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Steering Committee

The Calgary Distinguished Writers Program is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of local writers, business people, creative writing professors, students, and university administrators. Steering Committee members are chosen by the donors and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts on recommendation of the committee.

The 2013-2014 Steering Committee comprises:

Hollie Adams received her MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor and is currently a doctoral candidate specializing in contemporary prose fiction at the University of Calgary. Her writing has been short-listed for a Matrix LitPOP award and has been published in Prairie Fire, filling Station, Carousel, and The Windsor Review, as well as online at McSweeney's Internet Tendency and in the ebook The Broken Social Scene Story Project.

Bart Beaty

Bart Beaty is Professor and Head of the Department of English at the University of Calgary. He is the author of several books including Fredric Wertham and Critique of Mass Culture (2005), Canadian Television Today (2006), Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s (2007), David Cronenberg's A History of Violence (2008) and Comics Versus Art (2012). He has translated books by Thierry Groensteen (The System of Comics (2007)), Jean-Paul Gabilliet (Of Comics and Men (2010)), and Thierry Smolderen (The Birth of the Comics (forthcoming, 2012)). He is the editor of the eight volumes of The Salem Encyclopedia of Graphic Novels (2012-2013). He is currently at work on a project, funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, examining intermediality in the artistic practice of comics artists. He is a columnist for The Comics Journal and his writing appears regularly on

Weyman Chan

Weyman Chan was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1963, to immigrant parents from China. He won the 2002 National Magazine Awards silver prize for his poem “At work”, and the 2003 Stephensson Poetry Prize for his first book, Before a Blue Sky Moon. His second book, Noise From the Laundry, was a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the 2009 Acorn-Plantos People's Poet Award. His fourth and latest book of poems, Chinese Blue, finds inspiration in the vast unknown, as an agent of change. 

Caitlynn Cummings

Caitlynn Cummings is the Coordinator of the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and has an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. She is also the Managing Editor of the experimental literary magazine filling Station. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction can be found in This Magazine, Alberta Views, dead (g)end(er)Cordite Poetry ReviewNōDditch, and is forthcoming in New Writing Scotland. Follow her on Twitter @Tartaned_Maple.

Nancy Janovicek is Associate Professor of History at the University of Calgary. She is the author of No Place to Go: Local Histories of the Battered Women's Shelter Movement (2007) and has recently co-edited Feminist History in Canada: New Essays on Women, Gender, Work, and Nation (2013). She is currently writing a book about the back-to-the-land movement in the West Kootenays of British Columbia.

Simone Lee

Simone Lee is co-owner of Pages Books on Kensington and is a veteran of the publishing business, having worked with major publishers including Bantam/Doubleday, Harper-Collins, and Fifth House Publishers. Simone served on the committee from 2006 to 2008 and returned in 2010.

Robert Majzels is a novelist, playwright, poet and translator, and Associate Professor in the English Department of the University of Calgary. His most recent books are, with Erín Moure, The White Piano, a translation of a book of poems by Nicole Brossard; For Sure, a translation of a novel by the Acadian author France Daigle, and, with Claire Huot, 85, a book of radical translations of Chinese and biblical poetry. 

Sara Tilley’s work bridges writing, theatre, and Pochinko Clown Through Mask technique, with each discipline informing the others. After graduating with a BFA in Acting from York University in 2001, Sara founded the feminist theatre company She Said Yes! Sara has written, co-written, or co-created 10 plays, and has had stories, poems, and essays published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Skin Room, her first novel (Pedlar Press, 2008), won both the Newfoundland and Labrador Percy Janes First Novel Award and the inaugural Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. 

Nancy Tousley

As art critic of the Calgary Herald for more than 30 years, Nancy Tousley became known for making art accessible and relevant. Described as engaged, committed, meticulous, modest and fair, she demonstrates respect for the artists she interviews, and for the readers who follow her work. She has earned acclaim as a writer for art publications, including Canadian Art magazine and exhibition catalogues, as an independent curator and for the numerous awards she has received for outstanding achievement in arts journalism.

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