Ivan Drury is a writer, editor and an activist who has just published his debut collection of poetry titled ‘Un’ with Talon Books. He is an editor and writer at Volcano newspaper, first established in Vancouver Downtown Eastside as the Downtown East. Ivan was a founding member of Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism. He has been active defending low-income and unhoused communities in the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey for five years, and he is proud to be reading with Surrey Muse. Ivan has a master’s degree in history from Simon Fraser University and teaches history and labour studies to international students.
Kashiana Singh is a poet, writer and editor who has published three poetry books. Her first poetry collection is titled ‘Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words’, her second collection ‘Crushed Anthills’, a chapbook from Yavanika Press in 2020 details a journey that unravels memory through 10 cities. Her newest full-length collection, ‘Woman by the Door’ has just been released with Apprentice House Press. Kashiana calls herself a work practitioner and embodies the essence of her TEDx talk, Work as Worship, into her everyday. As well, she serves as a Managing Editor for Poets Reading the News, and her work can be read and heard on various international platforms.
Tawahum Bige is a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree poet, musician and spoken word artist from unceded Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Territory (Vancouver). Their Scorpio-moon-ass poems expose growth, resistance & persistence as a hopeless Two Spirit Nonbinary sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. With a BA in Creative Writing from KPU, Tawahum has performed at countless festivals with poems featured in numerous publications. His land protection work versus Trans Mountain pipeline expansion had him face incarceration in 2020. Check Tawahum’s debut collection of poetry, Cut to Fortress in March 2022, published by Nightwood Editions along with his debut EP set to release in May 2022.
Lillian Allen is a Jamaican Canadian poet, spoken word artist, media producer and an educator who has published four books of poetry, ‘Make the World New’, ‘Rhythm An’ Hardtimes’ (a Canadian best seller), ‘Psychic Unrest’, and ‘Women Do This Everyday’. Her work for young people includes ‘Why Me’ and ‘If You See Truth’. Lillian is a two-time Juno award winner, for her first album Revolutionary Tea Party that was also proclaimed a Landmark Album by Ms. Magazine in 1991, and for Conditions Critical. Her other albums include Freedom & Dance, ANXIETY, and a recording for children and young people Nothing But a Hero. A pioneer of dub lyricism, rap, and spoken word poetry, Lillian is recognized for inculcating a feminist voice in the literary dub art form. She is the founder of Toronto International Dub Poetry Festival and a variety of cultural organizations such as youth empowering Fresh Arts. As a playwright Lillian has produced One Bedroom With Dignity, Love & Other Strange Things, and a radio play Marketplace. She also co-produced and co-directed Blak Wi Blak, a film documentary on Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka. Lillian is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD) in Toronto.
Jessica Lee McMillan is a poet, essayist, visual artist, educator and a front-line legal worker. Her writings have appeared in various magazines and journals in the US and Canada including Blank Spaces, Pocket Lint (gnurr), Goat’s Milk Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Tiny Spoon, The South Shore Review, Dream Pop Journal, and Blue Heron Review. Jessica’s first published poem was her high school yearbook quote, then many years later her poetry was anthologized in A Journey Across New Westminster by Word: A Poetry of Place. She is now working on a full-length poetry collection. Jessica is ever grateful for local artist’s organizations for elevating the arts and supporting the community. She is a member of the Royal City Literary Arts Society, and she has presented her work at Poetic Justice, Poetry in the Park, SFU Poets Corner and Surrey Muse. A first generation Canadian, Jessica is a settler who lives in New Westminster, British Columbia on stolen and unsurrendered lands of the Coast Salish and Halkomelem-speaking Peoples, including the QayQayt and Kwikwetlem First Nations.