D’Scribe the Poet is an Indigenous (Blackfoot/Mi’kmaq) spoken word artist who uses his work to discuss topics such as mental illness, boundaries, and Indigenous rights. D’Scribe has competed at events such as the 2016 Canadian festival of spoken word in Winnipeg, the 2017 Canadian Individual poetry slam championship in Vancouver, and the 2017 International queer poetry championship Capturing fire in Washington DC where he performed on final stage. As a core team member of the Hamilton Youth Poet’s(HYP), D’Scribe and his teammates are presently ranked 2nd provincially, and hold the championship title for young voices Nationally. D’Scribe is proud to be part of HYP’s teaching artist corps and is looking forward to working with schools throughout Hamilton. When he is not pouring his heart out into a microphone he is working on his Psychology at Brock University.



Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario with her family. Her writing has been published by The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, The Walrus, Globe and Mail and many others. Her essay “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” won Gold at the National Magazine Awards. Most recently, she was the 2017-2018 Geoffrey and Margaret Andrew Fellow at UBC. Her first book of essays is forthcoming from Doubleday Canada in Spring 2019.

Meet Alicia Elliott at gritLIT 2018!

Pat Zonta

Pat Zonta is an experienced ESL teacher, professional actress, singer, retired Registered Medical Radiation Technologist, published author, event-planner, and Production Editor for medical and dental journals and textbooks. Pat Zonta is the author of the children’s book  Jessica’s X-Ray, published and distributed by Firefly Books, Ltd. One of her strong points is the ability to translate technical lingo into everyday language. She holds a BA in English Literature and Cultural Studies from McMaster University and a diploma in Medical Radiation Technology from Mohawk College.



Showey Yazdanian, Loopholes

 Showey Yazdanian

Showey Yazdanian is the author of Loopholes, which won the 2015 Ken Klonsky Prize for a new novella in Canada.  Showey has contributed to Maclean’s, The Toronto Star, The Guelph Mercury, The Lawyer’s Weekly, and the Globe and Mail, as well as to the story collection Footprints for Mothers and Daughters. Showey serves on the Lit Live Reading Series committee and lives in Hamilton.

Meet Showey Yazdanian at gritLIT 2018!


Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter

                 (Photo credit: Roger LeMoyne)

Kathleen Winter’s novel Annabel was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Orange Prize, and numerous other awards. It was also a Globe and Mail “Best Book,” a New York Times “Notable” book, a Quill & Quire “Book of the Year” and #1 bestseller in Canada. It has been published and translated worldwide. Her Arctic memoir Boundless (2014) was shortlisted for Canada’s Weston and Taylor non-fiction prizes and has been sold internationally. The Freedom in American Songs (Stories, Biblioasis) also came out in 2014. Born in the UK, Winter spent many years in Newfoundland before moving to Montreal, QC.

Meet Kathleen Winter at gritLIT 2018!



Tom Wilson

Tom WIlson

(Photo credit: Jen Squires)

TOM WILSON is the best selling author of Beautiful Scars as well as a  three-time Juno winning Canadian musician with multiple gold records. He has written for and recorded songs with Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples and The Rankin Family. His band Junkhouse has scored eleven top-ten hits, and his iconic, Americana-fuelled Blackie and the Rodeo Kings was widely publicized for its presence on George Bush’s iPod. Tom’s most recent incarnation, Lee Harvey Osmond, has received extensive praise and airplay throughout the United States. His art has shown in galleries in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and more recently, The National Gallery in Ottawa. The author lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

“I have unchained all the prisoners from my basement and freed the ghosts from my attic.

I was the guy who ended up holding the keys to their freedom.

It was me who let them out.

It’s a job that no one else could do and one that comes with great consequence because these ghosts and prisoners are standing around me now all day, all night long.

I told my truth the way I heard it and the way I remembered it and that’s all I have. Everything else is bullshit.” Tom Wilson

Meet Tom Wilson at gritLIT 2018!




Eric Walters

Walters, Eric credit Sofia Kinachtchouk

Eric Walters began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his fifth-grade students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across the country. Eric is a Member of the Order of Canada, and he lives in Guelph, Ontario. For more information, visit www.ericwalters.net.

Meet Eric Walters at gritLIT 2018!



Tanya Talaga

Tanya Talaga logo headshot, headshotlogo logoheadshot in Toronto. November 15, 2012 STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR

(Photo credit: Steve Russell)

Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for twenty years. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. In 2013, she was part of a team that won a National Newspaper Award for a year-long project on the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. In 2015, she was part of a team that won a National Newspaper Award for Gone, a series of stories on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She is the 2017–2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy. She lives in Toronto.

Meet Tanya Talaga at gritLIT 2018!



Kerri Sakamoto, The Electrical Field

Kerri Sakamoto

(Photo credit: Daniel Tisch)

Kerri Sakamoto debuted as a novelist in 1998 with The Electrical Field, a finalist for a slew of awards–the Governor General’s Award, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award–and winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and the Canada-Japan Literary Award. The Toronto Star said “Kerri Sakamoto represents a major new force in the landscape of Canadian fiction.” Her second novel, One Hundred Million Hearts, appeared in 2003 to critical acclaim.

Meet Kerri Sakamoto at gritLIT 2018!