3. Pingback: Upcoming Swoon Reading on April 25 | Ruth Daniell

  4. Pingback: Upcoming Swoon Reading on April 25 | Ruth Daniell

  5. Pingback: Swoon Fall 2016 – Meet the Authors | Swoon

  6. Pingback: Swoon Spring 2017 – Meet the Authors | Swoon

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