Paper Presenters

Maria Fernanda Arentsen

María Fernanda Arentsen est professeure agrégée à la Faculté des arts du Collège universitaire de Saint Boniface, Manitoba. Récemment, elle a publié Discours autour des frontières, histoires de cicatrices, ainsi que divers articles savants concernant la problématique de l’exclusion et de la violence. En 2010 elle a obtenu la bourse institutionnelle du CRSH pour son projet de recherche sur la représentation des personnes en situation de handicap dans les Amériques. En 2011 elle a reçu une bourse de l’Université de Saint-Boniface pour continuer son travail, dont le a déjà donné lieu à un article qui sera publié dans le livre dirigé par Patrick Imbert Trans, multi, interculturality, trans, multi, interdisciplinarity / Trans, multi, interculturalité, trans, multi, interdisciplinarité, «Les chemins de l’exclusion: entre les sociétés sacrificielles et les sociétés de normalisation»

Sharron Arksey

A Ryerson journalism graduate, Sharron Arksey has more than 30 years’ experience in non-fiction writing, including a weekly slice-of-life column for Portage la Prairie, MB area newspapers that she wrote for 25 years. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Room, Prairie Fire, Cahoots and Canadian Stories. She lives with her husband and assorted critters on the family farm at Langruth, Manitoba.



Jody Baltessen

Jody Baltessen is the City Archivist/Records Manager for the City of Winnipeg. Her research interests include archival theory and practice as well as themes in women’s history and urban studies.

Catherine Bates

Catherine Bates works as a research fellow at the University of Huddersfield. She is working on two monographs: Alibis, Decoys and Backdoors: Robert Kroetsch’s Subversive Life Writing and Regarding Discard: Representations of Rubbish in Contemporary Literature. She has published articles on Canadian poetry, autobiography, archives and waste and has forthcoming work on Alice Munro, Marian Engel and Thomas King coming out imminently. She is treasurer for BACS and co-founder of the Yorkshire Network for Canadian Studies.


Donna Besel

Donna Besel, from Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, writes fiction and nonfiction for various publications. Her writing has accumulated numerous honours, including second place in the Prairie Fire competition, scholarships for Summer Literary Seminar/The Walrus Magazine, and shortlist nominations for CBC’s Literary Awards and “Canada Writes.” She teaches creative writing to all ages, works in the Artists in the Schools program, and has instructed groups on art, music, outdoor activities, and trauma.


Sean Braun

Sean Braun is a Masters student of English and Creative Writing at the University of Manitoba. His interests lie in creative writing and literature of the American south. He recently received a SSHRC for his creative writing based research investigating the role of “the border” in early 20th century Manitoba.

Donna Breyfogle

Donna Breyfogle (B.A. Hons., M.L.S., M.A.), Associate University Librarian, University of Manitoba, has a background in early modern and women’s history. She recently completed a biography of University of Manitoba chief librarian, Elizabeth Dafoe (1900-1960), and has given presentations on “Elizabeth Dafoe in the 1920s” at the Winnipeg University Women’s Club and the University of Manitoba. She will also be speaking at the Canadian Library Association conference about Dafoe’s role in founding Canada’s national library.


Rae Bridgman

Rae St. Clair Bridgman is a Professor in City Planning at University of Manitoba, as well as an author and illustrator of the MiddleGate Books, a series of fantasy-adventure novels for kids. She is also a founding member of the Winnipeg architectural and planning firm Bridgman Collaborative Architecture.




Allison Calder

Alison Calder teaches Canadian literature at the University of Manitoba, where she specializes in prairie literary and cultural studies. Among her publications are critical editions of F.P. Grove’s Settlers of the Marsh and Over Prairie Trails. Her poetry collection is Wolf Tree.

Tricia Arden Caldwell

Tricia Arden Caldwell is a Masters student of English Literature at Université Laval in Québec, Canada. Amateur poet, singer and composer, she is also an accomplished music teacher. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Tricia has published poetry in various prairie chapbooks and journals and has presented at the University of Regina’s annual literary and cultural conference, Trash Talkin’. Past recipient of the undergraduate creative writing scholarship from the Manitoba Arts Council, she has recently begun working on a full-length book of children’s poetry and songs that have been inspired by her son, Loïc.


Nathan Dueck

Nathan Dueck recently defended his dissertation at the University of Calgary. “He’ll: Parody in the Canadian Poetic Novel” considers certain contemporary Canadian poet novelists whose self-conscious narratives parody their poetic language in prose. His king’s(mère) (2004) interprets William Lyon Mackenzie King’s biography in prose-poetry.

Katelyn Dykstra Dykerman

Katelyn Dykstra Dykerman is a Masters student at the University of Manitoba. She is a SSHRC funded scholar whose interest lies in early twentieth-century representations of intersex and the tracing of biopolitics through the writings of Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes. In addition, Katelyn writes creatively, focusing mainly on poetry and short memoir.

Andre Forget

A Southern Ontario native, Andre Forget moved to Winnipeg in 2006 to study English Literature at Canadian Mennonite University. While there he was seduced by philosophy and cultural studies and wrote his honours thesis on the intersection points of theology, history, and literature in Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Upon graduating he moved to Istanbul to teach English for a year, returning to Winnipeg in 2011 after realizing that it had inadvertently become his home. Currently employed by Canadian Mennonite University, this fall he returns to his studies at a Masters level with a focus on Canadian Literature.

Helen Lepp Friesen

Helen Lepp Friesen teaches academic writing on a part time basis at the University of Winnipeg. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba. Her freelance writing work consists of Life Science books for children, human-interest articles, and poetry.


Stephanie George

Stephanie George is expecting to graduate this month from the University of Manitoba with an Honours English degree. She will be back at the U of M in the fall to begin working on her Masters in Canadian Literature. Besides academic writing, Stephanie also produces articles for the U of M’s newspaper, The Manitoban, and is the literary director of the St. John’s College Students’ Association.


Maureen Scott Harris

Poet and essayist Maureen Scott Harris was born in Prince Rupert, grew up in Winnipeg, and lives in Toronto. She has published two collections of poems: A Possible Landscape (Brick Books, 1993) and Drowning Lessons (Pedlar Press, 2004); the latter was awarded the 2005 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Pedlar Press will publish her third collection, Slow Curve Out, in September 2012. Harris’s essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of print and online journals and anthologies. She won the Prairie Fire creative nonfiction prize in 2006 and the WildCare Tasmania Nature Writing Prize in 2009.


Luann E. Hiebert

Luann E. Hiebert is a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba studying English literature with a focus on Canadian prairie women poets. She is an adjunct professor of English literature at Providence University College, in Otterburne, Manitoba. Her poem “Train of hearts” was recently published in the 2012 edition of the Society, a journal associated with St. Peter’s College and the University of Saskatchewan. Luann lives in Steinbach, Manitoba, with her husband, enjoying travel, music, and family: three married children and four grandchildren.


Stan Janz

Stan Janz was born and raised in Brandon. He spent much of his early years playing hockey on outdoor rinks and heavy metal in various garages. He attended Brandon University where he eventually earned a B.A. (Hons) in English and a B.Ed. A.D. After a year spent teaching English in Mitsuke, Niigata, Japan, Stan moved to Calgary where he has worked as a high school English instructor at Alberta’s oldest educational institution, St. Mary’s High School, for the past ten years. In 2008, Stan was admitted to Acadia University where he completed his M.A. in English, focusing on the speculative fiction of Philip K. Dick and various filmic interpretations of his novels. Presently, Stan lives in Calgary where he continues to teach full time, play hockey, and write music for the theatre and the garage.

Denyse Johnson

A graduate from Red River College’s Creative Communications Program, Denyse Johnson has worked as a journalist and in communications for 11 years. Driven by a passion to understand the world, she has worked and travelled in more than 20 countries. Her favourite souvenirs are the stories she collects, which are often shared using the universal language offered through a cup of tea. Denyse currently lives in Vancouver, and is completing her Masters in Intercultural and International Communications.


Fisher Lavell

Fisher Lavell is a working-class writer. She has published fiction in Prairie Fire and Zygote and was a contributor to The Illusion of Inclusion: Women in Post-secondary Education. A school counsellor by calling, she also writes and presents on the importance of class analysis to efficacy in counselling. Fisher is working on her first novel, Roaring River Woman. One day, she will live in the little house her father built with his own hands.

John Lent

John Lent has been publishing poetry, fiction and non-fiction nationally and internationally for thirty years. He has published eight books of poetry and fiction and a book of conversations with Robert Kroetsch about the writing life, called Abundance. His last novel, So It Won’t Go Away, was short-listed for the BC Book Prizes in 2005, and Thistledown Press released a volume of Lent’s poems called Cantilevered Songs in 2009 that was long-listed for the Re-Lit Award that year. A novel called The Path To Ardroe will be released by Thistledown Press in the spring of 2012. Lent has taught Creative Writing & Literature for the past forty years and lives in Vernon, BC, with his wife, the artist Jude Clarke, and plays in The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio, a jazz and roots group. He is one of the founders of Kalamalka Press and The Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers.

Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She is the author of the forthcoming study of Canadian women’s elegies, The Daughter’s Way (WLUP 2012), as well as three books of poetry, the latest of which is Rue the Day (Turnstone Press 2008), and is the editor of Speaker of Power: The Poetry of Di Brandt (WLUP 2006).

Caitlin McIntyre

Caitlin McIntyre is a Masters student at the University of Manitoba in the Department of English, Film and Theatre. In addition to graduate work, she has also run as a candidate for political office at both the federal and provincial levels.

Carmelo Militano

Carmelo Militano is a Winnipeg poet, writer, teacher (psychology), editor, and a former CBC free-lance journalist and broadcaster. He is the winner of the F.G. Bressani award for poetry (2004). He has published three poetry chapbooks (Ariadne’s Thread, The Minotaur’s Keys, Weather Reports), a collection of poetry, Feast Days, and a prose work The Fate of Olives, which was short-listed for two different literary awards. He also writes essays, reviews, and conducts literary interviews for a variety of journals and magazines including Accenti, CV2, Italian Canadiana, Maple Tree Literary Review, Northern Poetry Review, Poetry Quebec, PopMatters, and Prairie Fire.

John O’Connor

John O’Connor is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto, where he teaches courses on Canadian literature and modern fiction (British and American). His research interests include biography, the work of Morley Callaghan, and translations of Quebec literature into English, but his primary research focuses on prairie fiction, with a particular emphasis on the life and work of Sinclair Ross. He has been reading and admiring the works of Margaret Laurence since she served as writer-in-residence at U of T in 1969-1970.


Manuel Portela

Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he teaches literature and new media, Manuel Portela is also director of the University Theatre (2005-2008). He has translated fiction, poetry, and theatre, including works by Laurence Sterne, William Blake, and Samuel Beckett. With John Havelda & Isabel Patim, he co-edited and co-translated Pullllllllllllllllllllllllll: Poesia Contemporânea do Canadá (2010). He is co-founder and director of a new Doctoral program: Advanced Studies in the Materialities of Literature.


Barbara Romanik

Barbara Romanik is pursuing a PhD in the Department of English, Film and Theatre at the University of Manitoba. She is working on her thesis involving urban Western Canadian literature, city planning, and mobility. Her short story collection 10 Things to Ask Yourself in Warsaw and Other Stories was published in 2008 with Enfield & Wizenty.


Ron Romanowski

Ron Romanowski’s portion of the Post-modernist project is diddling prosy norms with poetic excursions as performance: Poemetalaria’s crossing of poetry with heavy metal, recently at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library; Six Poets in Search of a New Literary Movement’s agitprop, stretching definitions of authorship, at Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson Booksellers, or, as book-form poetry: 2009’s Insurrection (Augustine Hand Press), subverting the capitalist legacy of Winnipeg’s 1919 General Strike, exalting the strikers’ part; 2011’s Big Book of Canadian Poetry’s CanLit satire, and his manuscript Daisy Chain Sonnets revised Formalism, somewhere between the ubiquitous Manitoba flower’s sweetness and Sadean rancidity.


Chris Rutkowski

An astronomer, Chris Rutkowski has been studying reports of UFOs (or PFTs – “pesky flying things,” as he sometimes likes to call them) since the mid-1970s. A writer and editor for science and technology publications, he also writes about his investigations and research into UFO cases. He publishes, along with Geoff Dittman, The Canadian UFO Survey, an annual compilation of UFO Reports from across Canada. Chris has had five books published: Visitations? (1989) and Unnatural History (1993), the latter of which is in its third printing. Mysterious Manitoba (1997), co-authored with Dave Creighton and Brian Fidler (1997), Abductions & Aliens – What’s Really Going On (Dundurn, 1999) and The Canadian UFO Report with Geoff Dittman. His day job is with the Public Relations Department of the University of Manitoba.


Nora Foster Stovel

Nora Foster Stovel is Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She has published on Jane Austen, D.H. Lawrence, Margaret Drabble, Carol Shields, and Margaret Laurence, including Divining Margaret Laurence: A Study of Her Complete Writings (2008). She is currently composing “Sparkling Subversion”: Carol Shields’s Vision and Voice and planning Women with Wings: The Romantic Ballerina.


Addena Sumter-Freitag

Addena Sumter-Freitag is well known in the Canadian arts community as an award-winning writer and published poet who has performed across Canada, and in Australia. She was born and grew up in the North End of Winnipeg (a unique ethnic and culturally diverse neighborhood) so her personal background has been one that has afforded her a cross-cultural education and experience. Addena presently lives in London, Ontario. She visits Manitoba often as most of her family still lives in Winnipeg.


Jeannette Timmerman

Jeannette Timmerman is a Winnipeg writer and a Manitoba Writers’ Guild member. She has belonged to five writing groups in the last twenty years, often being a member of two at a time. Her current group is the Live Poets’ Society. Her publications include poems, articles, book reviews and one short story. Her work has appeared in weekly newspapers, journals, anthologies and online.



Eugene Walz

A professor in the University of Manitoba Department of English, Film and Theatre, Eugene Walz’s areas of specialization are Canadian Film, Film Genres (Animation, Documentary, Road Movies), and Francois Truffaut. He has been involved in editing the Encyclopedia of Manitoba, and helped compile Birds of Manitoba and Finding Birds in Southern Manitoba. He is the editor of Canada’s Best Features: Critical Essays on 15 Canadian Films.

Jason Wiens

Jason Wiens is an instructor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. He has also taught at the University of Northern British Columbia and Mount Royal University. He completed his doctorate at the University of Calgary, and also completed degrees at the University of Manitoba and the University of Western Ontario. He has published widely on Canadian writing, including articles on prairie poetry, Dionne Brand, Margaret Avison, the Kootenay School of Writing, and several articles on George Bowering. In the coming year he is presenting conference papers on Sharon Pollock, John Glassco, and Barry McKinnon. Born and raised in Winnipeg, he now lives and works in Calgary.